District Overseer Reports

 

Katahdin

KATAHDIN DISTRICT

Overseer – Rick SteCroix

(The Katahdin District extends from the Jo-Mary Haul Road to the Summit of Katahdin.
It consists of 55.7 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 2.6 miles of side trails.)

2015 ANNUAL REPORT – KATAHDIN DISTRICT

October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015

 

Volunteers

The Katahdin District consists of 55.8 miles of the A.T. and 4.0 miles of side trails. A total of 63 individuals worked 1008 hours on the trails and campsites this year. They traveled 704 hours to get to their respective work sites. This comes to a total of 1712 hours of volunteer work in the Katahdin District. There are 11 trail section assignments in the Katahdin District, the longest being 11.3 miles and the shortest 2.6 miles with the average being 5.0 miles. The maintainers made 23 work trips this year.

8 maintainers made 1 work trip

3 maintainers made 2 work trips

 

Trail Work

We had a long and cold winter with many snowstorms. A very wet and rainy spring made for difficult conditions to get spring trail maintenance done. Work trips were done in May and June to prepare the A.T. for the hiking season. Several maintainers also made work trips in July and August. The weather was generally wet during June but we ended up with a nice summer and fall. The usual trail work of clearing blowdowns and clipping back brush and branches from the footpath was done. Painting white blazes on the A.T. and blue blazes on side trails was done where needed. Cleaning waterbars and drainage ditches was also done. Trail signs are in good shape. In Baxter State Park, the blue blazed Highwater Trail is a bypass to fording Nesowadnehunk Stream in 2 places. Beaver activity is occurring at both outlets of the northern and southern Rainbow Deadwaters, but the trail is not affected. The Maine Trail Crew worked 3 weeks in June on the Hunt Trail (A.T.) in Baxter State Park. Nearly 400 feet of bog bridging was replaced about ½ mile south of the Golden Road by 4 volunteers during 3 days of work in September.

 

Campsites

All 7 campsites received regular maintenance by the maintainers this season. The leantos at Hurd Brook, Rainbow Stream, Wadleigh Stream and Potaywadjo Spring are all in good shape. The tentsites at Rainbow Spring, Nahmakanta Stream and Antlers’ Campsites are also in good shape. Trash was picked up, firepits cleaned of ashes and unburnable trash. Abandoned clothes, gear, food and books left behind by inconsiderate hikers was carried out and disposed. All campsite signs showing directions to water sources, privies and tent sites are in good shape. The moldering privy at Hurd Brook Leanto, built in

September, 2000, is doing well. The moldering privy at Rainbow Stream Leanto, built in June, 2001, is also doing well. The 4 pit privies at the other campsites are in fair to good shape. The accessible moldering privy at Wadleigh Stream Campsite, built in June, 2014 is doing well. Various bootleg

campsites continue to be used along the trail and the maintainers continue to clean up trash that is left behind and to break up illegal firerings. The Nature Conservancy has a campsite at Rainbow Lake Dam on a 0.25 mile side trail. The State of Maine has a couple of campsites at the southern end of Nahmakanta Lake near the A.T.  The big project of building an accessible moldering privy at Potaywadjo Spring Campsite was accomplished in September, 2015.  6 volunteers traveled 26 hours and worked 135 hours to build the privy. The lumber and materials was precut then transported to the road crossing north of the campsite and then carried about 0.3 miles to the worksite where the moldering privy was assembled. The L.L.Bean trail crew helped carry the materials to the worksite and they also stained the outside walls and painted the inside walls. We had great weather and great volunteers to accomplish this project.

 

A.T. Corridor

About 25.5 miles of the A.T. is on National Park Service land from the JoMary Road to Murphy Brook. About 15.2 miles of the A.T. is on The Nature Conservancy land from Murphy Brook to the Golden Road.  About 1 mile of the A.T. is a road walk on the Golden Road, owned by Katahdin Forest Management Company. The balance of the A.T., about 14.4 miles, is in Baxter State Park, from Abol Stream to Baxter Peak, Katahdin. Boats and canoes continue to be stored in the corridor at the following sites: Big Beaver Pond, Rainbow Lake Dam, Rainbow Deadwaters and Crescent Pond.

 

I would like to thank everyone that volunteered their time and effort in the Katahdin District in 2015.  Your work is very important in maintaining and protecting the A.T. in Maine. Thank you.

Rick Ste.Croix
Overseer, Katahdin District
E-mail: mailto: ricknrachel@roadrunner.com

 

 

Looking at Barren Mountain from Borestone – Winter 2010
Photo by Julian Wiggins

 

WHITE CAP DISTRICT

Overseer: Ron Dobra
Assistant Overseer: Bruce Grant

(The White Cap District extends from Maine Highway 15 to the Jo-Mary Haul Road.)

