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.)

KATAHDIN DISTRICT – ANNUAL REPORT

October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014 

Volunteers

The Katahdin District consists of 55.8 miles of the A.T. and 4.0 miles of side trails. A total of 48 individuals worked 878 hours on the trails and campsites this year. They traveled 440 hours to get to their respective worksites. This comes to a total of 1318 hours of volunteer work in the Katahdin District. There are 11 trail sections assignments in the Katahdin District. The longest is 11.3 miles and the shortest is 2.6 miles with the average being 5.0 miles. The maintainers made 23 work trips this year.

  • 4 maintainers made 1 work trip
  • 5 maintainers made 2 work trips
  • 1 maintainer made 4 work trips
  • 1 maintainer made 5 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 were 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 the Nesowadnehunk Stream at 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, 3 weeks in July at the Rainbow Deadwaters, 3 weeks in July at Nahmakanta Stream and 3 weeks in August east of Rainbow Lake.

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 Campsite, built in September 2000, is doing well. The moldering privy at Rainbow Stream Campsite, 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 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. The major project of building an accessible moldering privy at Wadleigh Stream Campsite was accomplished in June, 2014. About 20 volunteers traveled 187 hours and worked 366 hours over 2 weekends. The lumber was precut then transported to the South End of Nahmakanta Lake. Then 2 boats were used to move the volunteers, lumber and materials 2 miles up the lake, then carried 1/2 mile to the campsite where the moldering privy was assembled. 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 the 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 volunterred their time and effort in the Katahdin District in 2014. Your work is very important in maintaining and protecting the A.T. in Maine. Thank you.

Rick Ste.Croix

Overseer

Katahdin District

Maine A.T. Club

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

 

 

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

 

WHITECAP DISTRICT

Overseer: Ron Dobra
Assistant Overseer: Bruce Grant

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

Whitecap District – 2014 Annual Report

submitted 1/21/2015

 

The Whitecap 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. During the reporting period of Oct. 1, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014, twenty-six section maintainers , seven of whom are also corridor monitors, conducted work trips, and along with an additional sixty-three volunteers logged 1,738 work hours and 916 travel hours for a total of 2,659 hours devoted to district tasks. This work was supplemented by many more hours of trail reconstruction by MATC’s Maine Trail Crew, laying down 58 stone steps on the steep pitch down to the bottom of Chairback Gap from the lean-to and 30 stone steps in the perennial wet area from Slugundy Falls up past the Long Pond Stream lean-to, ending a two year project that has hardened a long section of trail with stone steps, stepping stones, water bars, causeway and ditching.

Personnel-wise, we lost a pair of real old-times to retirement when Elizabeth and John Reinsborough, after twenty years, gave up their section up the south side of Gulf Hagas Mtn. They provided exemplary responsibility to their commitment. Filling three section vacancies were Andy Peak, taking over the Pleasant River tote road section of the Gulf Hagas loop trail; Tom Carr, who added a section in Maine to his section in New Jersey (now there’s some travel time)-that of Little Wilson Falls to North Pond tote road; and Ken Kimball, scoutmaster of the Parkman Boy Scout Troop, who has lead his enthusiastic charges several times from Little Wilson Falls to Big Wilson Stream, with some ambitious bog bridging projects in the works.

Highlights of the season included rescue of a failing privy at Logan Brook by the district bio-hazard A-Team…Michelle and Stan Moody, Dick Welsh and myself. Ingenious engineering allowed a stable tip-up of the old structure, allowing the overflowing contents to be emptied, transported, spread, and covered in an impromptu sludge field. Pit mucking was done in short rotations. We await universal above ground moldering privies.

Maintainer Sheri Langlais was appointed by the Executive Committee to fill a vacancy for Director. She is now up to her ears in planning for the 2017 ATC Biennial to be held in Maine.

Our club publicity contact, Susan Tompkins, arranged for WCSH6 television reporter Tom Goff to do a mini documentary on the Maine Trail Crew working the Long Pond Stream lean-to area. I both hosted Tom and got my 19 seconds of air time fame.

