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

Whitecap District – 2014 Annual Report

submitted 1/21/2015

 

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. During the reporting period of Oct. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015, twenty six trail assignments were covered by a variety of maintainers, friends, family, corporate outings, and one boy scout troop. The spring walk through found ridge lines above 2,000’ hammered by the record snow/winds of the winter, and maintainers found themselves chainsawing/clearing blowdowns much more than anytime in recent memory. The grand total for volunteer efforts equalled 2,500 hours for the district. In addition, the Maine Trail Crew spent a total of 12 weeks working both sides of Third Mountain doing trail hardening and erosion control, installing 122 stone steps and improving wet areas with step stones and drainage projects.

 

There was some turnover of maintainer positions, as Charlie Reitze, Don and Jane Millett (20 years!), Stan and Michelle Moody, and Chris Keene either retired or stepped down. New appointments were Peter and Laurie Ewing (Gulf Hagas Mtn.); Becky and Dana Adams (bottom of Chairback Mtn.); Ed Imbert and Brad Deane (Wilson Valley); Bill Spach (north side of Third Mtn.); Paul and Connie Potvin moving from Gulf Hagas Mtn. to Columbus Mtn.; and James Balcom joining his Nova Scotia compatriots for Whitecap Mtn. I have spring walk throughs scheduled for remaining open sections, thanks to a great response to a Bangor Daily News article by Aislinn Sarnacki describing the work and needs for volunteer maintainers on the AT.

 

Other activities of interest included a weekend of work put in by members of the Bowdoin College Outing Club, who have a cabin just off the trail by North Pond; the tread clearing of a .2 mile relocation down the north side of Columbus Mtn.; yet another Code Brown privy rescue by the intrepid bio-hazard team of Dave Hacker, Bruce Grant and myself at East Branch/Pleasant River lean to; the flagging and Park Service permission applications for two minor relocations above Little Wilson Falls and around a beaver pond farther north; and a grant approval from Plum Creek for arborist work clearing vistas along the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail this spring.

 

As always, this report is a reflection of the people who put in the time and work as volunteers in the Whitecap District-and thanks.

 

View
View from the summit of Whitecap

 Ron Dobra
Overseer, Whitecap 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 – 2015 Report
October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015

 

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 54.2 miles of AT with an additional 1.2 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 0.34 miles, and an average of 2.6 miles each.

 

There are 24 individual maintainers assigned in the Kennebec District plus two organizations, Pine Island Camps and the University of Maine Outing Club. 68 work trips were reported via the MATC Volunteer Work Report Form, accounting for 1027 work hours and 584 travel hours.  Looking back over past efforts, year over year our District volunteers continue to put in more trips and total hours.  Many thanks to the Kennebec team!

 

Highlights of the 2014-2015 reporting period include: 

  • Trail section assignment changes:
  • While not a section assignment, it is worth mentioning that after 22 years of dedicated effort, Sarah Carpenter passed the mantle of Kennebec Ferry Coordinator along to Craig Dickstein.  Many thanks to Sarah for a job consistently well done!
  • The spring cleanup effort this past year was larger than usual due to above average winter damage.  Several winter storms affected the trail at 2000 feet of elevation causing significant numbers of blowdowns.  Several maintainers reported difficulty finding the Trail, never mind clearing it.
  • Suzanne Goulet has taken over the West Carry Pond section from Dana Thurston.  Suzanne brings several skills to the job, not the least of which is her involvement in the Waterville Senior High School Outing Club; a great pool of volunteer help for her new section.
  • Louis Chartier will replace Craig and Donna Dickstein on the Holly Brook section in Caratunk.  This will allow Craig to spend more time with his Overseer and other Club duties.  Louis has been a long time member of the Club; you may know him as our sign manufacturer.

Projects Planned for the Upcoming Season:

  • A new accessible moldering privy is scheduled to be erected at the Pleasant Pond Lean-to.
  • The Pierce Pond Lean-to privy will also see improvements.
  • Arnold Bog will see the construction of 260 feet of elevated bog bridging.  This effort will replace the current bog bridging that floats around in the spring high water.
  • Efforts will begin to find a way to relocate the Trail off of the Pierce Pond dam.

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 – Annual Report 2015

 

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 1500 hours this season working on the trail.  This year was a record breaking year for trail clearing after a brutal winter.  One section of trail that the Zimmermans worked on had over 600 blowdowns!  Hopefully we won’t see that much damage to the trail for a long time.  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.  We would like to welcome four new maintainers to the Baldpate section for the upcoming 2016 season: Nathan Nicols, Brent Bibles, Bob Haemmerle, and Wil Libby. We would also like to thank the following outgoing maintainers: Brad Cook, Rick Towle, Jared Martin and Steve Masse.

Projects Completed:  In addition to all the work the maintainers do to maintain the trail which was especially difficult in 2015,  several special projects were worked on this year including the following:

  • Maine Trail Crew worked on a project approximately 2.5 miles south of Route 4 toward the Little Swift River campsite.  This is a badly eroded section of the trail which they began to repair by re-constructing approximately 75 feet of trail and drainage.
  • The Maine Conservation Corps completed two projects this year in the Baldpate District:
    • Relocation of the trail around a deep mudhole on the ridge of Bemis Mountain.
    • Completion of a project partially completed in 2001 on a steep and eroded section of the trail on the south ridge of Bemis.
  • The Bemis Moldering Privy- A new moldering privy was installed with the help of many hands including Laura Flight and the campsite committee, Dana Humphrey, Wagner  Forest Management, who allowed temporary access to a logging road without which the project could not have been done, Camp Tekakwitha who carried the materials the final half mile from the drop-off point on a logging road to the Bemis site, and the Oquossuc ATV club who ferried both crew and materials up the logging road to a drop off point near the site.
  • Dirigo High School cleared two miles of the trail from the Bemis Track south, which was a major effort this year.
  • Several youth groups from the Youth Trail Stewardship organization, a newly formed group initiated by Claire Polfus of the ATC, cleared trail and waterbars on the AT from Route 26 to the summit of West Baldpate .

Projects Planned for the Upcoming Season: Several exciting projects are planned this year.  First, we plan to build a campsite just south of Black Brook.  The campsite committee has made this a priority in response to a request from the section maintainer, Rod Forsman, to investigate the need since so many hikers were using bootleg campsites in the vicinity.  We hope to begin work on this with the help of Dirigo High School this spring.  The Maine Trail Crew will continue to rebuild a badly washed out section of the trail north of the Little Swift River Pond campsite.  We also hope to re-build and reopen a portion of the Bemis Stream trail south of the Bemis Track which was closed due to logging last year.

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) 657-4249

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