White Cap District – 2016 Annual Report

submitted 10/20/2016

 

The White Cap District, initiating the first sixty miles of the “100 mile wilderness” heading north, starts easily enough along the Wilson Valley and ends in a similar fashion along Cooper Brook, but contains two of the grittier ridge lines of the AT found on the Barren Chairback range and the White Cap range. The district enjoyed a very good year in terms of overall trail maintenance and new section appointments. Joining the current roster of 37 maintainers were Hannah Stevens and Dustin Moyer taking over from Jonathan Harris in the vicinity of East Branch lean to, including the lean to; Wanda Greatorex on the southern bottom half of Gulf Hagas Mtn.; Bobby Campbell from East Chairback Pond to Chairback Gap lean to; Erica Kauffman and Jeremy Dubois for both sides of Fourth Mtn.; and Dan Dauphinee in the area of Wilson Valley lean to, including the shelter.

 

To keep up trail standards, the 31 section and 10 lean to/campsite assignments saw a total of 201 individuals listed on 250 work trip reports, cumulating in 3,070 work and 2,121 travel hours, adding up to 5,191 volunteer hours. This number is almost twice that of last year, and reflects well on individual and group efforts, as well as prior vacancies being enthusiastically filled.

 

Highlights of the season featured record low water and high numbers of hikers, which made for varied situations. A “code brown” was declared at three privies, and privy tipping parties were organized, with the foundation at Wilson Valley being rebuilt while the building was on skids. Over 200 bog bridge planks were ordered, milled, and moved by volunteer labor from Millinocket for use in the Wilson Valley and the Gulf Hagas Pleasant River tote road. Two relocations were cut and opened-one on Columbus Mtn. and another in the Wilson Valley. Freshman orientation groups from both Colby and Bowdoin colleges helped transport bridging and other materials, as well as doing trail work. The Maine Trail Crew spent a total of 9 weeks building staircases and water bars on both sides of White Cap Mtn. A grant from Plum Creek was utilized to contract an arborist crew to start reclaiming the view shed along the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, clearing 132 trees from 16 locations, with another grant request filed to finish the work this summer. The ridge runners working out of Monson-Patty Harding (a section maintainer) and Kim Rosenbaum, as well as MATC Gulf Hagas ridge runner “Moxie” Niedenthal, provided me with timely updates on trail and shelter conditions.

 

Next year’s plans include replacement of the privy at Logan Brook lean to with the moldering model; a potential of 12 weeks of Maine Trail Crew work rebuilding the approach to Little Wilson Falls; replacing 150 sections of rotted bog bridging along the Pleasant River tote road, and finishing trail hardening work up the bottom south slope of Barren Mtn. However, the primary focus has always been, and will remain, care of the AT through the efforts of White Cap District volunteers, for which I thank you.

 

View
View from the summit of White Cap

 Ron Dobra
Overseer, White Cap District
E-mail: rdobra@matc.org

or ghsron@gmail.com

 

KENNEBEC DISTRICT

Overseer : Craig Dickstein
Assistant Overseer: Peter Roderick

(The Kennebec District runs from the Long Falls Dam Road north of North New Portland to Route 15 north of Monson a total of 54.2 AT miles with an additional 1.2 miles of side trail. Included in the district are 6 lean-tos and 1 campsite plus the only ferry service on the AT.)

 

Kennebec District – 2016 Report
October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016

Overseer: Craig Dickstein
Assistant Overseer: Peter Roderick

The Kennebec District runs from the Long Falls Dam Road north of North New Portland to Route 15 north of Monson.   There is a total of 54.6 miles of AT with an additional 3.0 miles of side trail. Included in the district are 6 lean-tos, 1 campsite, and the only ferry service on the Appalachian Trail.

 

There are 21 trail section assignments in the District with the longest being 8.9 miles, the shortest 0.3 miles, and an average of 2.6 miles each.

 

There are 20 individual maintainers assigned in the Kennebec District plus two organizations, Pine Island Camps and the University of Maine Outing Club. While these individuals and organizations take responsibility, it should be noted that they are joined by a variety of family, friends, and volunteers to complete their annual work on the Trail.  58 work trips were reported via the MATC Volunteer Work Report Form, accounting for 750 work hours and 266 travel hours.  Many thanks to the Kennebec team!