The ATC regional staff, five strong, made a summer training hike over the Barren and Whitecap ranges, assessing both conditions and relocations scouted out by Lester Kenway down the White Brook Trail and on the AT descending Columbus Mtn. into Chairback Gap.

A request by the Piscataquis County Tourism Development Authority to connect a newly rebuilt side trail to the AT for the purpose of accessing Little Wilson Falls is in the process of review. Another new trail built by this group from the AT to Goodell Falls below the Rt. 15 parking lot in Monson opened over the summer.

Upcoming this summer will be the need to get out early for spring maintenance..my few walks in the woods around Greenville show way above average blowdown evidence. Help will be needed packing in tools for the Trail Crew when they begin six weeks of work on Third Mtn. and six weeks of work on Fourth Mtn. These will be on the web site.

Also on the web site, MATC.org, are the four maintainer vacancies open in the district. I am eager to hear from interested volunteers, and will be available to both walk the sections and provide some training/guidance this spring. Other projects, such as bog bridging or privy moving, will be listed on the site as needed.

As always, thanks to the efforts of all Whitecap workers who keep the trail up and running.
Ron Dobra, Whitecap district overseer
207 695-3959

ghsron@gmail.com

 

View
View from the summit of Whitecap

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

 

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 – 2013 Report
October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013

 

There are 21 trail section assignments in the District with the longest being 8.9 miles, the shortest 0.34 miles, and an average of 2.6 miles.

 

There are 24 individual maintainers assigned in the Kennebec District plus two organizations, Pine Island Camps and the University of Maine Outing Club. 55 work trips were reported via the MATC Volunteer Work Report Form, accounting for 664.25 work hours and 306.35 travel hours.

 

Highlights of the 2012-2013 reporting period included: 

  • Three valued, longtime maintainers retired.  Many thanks to Matt Colello, Wally Donovan, and Dana Hall for their many years of service to the Trail.
  • Four new maintainers volunteered to fill the above vacancies:
  • Dave Field recognized some mid-season maintenance issues on a few of the vacant sections and stepped up with saw in hand to clear innumerable blowdowns.  Many thanks to Dave!
  • With the able assistance of 10 students from the Colby College Outdoor Orientation Trip (COOT) program, the Horseshoe Canyon Lean-to received a facelift on Labor Day weekend.  The silt was dug out from the sill logs and additional drainage was provided to mitigate future problems.
  • Pleasant Pond Mountain trail relocation – 0.4 mile new trail section was cleared and blazed; the new treadway has an improved grade, removing some very difficult rock scrambles.
    • Horseshoe Canyon section and Lean-to: Ben Thomas
    • Buck Hill section: Mark McAuliffe and Chris O’Neil
    • North Side of Pleasant Pond Mtn: Gary Athenian

Projects Planned for the Upcoming Season:

  • Build an accessible moldering privy at the Kennebec River Ferry crossing.
  • Replace damaged acrylic panels with aluminum at the West Carry Pond Lean-to.
  • Rebuild stairs on the West Carry Pond Lean-to privy.
  • New signage will be installed to guide the Great Carrying Place Portage Trail (Arnold Expedition Historical Society) past West Carry Pond where it is coincident with the AT.

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

 

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 – 2013 Annual Report

Posted 3-3-14

I received trip reports this past season from 26 maintainers who turned in 2000 plus volunteer hrs. A total of 147 individuals worked on 86 trips in the district this past year.One Extra Special Project;

Eleven thousand pounds of debris located near the old firetower on Avery Peak and the decades of accumulated trash near the firewarden’s cabin in Bigelow Col was removed under the direction of Horns Pond Caretaker Ian Fitzmorris with the help of numerous volunteer hikers. Ian partnered with BPL’s Americorp volunteer Mike MacDonald who also hauled trash and made dozens of dump runs. BPL’s Peter Smith requested a Maine Forest Service helicopter that assisted the trash removal by lifting the larger pieces of debris from the mountain. Additionally BPL supplied enough cedar lumber to replace the tent platforms at Bigelow Col which was delivered by the helicopter. Volunteer hours for this effort totaled: 1,634 people with 6,529 hours!
An article about this tremendous effort will be posted soon, meanwhile here’s a link to the helicopter video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OJ1icR3yrA&feature=youtu.be

Other highlights include;

To address the issue of beaver activity the 24′ long “JT Horn” bridge over Bog Brook was extended by eight feet and the second 16′ bridge was replaced with a 24′ span. This was accomplished with the help of twelve teenage boys from Camp Tekawithka during the last week of June. Additionally they hauled cedar boards up to the Little Bigelow campsite and built two new tent platforms…in the pouring rain.

