Rangeley Trail Town Festival

20160903_111512On Saturday, September 3rd 2016, the town of Rangeley celebrated their annual Trail Town Festival. It has been four years since Rangeley was designated an official Appalachian Trail Community in 2012.

The High Peaks Alliance joined them for their celebration. The Fest included many food vendors and several games and activities including boot-tossing and corn hole. AT hikers competed with each other in ice cream eating competitions.

Other attractions included live music by a local musician and the Friday night film festival.

Once again , Maine Conservation Corps and AmeriCorps member, Dylan Cookson setup the High Peaks Alliance tent next to Jeff McCabe of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the representatives of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust.

During the course of the day, High Peaks Alliance board members Bud Godsoe and Betsy Squibb assisted in running the booth. Members of local radio stations went about interviewing the representatives of various organizations at their booths. At once point, Dylan was asked to speak to the assembled visitors from the microphone at Haley Pond Park gazebo.

It was a satisfying visit to Rangeley. Many people stopped near the booth to ask about the HPA and its programs.

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association’s Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association’s Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day

Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen Association threw its annual Outdoor Sporting Heritage Day on August 9th. This year’s theme was Dogs, and I could not have been happier!

20160809_115837I, Dylan Cookson, AmeriCorps member, and MCC Environmental Steward am a big fan of Dogs! And there were eager, friendly, four-legged friends everywhere.

There were vendors selling dog collars and scarfs, dog treats, and dog artwork. Towards the end of the day, many of the visiting dog owners brought their dogs together for a splash competition in the clubhouse pond.

Children and teens would throw objects for dogs to fetch into the pond. The object was to get the dog to make the largest splash they could.

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20160809_111227I attended the event with board members, Kirby and Elaine Holcombe. We had many
people stop by the booth to purchase raffle tickets, and ask about our projects. We also had a visit from member Nancy Perlson and her handsome Australian Shepherd Puppy, Scout.

That’s him on the right. Isn’t he precious!

Perham Stream Bridge

Perham Stream Bridge

MADRID:

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.

Directions:

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.

Carrabassett Valley Summer Fest

Carrabassett Valley Summer Fest

Just off the Sugarloaf Regional Airport in Carrabassett Valley, Maine is KC’s Creativity Center. This business provides classes on creative pursuits to its patrons. It also hosted the Carrabassett Valley Summer Fest.

 

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Rain forced the sound technicians to wrap the equipment in plastic.

AmeriCorps member, Dylan Cookson, set up and ran a booth from 12 to 6pm. The day was punctuated by rain which forced many of the patrons to leave and many of us to shelter under our pop-up tents.

 

The Festival had live entertainment in the form of steel drums and country music. Apart from the rain, it was a good day with many people stopping to ask about the High Peaks Alliance and our projects.

The High Peaks Alliance at the Farmington Summer Fest

20160723_131339 (2)The Farmington Downtown Association threw the 2016 Farmington Summer Fest on Friday, and Saturday, July 22nd, and 23rd. On Saturday the 23rd, Broadway was closed off to automobiles and the street was filled with booths from local vendors and non-profits.

For the second time in the month of July, the High Peaks Alliance set up its booth and presented its mission to visitors, walking the streets of a High Peaks community.

This time, AmeriCorps member and Maine Conservation Corps Environmental Steward, Dylan Cookson was joined by Amie Daniels from the Maine Conservation Corps, and High Peaks Alliance Treasurer, Scott Landry.

Farmington is a college town and there were a lot of young people on the streets. There were yoga demonstrations, cheap pizza, and people dancing in human-sized Pikachu costumes.

We were once again selling raffle tickets, our HPA hats, and t-shirts, and handing out brochures for membership and the Fly Rod Crosby Trail.

We had a fantastic time speaking to the people of Farmington and many of them came with eager questions and anecdotes about the High Peaks Area. we were lucky to meet a friend of Trail Master Bud Godsoe, who plays with Bud in the Sandy River Ramblers.

It seemed like Scott knew everyone in town. And often could be seen walking the streets with his camera, capturing the hustle and bustle of the celebrating town.

Completion of the Perham Stream Bridge

Completion of the Perham Stream 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.

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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.

Raffle Update

The High Peaks Alliance is pleased to announce that we have received two new prizes available for our ongoing raffle!

River's Edge SportsThe 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.

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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:

Chandler Pond Outfitters

–108 Fairbanks Rd Farmington, ME

The White Elephant

— 26 S Main St, Strong, ME 04983

Village Scrub Board

–2391 Main St, Rangeley, ME 04970

Video Habits

–2391 Main St, Rangeley, ME 04970

Ecopelagicon

— 7 Pond St, Rangeley, ME 04970