 

Highlights of the reporting period include: 

  • Trail section assignment changes:
  • Louis Chartier took the Upper Holly Brook section in Caratunk.  Louis has been a long time member of the Club; you may know him as our sign manufacturer.  Welcome to the team!
  • Craig Dickstein is new in the role of Kennebec Ferry Coordinator.  New hours of operation were put into play and resulted in an improved experience for both the ferryman and the hikers.
  • In his first year as Ferryman, Greg Caruso and his team of Registered Maine Guides provided a trouble free season of paddling hikers across the Kennebec.
  • Efforts began to find a way to relocate the Trail off of the Pierce Pond dam.
  • Arnold Bog saw the replacement of 20+ year old traditional bog bridging with 264 feet of elevated bog bridging. This significant effort by the Maine Trail Crew was done quickly and efficiently; providing a much safer experience for the Trail user.
  • With extra time in their schedule the Maine Trail Crew installed 6 stone water bars and 4 step stones just north of Carrying Place Road.
  • Pleasant Pond Lean-to benefited from the build of a new accessible moldering privy. The process continues to improve and timelines are getting shorter.  Many thanks to the Campsite Committee and their intrepid crew of volunteer excavators, carpenters, and sherpas.
  • 112 feet of bog bridging was installed on the Upper Holly Brook section. This completed a multi-year old plan and brings the section up to a much better standard.
  • The Pierce Pond Lean-to privy benefited from a new set of stairs and handrail.

Projects Planned for the Upcoming Season:

  • A new accessible moldering privy is scheduled to be erected at the West Carry Pond Lean-to.
  • The Pierce Pond dam relocation effort will continue. Claire Polfus, ATC Maine Conservation Resources Manager, and Craig have done a preliminary reconnaissance and will be putting together a plan for Executive Committee approval.

Please keep an eye on the MATC Activity Calendar (www.matc.org/home/work-trip-schedule) for the dates and contact person if you would like to get involved in the above projects.

Peter and I would like to extend a genuine thanks to all that contributed to the continued success of Trail maintenance in the Kennebec District.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Figure A: The new raised boardwalk near Doughty Pond.

 

Abbie painting 2 8-21-2014 9-51-13 AM

Figure B:  One of the youngest MATC volunteers hard at work painting the Ferryman’s paddle closet at the new moldering privy.

 

 

Craig Dickstein
Overseer Kennebec District
E-mail: Kennebec@matc.org

 Assistant Overseer
Peter Roderick

 

BIGELOW DISTRICT

Overseer Dick Fecteau

(The Bigelow District extends from Route 4 to the Long Falls Dam Road. It has 68.3 miles of A.T. and side trail.)

 

Bigelow District – 2014 Annual Report

Twenty six Bigelow District maintainers reported 115 trips this past season. A total of 99 individuals tallied 2465 volunteer hours working on the trails and campsites from Rt. 4 to the Long Falls Dam Rd.

Highlights include;

Ian Fitzmorris was the Horns Pond caretaker again this past season. Ian was very efficient as a caretaker and ridge runner in the area. In addition to being a friendly and helpful host to many hikers, Ian continued to tackle projects above and beyond his care-taking duties.

Rachel Cole will be the Horns Pond caretaker for the 2015 season. Rachel thru-hiked the AT in 2011, the PCT in 2012, and the Continental Divide in 2013

Six tent platforms were replaced at Bigelow Col by twelve girls from Camp Tekawithka during the last week of June. This was a eleven hour long project that included dismantling and removing the old platforms before constructing the new sturdier platforms. Ian Fitzmorris contributed major help during and after this project was completed.

Major clipping was completed along the AT over the summit of North Crocker, a distance of 1mile. The two mile trail section from the summit north towards Rt. 27 is available this coming season.

A Maine Conservation Corp crew worked for three weeks constructing drainage structures and stone steps on the south side of Saddleback Jr.

The Maine Trail crew spent 3 weeks installing 22 rock steps on a steep section of trail about ½ mile from the Rt. 4 parking area.

Returning during the last wet weekend of July the Camp Tekawithka boys did extensive drainage work on the AT between South Horn and West Peak with help from MATC caretakers Ian Fitzmorris and Grace Glynn. Additionally these lads hauled wood chips up to Horns Pond for use in the composting privies.

The annual mid season mixer at Horns Pond was accomplished by MATC caretakers, Grace, Ian and Carol Wellman from Gulf Hagas.

Grace Glynn was the Piazza Rock caretaker this season. Grace was very effective as a caretaker, site maintainer and ridge runner in the area, plus being a friendly and helpful host to many hikers. Grace returns with enthusiasm and plans for engaging Rangeley as a trail town, and developing a music program for working with kids around the campfire, using old logging camp songs and Pete Seeger sing-a-longs.

Grace Glynn along with John Towey replaced a dozen rotted bog bridging sections just south of the Beach Hill Rd.This is a ¼ mile section of wet trail that cannot be relocated hence the ongoing bog bridging repairs.

Major projects next season include;

Poplar Ridge to Saddleback Junior Reconstruction
This original section of the Appalachian Trail, opened by the CCC in the mid-1930’s, has numerous trail erosion problems that have developed over the years.
The area of focus of this project is between Poplar Ridge Lean-to and the alpine summit of Saddleback Junior. It is expected that about 200 stone steps and 20 or more stone water bars will be built during this coming season.

