Daily Bulldog article
This past Saturday was the perfect day for a cookout. The sun was out, a slight breeze was in the air, and people came from all over Franklin County to join us in the backwoods of Madrid.
This past June, the High Peaks Alliance saw the completion of the Perham Stream Bridge Project. The Bridge is the final product of a three-year collaborative project between the High Peaks Alliance, North Franklin Snowmobile Club, Narrow Gauge Riders ATV club, landowner Mark Beauregard, and others. On Saturday, August the 27th, the High Peaks Alliance and clubs all came together to celebrate the bridge’s completion with a cookout and ribbon cutting ceremony.
Vehicles lined up on the Reed’s Mills’ roadside. Bicyclists, ATV riders, snowmobile riders, community members, and several local officials converged on the bridge for the cookout. The event was attended by 50 to 6o people, much more than was expected. Food and beverages were donated by area businesses including the White Elephant of Strong, Maine, Edmund’s Market of Phillips, Maine, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Farmington, Maine.
Members of the press from Franklin County Newspapers came to cover the event and some of their articles have already been published. This lovely piece was written by Lauren Abbate for the Morning Sentinal and the Kennebec Journal. Valarie Tucker, a Special Correspondent for the Franklin Sun Journal wrote this article.
Among the attendees were Senator Tom Saviello of Wilton, Maine, Franklin County Commissioner Gary T. McGrane, Ralph Luce of the North Franklin Snowmobile Club, and Charlie and Kathy Gould of the Narrow Gauge Riders ATV Club. Several HPA board members were present, as well as a local Game Warden. Nancy Perlson acted as the High Peaks Alliance’s spokesperson. [Tucker 2016]
Senator Saviello, Nancy, Commissioner McGrane, and Ralph Luce all spoke in front of the assembled attendees before the ribbon cutting. Commissioner McGrane stressed how important projects like this were to Maine’s Economy. Though the effects are not always visible, non-profits contribute $10 billion to Maine’s economy and volunteers contribute 350,000 hours of their time every year. [Tucker 2016] He also made the observation that the bridge provided connectivity between sections of Franklin County that expanded the economic impact of outdoor recreation and sports. [Abbate 2016]
Senator Saviello congratulated the organization and collaboration that went into the completion of the bridge, saying “That’s why this success lays out here because you did it together.” [Abbate 2016]
Public access is a major interest of the High Peaks Alliance. The bridge is just one of many trail connectivity, and economic development issues that the High Peaks Alliance has worked to address. As Nancy Perlson put it, “For this region, as most of you probably know, backcountry recreation is kind of the backbone of the regional economy. So it’s important to have these kinds of facilities and infrastructure that let people safely and comfortably enjoy what we have to offer.” [Abbate 2016]
The old bridge had been patched together from the remains of old riveted iron beams salvaged from the railroad and was becoming unsafe. Ralph Luce commented that when pulling trail grooming equipment over the bridge, he could feel the bridge’s failing structure reacting to the weight. [Abbate 2016]
The support girders were badly rusted and the center support was washed out by Tropical Storm Irene in 2012. The new bridge doesn’t require a support in the stream and was able to utilize the existing granite cribbing to minimize impacts on the stream which is a tributary of the Orbeton, which supports native brook trout and Atlantic salmon.
The multi-use trail which accesses the Perham Stream bridge, crosses through six thousand acres of working forest, which was recently protected by a conservation easement in partnership with the Trust for Public Land. Funding from the Forest Legacy Program, the Land For Maine’s Future program and many generous donors supported the acquisition of the conservation easement. The Linkletter family continues to own the land and harvest trees. Income from tree harvests and the easement sale support their mill operation and contribute to the region’s forest products economy. The High Peaks Alliance served as a local partner for the TPL, organizing critical local public support for the project. Public support allowed the project to successfully compete for funding and established the terms of the easement which preserves the beautiful trail for multi-use public access.
The High Peaks Alliance was grateful to meet with so many members of the Franklin County community and is especially appreciative of our collaborative partners with the North Franklin Snowmobile Club and Narrow Gauge Riders. We would like to thank those that donated food to our celebration from the White Elephant, the Coca-Cola bottling Company, and Edmund’s Market. And, an especially grateful thank-you to those who provided our funding at the Franklin County TIF Committee, the Betterment Fund, and the Maine RTP Program.
Tucker, V. (2016, August 28). Bridge spanning Perham Stream now open.Franklin Sun Journal. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.sunjournal.com/news/franklin/2016/08/28/bridge-spanning-perham-stream-now-open/1983987
Abbate, L. (2016, August 27). Perham Stream Bridge completion touted as successful collaboration. Morning Sentinal. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/08/27/perham-stream-bridge-completion-touted-as-successful-collaboration/
Backwoods trail riders take note. The official opening for the Perham Stream Bridge on the multi-use trail in Madrid is happening on Saturday, August the 27th at 12 pm. The bridge is at the confluence of Perham and Orbeton Streams in Madrid Township and is a major crossing on the ITS 84/89 snowmobile trails and the Moose Loop ATV trail. This long-awaited, much needed, single-span steel girder bridge replaces a previous bridge which had been damaged during Hurricane Irene.
