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.)
KATAHDIN DISTRICT – ANNUAL REPORT
October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013
The Katahdin District consists of 55.7 miles of the A.T. and 4.0 miles of side trails. A total of 63 individuals worked 822 hours on the trails and campsites this year. They traveled 561 hours to get to their respective work sites. This comes to a total of 1383 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 30 work trips this year.
2 maintainers made 1 work trip
6 maintainers made 2 work trips
1 maintainer made 3 work trips
1 maintainer made 5 work trips
1 maintainer made 8 work trips
We had an average winter snowfall but a lot of spring rain which 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 and 2 maintainers also did trail work in October 2012. The weather was generally wet during June and July but we ended up with a nice late 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 building 2 waterbars and 55 stone steps.
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 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 near the A.T.
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 Paper 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 2013. Your work is very important in maintaining and protecting the A.T. in Maine. Thank you.
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 – 2013 Annual Report
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!
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.
Overseer Tom Gorrill