Berry Pickers Trail
Dave Field has proposed and the MATC exec committee has accepted a new side trail that will connect the AT with the Fly Rod Crosby trail in Madrid. Dave has flagged a route along the prominent ridge on the south side of Saddleback. Dave has often referred to this as the original trail up Saddleback for the berry pickers from Madrid. It will be called the Berry Pickers Trail and hopefully will be opened by the end of next season.

Safford Notch side trail

A couple dozen sections of bog bridging will be installed on the lower section that was relocated several years ago. This is likely a Camp Tekawithka project.

Moose Falls campsite

Repair tent platforms and privy and build a short trail relocation around a wet section about ½ mile south of the campsite.

Many thanks to all the District maintainers and volunteers who do the vast majority of routine work that includes; blow down removal, water bar cleaning and blazing, without which there would be no Appalachian Trail in Maine.

Dick Fecteau
Overseer, Bigelow District
284 Ramsdell Rd.
Farmington, ME 04938
Phone: (207) 778-0870
E-mail: rfecteau@midmaine.com

 

 

BALDPATE District

Overseer Tom Gorrill
Assistant Overseer: Mike Ewing

Section Description: The Baldpate district runs from Route 26 in Grafton Notch State Park to Route 4 in Sandy River Plantation.   The District consists of 46.8 miles on the Appalachian Trail and 26.3 miles of side trails including the Grafton Loop Trail on the easterly side of Route 26, the Bemis Stream Trail, the Upper Dunn Notch Falls and Cascade Side Trails. The District has a total of 9 campsites.

Baldpate District-End of Year Report

October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016

There are a total of 31 dedicated maintainers with sections or campsites within the District who, along with other volunteers who helped them, spent over 1760 hours this season working on the trail.  The MMC crews spent an additional 2640 hours for a total of 4400 hours plus an additional 1210 hours of travel time.  Accepting assignments as new maintainers this year were Jonathan Cohen, maintaining from the Little Swift River to approximately 3.5 miles south, and Kevin Pederson who put in a lot of work on the lower half of the Bemis Stream Trail.  A retiring maintainer whom we want to thank for his years of hard work and dedication is Don Miskill.  We would also like extend a special thank you to Mac Smith who maintains from Route 4 south to the Little Swift River campsite who just completed his 37th year as a maintainer, the longest serving maintainer in the District and who put in nearly 200 hours on his section this year!  He is shooting for 40!

All of our maintainer positions are currently filled but if you would like to lend a hand or be considered for the next opening please let Mike or me know.

Summary of Projects Completed:  In addition to all the work the maintainers do to maintain the trail, several special projects were worked on this year including the following:

  • The Maine Conservation Corps crew completed a project begun last year approximately 2.5 miles south of Route 4 toward the Little Swift River campsite. This was a badly eroded section of the trail which they repaired by re-constructing several hundred feet of trail and drainage.  The MMC also completed some stairs starting up Bemis from the Bemis Road and reconstructed a section of trail from Route 17 at the Height of Land north several hundred feet.
  • Construction of a new campsite adjacent to Black Brook– This new site was constructed just south of Black Brook and included three campsites and a moldering privy. Thanks to the many volunteers who worked on the effort and special thanks to Dirigo High School who helped construct the tent pads and worked on the privy crib.  This is their sixth year volunteering for projects on the trail (they also did a clearing trip on Baldpate this year). Their teacher Karolyn Boutte puts in countless hours arranging for the trip.  Also special thanks to Dana Humphrey who is a great foreman, and to Laura Flight and Richard Gower and the campsite committee who did all the work leading up to the construction.
  • Re-opening of the Bemis Stream Trail– This trail was closed in 2015 due to logging. Wagner completed their logging project and granted us permission to re-open the trail.  A group from Camp Tekakwitha worked on the clearing and several more work trips by Kevin Pederson allowed it to be opened.
  • Relocation of a portion of the Grafton Loop Trail to accommodate planned logging. Eight volunteers made for a short day.  Thanks to Dan Emity, the landowner, for considering the trail prior to his logging effort.
  • Clearing of Hazard Trees at the Sabbathday and Frye Brook campsites.

Thank you to all who volunteered in the District this year and we are looking forward to seeing you in 2016.   Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Mike if you notice something along the trail that needs attention.

Tom Gorrill
Baldpate District Overseer
woodencanoeboy@gmail.com
Phone (207) 372-8806

Mike Ewing
Assistant Baldpate District Overseer
swango.mike@yahoo.com
Phone (207) 841-8335
 

Tom Gorrill
Baldpate District Overseer
woodencanoeboy@gmail.com
Phone (207) 657-4249

Mike Ewing
Assistant Baldpate District Overseer
swango.mike@yahoo.com
Phone (207) 841-8335