Major clipping was completed along the AT over the summits of the Crockers, a distance of over 3 miles.

The side trail to the Caves on Cranberry was reestablished, this is a large slab cave just 0.2 miles off the Range Trail west of the summit.

The privy at the Crocker cirque campsite was relocated and repaired by site maintainers Jim and Sandy Osterrieder.

The annual mid season mixer at Horns Pond was accomplished by the MATC caretakers with a visit from Maine ATC staffer Clair Polfus.

Ian Fitzmorris was the Horns Pond caretaker this past season. Ian was very efficient as a caretaker and ridge runner in the area, plus being a friendly and helpful host to many hikers. Ian will be returning to Horns Pond this coming season.

Returning during the last weekend of July the Camp Tekawithka boys did extensive clipping on the Range Trail from the AT to the summit of Cranberry.

The Maine Trail Crew, under the expert direction of Nathan Ventura, worked three weeks constructing a number of drainage structures and stone steps on the lower half of the Horns Pond side trail. This effort completed a project started last season.

Also constructing numerous drainage structures and stone steps last season was a Maine Conservation Crew under the direction of Savannah Steele. They did excellent work from the Caribou Valley Rd. north to the summit of North Crocker. This was a six week project.

Yet another Maine Conservation Crew worked for five weeks constructing drainage structures and stone steps on the south side of Saddleback Jr. under the direction of Jevin Hoeper. This crew did some fantastic work in muddy conditions.

Steve Masse returned to Piazza Rock as caretaker this season. 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;

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 PickersTrail and hopefully will be opened by the end of next season.

The tent platforms at Bigelow Col will be replaced with the lumber that was air lifted last Fall.

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.

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.

Baldpate District – Annual Report 2013

Maintainers: 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 1400 hours (over 60 trips) this season working on the trail.  We have one maintainer opening which is on the AT from Sabbathday Pond 2.2 miles north to an unnamed height of land.  We are grateful to the retiring maintainer, Chuck Smith who is giving up this section up after 14 years.  Thank you, Chuck! 

Projects Completed:  Fair weather  prevailed in May allowing trail clearing, but quickly turned to one of the rainier Junes on record making the trail quite muddy and delaying some worktrips.   However, a pleasant summer and late fall allowed us to get some good worktrips in to improve the trail.  Several projects were completed or worked on this year including the following:

  • Maine Conservation Crew worked on two projects in the district and did wonderful work:
    • East Baldpate–installed stone steps and drainage
    • South side of Old Blue–built rock steps and waterbars
  • The Outing Club at Dixfield High School helped out again, for the fourth year in a row, doing the spring maintenance on some sections.
  • The Camp Tekakwitha girls completed two projects; improvements to the Stewart Campsite on the Grafton Loop trail including drainage and a new privy door; and decommissioning of the Knoll campsite (closed due to minimal use).
  • In the fall, Colby College freshman installed waterbars in an area between Little Swift River and the boreal bog
  • Installation of bog bridging on the AT approximately a mile south of Route 4

Projects Planned for the Upcoming Season: This year we plan to focus on improving the section between Routes 4 and 17.  We have a trip planned to assess the projects on May 16.  We plan to assess the Grafton Loop trail in May or June as well, to begin planning projects to address erosion issues.

Thank you to all who volunteered in the District this year and we are looking forward to seeing you in 2014.   Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Mike if you notice something along the trail that needs attention.

 

Tom Gorrill
Baldpate District Overseer
tgorrill@maine.rr.com
Phone (207) 657-4249

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