District Overseer Reports
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.)
2012 ANNUAL REPORT – KATAHDIN DISTRICT
October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012
The Katahdin District consists of 55.8 miles of the A.T. and 4.0 miles of side trails. A total of 66 individuals worked 1048 hours on the trails and campsites this year. They traveled 741 hours to get to their respective work sites. This comes to a total of 1,789 hours of volunteer work in the Katahdin District. There are 12 trail section assignments in the Katahdin District, the longest being 11.3 miles, the shortest is 2.6 miles and the average is 5.0 miles. The maintainers made 23 work trips this year.
6 maintainers made 1 work trip
4 maintainers made 2 work trips
1 maintainer made 3 work trips
1 maintainer made 6 work trips
We had an average snowfall during late winter and early spring, which made for good conditions for spring trail maintenance. Work trips were done in May and early June to prepare the A.T. for the hiking season. The weather was generally good all summer into early fall. The usual trail work of clearing blowdowns and clipping back brush and branches from the footpath were done. Painting white blazes on the A.T. and blue blazes on side trails were done where needed. Cleaning waterbars and drainage ditches were also done. Some bog bridges were replaced, some bog bridges that had shifted in high spring water were set back into proper place, a few waterbars were built, a few step stones were added to muddy areas of the trail. Most trail signs are in good shape. A relocation of the A.T. in Baxter State Park was opened in May 2010 from Daicey Pond to Katahdin Stream Campground and goes near Grassy Pond. This relocation eliminates a 0.6 mile road walk on the Baxter Park Tote Road. The blue blazed Highwater Trail was opened in 2008 and goes along Nesowadnehunk Stream as a bypass to the fording of the stream in 2 places. Beaver activity is occurring at both outlets of the northern and southern Deadwaters of Rainbow Stream 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 building 104 feet of ditch and drain, built 100 square feet of stone retaining wall, built 2 stone waterbars, installed 1 check step, built 2 sediment basins and spread 34 yards of gravel on the trail. The Maine Trail Crew also worked 3 weeks on the western end of Rainbow Lake and installed 179 step stones in a notoriously wet and muddy section of the trail. The Maine Trail Crew also worked 3 weeks on the A.T. near Nahmakanta Stream placing 47 step stones, and built a 12 foot and a 15 foot geotextile “burrito” in muddy areas along this section of trail.
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 as are the tent sites at Rainbow Spring, Nahmakanta Stream and Antlers’ Campsites. Trash was picked up, firepits cleaned of ashes and unburnable trash. Abandoned clothes, gear, food and books left behind by inconsiderate hikers was also 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 5 pit privies at the other campsites are in fair to good shape. 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 the illegal fire rings.
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. The area in the vicinity of Rainbow Lake Dam has many fishermen’s campsites. 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 land owned by The Nature Conservancy from Murphy Brook to the Golden Road. About 1 mile of the A.T. is a road walk on the Golden Road owned by the Katahdin Paper Company. The balance of the A.T., about 14.4 miles, is in Baxter State Park, from Abol Stream to Baxter Peak, Katahdin.
Abol Ridge Runner
This was the 11th year of the Abol Ridge Runner program. Some of the duties were to meet A.T. hikers that were heading to Baxter State Park to finish their thru hike and to inform them of the rules and regulations of Baxter State Park. Some of which are camping fees, camping restrictions, no pets allowed and Class Day rules of trails on Katahdin. The ridgerunner patrolled about 4 miles of the A.T. from Hurd Brook Leanto to Katahdin Stream. The ridge runner program is now run by Baxter State Park.
I would like to thank everyone that volunteered their time and effort in the Katahdin District in 2012. Your work is very important in maintaining and protecting the A.T. in Maine. Thank you.
Rick Ste.Croix, Overseer
It was a fairly stable year for the roster of Whitecap District maintainers, now numbering 34. New appointments were made to Scott and Brenda Martel, who live in Lily Bay on Moosehead Lake, and who have taken on the section between Gulf Hagas Mtn. and West Peak. Filling the vacancy left by very veteran maintainer Eric Anderson who retired last spring were Martin Wallace and spouse May Ellen McAllister Wallace, handling the section from Little Wilson Falls to Big Wilson Stream. In total work trip reports, 120 individuals accounted for 2,159 hours of work directed to the trail, not including travel time. That is impressive.
