Moosehead Region Non-motorized Trails Planning

Non-motorized Trail Development and Enhancement in the Moosehead Lake Region - a Collaborative Project between the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Plum Creek, and the Moosehead Lake Region Community

Project News:

9-11-2013 - Moosehead Trails Public Meeting Results (Word 53KB)

Informal updates available at the bluewatersgreenforests blog.

Project Description:

Planning for Non-motorized Trail Development and Enhancement in the Moosehead Lake Region

What is the opportunity?View towards Moosehead Lake from the end of Eagle Rock.

The Moosehead Lake Region Concept Plan was established by Plum Creek with approval by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission. The Plan includes a:

  • Trails Easement
    • 121 acres of trails easement may be located on Plum Creek's 363,000-acre Moosehead region Conservation Easement.
  • Dedicated Fund of One Million Dollars
    • Enabling the construction of new non-motorized trails, enhancement of existing trails, and the establishment of up to five new trailhead parking areas serving these trails.
    • Available to support trail planning, creation, and improvement on the easement lands and on Bureau of Parks and Lands properties or interests in the Moosehead Lake Region.

Where are trail developments associated with this project possible?

New trails may be located:

  • On the Moosehead Region Conservation Easement, which spans 360,000 acres in 26 townships (17 in Somerset County and 9 in Piscataquis County). See project area map below. Locations of trails on the conservation easement are approved by the landowner - Plum Creek. A total of 121.8 acres may be used to establish trail easements on Plum Creek property in the concept area - easement widths may vary but shall be at least 15 feet wide.
  • On properties in the region in which the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands holds an interest or complete fee ownership.

Funding may be used to rehabilitate existing trails on Bureau properties in the region.

Moosehead Lake Region map

Project Area Map. Note: Area depicted in:

  • Pink represents the Moosehead Region Conservation Easement.
  • Green represents the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands fee-owned properties.

What types of trail projects are under consideration?

The trail easement and implementation agreement both limit trail projects to primitive, non-motorized trails available to the public. The easement prohibits impervious surfaces, such as pavement. Essentially:

  • A range of non-motorized trails ranging from easy walking paths to strenuous backpacking circuits are candidates for development or improvement.
  • Hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, canoe/kayak portaging, and wildlife/environmental observation are all potential trail activities targeted through this effort.

In 2014, construction begins on the first two trail projects.

  • The Eagle Rock Trail creates 3.7 miles of new trail from near the northern boundary of the Little Moose Public Lands outside Greenville to a dramatic vista atop a large rock outcrop on the northwestern tip of Big Moose Mt.
  • The #4 Mountain Trail project rehabilitates and redesigns the former fire tower trail and provides opportunities to view the landscapes between Moosehead Lake to the west and Baxter State Park to the northeast.

The table below lists other leading candidates for trail easements and funding.

Leading Trail Concepts Table

Little Moose Public Lands / Big Moose Mt. Area
Trail Concept
Miles
Township

Eagle Rock Trail* to Big Moose Mt. Trail.**

* Under construction. **Existing.

2 (est.)
Big Moose
Little Moose Public Lands Western Boundary Trail & Little Moose Public Lands Big Moose Mt. (trailhead) to Big Moose Pond Link.
8 (est.)
Moosehead Junction
Lily Bay Mts. Area
Trail Concept
Miles
Township

Lily Bay Mt. from saddle.

2 (est.)
Frenchtown
#4/Lily Bay Mts. saddle to-Baker Mt. NW Arm & on to AMC Boundary.
5 (est.)

Frenchtown/
Beaver Cove

#4 Mt. Extension (Meadow Brook Rd. Trailhead to Frenchtown Rd.) - would provide guaranteed trail access from a public road to the current #4 Mt. Trail.*
*#4 Mt. Trail under construction.
2 (est.) Frenchtown
Elephant Mt. (includes B-52 site in general, link to AMC trails, and day-use destination to ledges on south face). 2 (est.) Bowdoin College
Grant West
Blue Ridge Area
Trail Concept
Miles
Township

Blue Ridge: Rum Pond to AMC Boundary.

8 (est.)
Bowdoin College
Grant West
Moose River Area
Trail Concept
Miles
Township

Demo Bridge area of Moose River (portages associated with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail).

0.5 (est.)
Sandwich Academy
Long Pond Mt. Viewing Area (off Rt. 6/15).
<0.25 (est.)
Sandwich Academy
Other Trail Concepts
Spencer Pond to Roach River, Williams Mt., Big W. TWP Trail, East Outlet & general Rockwood to Greenville connectivity), interest in an active trails (e.g., hike/run/ski) near Greenville (Little Moose Public Land mentioned).

When will this all happen?

Planning, including seeking public input, and the first round of trail projects are underway. Total project work, including construction, must be completed by July, 2018.

How can I learn more and get involved?

Anyone with an interest in learning more, sharing their thoughts, and/or volunteering should contact Rex Turner (contact information below). Please check back to this webpage to view project updates. As public input opportunities arise, including scheduled meetings, the time and location of those opportunities will be described here. Additionally, informal updates, such as photos from the field, descriptions of possible trail improvements, and other project-related posts will be shared under a "Moosehead Lake Region Trails" tag at the bluewatersgreenforests blog.

A local advisory committee has been formed and is helping guide preliminary planning and will be analyzing wider public comments and suggestions. Members of this committee are listed below.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Rex Turner (Project Coordinator) - Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands
  • Luke Muzzy - Plum Creek
  • Bryan Wentzell - Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Karin Tilberg - Forest Society of Maine
  • Bob Hamer - Moosehead Lake Chamber of Commerce (retired)
  • Bob Guethlen - Area resident - trails advocate
  • Suzanne Buchanan - Moosehead Lake Chamber of Commerce
  • Cynthia Orcutt- Maine Huts and Trails
  • Jenny Ward - Area resident - Area resident - trails advocate

Questions or comments can be directed to:

Rex Turner
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands
22 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 287-4920