A ribbon cutting ceremony, complete with free hot dogs and burgers, is the final stage of a three-year collaborative process between the High Peaks Alliance, North Franklin Snowmobile Club, Narrow Gauge Riders ATV club, landowner Mark Beauregard and others. Funding for the bridge included grants from Maine’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the Franklin County TIF program and the Betterment Fund. The contractor for the project was N.F. Luce under the direction of Brian Luce. The trail only needed to be closed for one week while the old bridge was removed and the new one was installed. The bridge is now open for public motorized and non-motorized recreation with a vehicle width restriction of 60” (exceptions being made for snowmobile trail groomers). Food and supplies for the event have been donated by local businesses, The White Elephant in Strong, Edmunds Market in Phillips, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Co Distributor in Farmington.
Maine’s multi-use ITS 84/89 trail crosses the Orbeton Stream parcel, an area of working forest conserved through a conservation easement in 2015 secured by the Trust for Public Lands with funding from the Forest Legacy and Land for Maine’s Future programs and many generous donors. The High Peaks Alliance served as a local partner for the Trust for Public Land in establishing the easement which preserves public access to this beautiful trail for riders, bikers, and hikers.
The celebration will be happening at the site of the Perham Stream Bridge. Parking for the event will be on Reeds Mill Road near the intersection with ITS 84/89. Additional parking is available near the Madrid Trail Head of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail Those attending can walk, or take an ATV to the bridge from Reeds Mill Road. A truck will also be available to shuttle people to and from the bridge.
Take Route 4 to Madrid and turn onto Reeds Mill Road. Continue for just under five miles. You will pass the Star Yoga Barn on the left, the ITS 84/89 intersection is at the bottom of the hill and across the bridge.
ATV riders heading North on ITS 89 through Madrid Township along the Aaron Holbrook Memorial Trail are sure to notice some changes when they approach the Perham Stream Bridge. This summer a collaborative project between the North Franklin Snowmobile Club and the High Peaks Alliance has reached completion.
The 60-foot section of the bridge crossing the Perham Stream has been completely replaced with a modern single-span girder bridge. The old bridge had been patched together from the remains of old salvaged railroad riveted iron beams and was becoming unsafe. The support girders were badly rusted and the center support was washed out by Hurricane Irene.
In 2013 the High Peaks Alliance and the North Franklin Snowmobile Club secured a TIF grant for the engineering and design of the new Perham Stream Bridge. Since then, the High Peaks Alliance has continued working with the North Franklin Snowmobile Club to secure funding and coordinate the construction of the bridge. Making use of TIF and Recreational Trail Plan grants construction of the new bridge started mid-June and was completed on Friday, June 24th.
We would like to thank Brian Luce of N.F. Luce Inc, the North Franklin Snowmobile Club, the Franklin County TIF Committee, the Recreational Trails Program, and the Narrow Gauge Riders ATV Club who generously committed some of their own TIF funding for the project.
The High Peaks Alliance is pleased to announce that we have received two new prizes available for our ongoing raffle!
The first of the new donations comes to us from River’s Edge Sports of Oquossoc, Maine. River’s Edge generously donated a pair of books on the History of the Rangeley Lakes Region. “The Rangeley and Its Region” and “A History of Rangeley Hotels & Camps,” are must haves for history buff who are fond of the Rangeley Lakes and the history of outdoor sports.
The second new donation comes from Chandler Pond Outfitters in Farmington. This very generous donation is a 13 foot Fly Rod made by the WFTFL*Y company.
We would like to offer our most sincere thanks to community businesses for donating to our raffle. All proceeds from our raffle go to benefit the High Peaks Alliance and its programs. If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket please contact Dylan Cookson at (207) 416-4952 or visit these area businesses to purchase raffle tickets in their storefronts:
–108 Fairbanks Rd Farmington, ME
— 26 S Main St, Strong, ME 04983
–2391 Main St, Rangeley, ME 04970
–2391 Main St, Rangeley, ME 04970
— 7 Pond St, Rangeley, ME 04970
The Summer of 2016 has been a relatively cool one. At the High Peaks Alliance, we have taken advantage of the fair weather to maintain and improve the Fly Rod Crosby Trail. We held our second workday on June the 11th, with the help of some community volunteers.
This workday, board members were joined by AmeriCorps and Maine Conservation Corps member Dylan Cookson, Trailmaster Bud Godsoe, and community volunteers. They started at the Madrid trailhead and carpooled up an old logging road to the Horse Hobble section of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail.
The group divided into two teams that hiked south. The first team followed behind Bud Godsoe. As Bud bucked and limbed fallen trees with a chainsaw, they cleared out the cut remains and clipped branches that had grown onto the trail.
The second team forged ahead with cutter mattocks and began work on redirecting and cutting a 30-foot section of trail that was obscured by tall grass.
The Horse Hobbles Section of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail is a gorgeous hike. Volunteers stopped to take in the scenery as they passed curious plants, monolithic yellow birch trees, a forest floor mottled with wildflowers, and shoulder high Hobble Bush.
The crew ended its workday with lunch by the stream. In all, the crew cleared 1 mile of trail and redirected a 30-foot section of trail. It was a productive and fun day with everyone happy to have spent so much time on this gorgeous section of the mountain trail.
On Saturday, May 14th the High Peaks Alliance had its first trail work-day of the year on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail. High Peaks Alliance President, Milt Baston and Board Member Betsy Squibb were joined by AmeriCorps member and Maine Conservation Corps Environmental Steward, Dylan Cookson, and community volunteer John Pietroski.
Together they put in 16 hours of work clearing and redirecting sections of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail around tall-grass, and waterlogged and eroded areas.