Club work trips included two to finish up the 300 feet of bog bridge replacement on Fourth Mtn. Bog; replacing the foundation logs at Leeman Brook Shelter; and fixing the roof at Logan Brook Shelter. In addition, several members helped pack in and pack out our ridgerunner, Krisdin Diehl, to her Gulf Hagas work camp. The Maine Trail Crew spent six weeks in the district, both up Chairback Mountain hardening the trail and rerouting around a wet mess in the Gap, as well as working on the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail. They were joined at times by MATC members. Finally this summer, an opportunity was made and utilized when two members of the NPS/ATC trail assessment team were available to walk and assess the district, as required every so many years, and I was able to facilitate that activity. This is the basis for future trail crew projects and funding, and I was glad to get it done.
This hiking season is looking at again a lot of extra activity. The trail crew alone has slated twelve crew weeks for a continuation of the Rim Trail work, and new hardening efforts in the area of Long Pond Stream shelter; the Cloud Pond area; and Fourth Mtn. We are also “on the list” to have two newly designed moldering privies to replace the badly deteriorating ones at Carl Newhall and Logan Brook Shelters…all we need do is get them up there and build them….stay tuned for work trip postings.
View from the summit of Whitecap
Overseer : Craig Dickstein
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 – 2012 Annual Report
I received trip reports this past season from 27 maintainers who turned in 2075 volunteer hrs. A total of 142 individuals worked on 80 trips in the district this past year.
Highlights include;The Little Bigelow two seat privy was relocated and rebuilt last summer by 25 amazing Camp Tekawithka teenagers during the first weekend of July. They dug a new pit, built a cedar crib and moved the building while repairing and painting the old privy. Additionally they peeled, hauled uphill and stacked 50 cedar logs that were left by the Bigelow Preserve manager, Steve Swatling, for future MATC projects.
Under the direction of site maintainer Doug Dolan the roof of the Little Bigelow shelter was replaced. His large volunteer crew hauled new metal roofing, removed the old roofing and packed out all the debris during the first weekend of August. Additionally they used some of the cedar logs left by Camp Tekawithka to build new fireside seating and a tent platform frame.
CJ Manza was the Horns Pond caretaker this past season. CJ was very efficient as a caretaker and ridge runner in the area, plus being a friendly and helpful host to many hikers.
Returning during the last weekend of July 12 Camp Tekawithka boys hauled two dozen bags of wood chips up to Horns Pond for use in the composting privies. They were greeted with brownies by a grateful caretaker for their efforts.
In six weeks the Maine Trail Crew, under the direction of Ama Koenigshof and Michael Coughlin, constructed a remarkable number of stone drainage structures on the upper half of the Horns Pond side trail. The plan is to be back next season to complete the project on the lower half of the trail.
Also spending six weeks constructing numerous drainage structures last season was a Maine Conservation Crew under the direction of Tyler Fogg. They worked from Rt. 27 south to the summit of North Crocker.
The translucent panels on the Spaulding shelter were replaced with new metal sections under the direction of Laura Flight on July 14th. Her crew bushwhacked 1 mile to reach the AT near the junction with the Abraham side trail and then hiked another mile to the campsite while carrying the new panels and packing out the debris.
Yet another Maine Conservation Crew worked on drainage structures from Orebrton Stream south under the direction of Johanna Stacy.
We were fortunate to have had Dan Simonds as the new Piazza Rock site supervisor this past season. Dan lives just a few miles from the site and has joined the MATC exec committee.
Piazza Rock also had a new caretaker this season. Steve Masse of Rangeley was an A.T. thru-hiker as well as having volunteered in 2011 as an assistant Piazza Rock supervisor. Steve was very effective as a caretaker, site maintainer and ridge runner in the area, plus being a friendly and helpful host to many hikers.Major projects next season include;Due to the Fall rains and beaver activity the bridges over Bog brook will need major attention next season. I am planning new abutments and approaches using galvanized pipe and cedar planking. If anyone has a source of 3″ pipe in 10′ lengths please contact me.
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 Pioneer Trail and hopefully will be cleared next season.Many thanks to all the District maintainers and volunteers who do the vast majority of routine work that includes; blowdown removal, waterbar cleaning and blazing, without which there would be no Appalachian Trail in Maine.
Overseer Tom Gorrill