After more than a year of work, redesigned 1.75-mile trail to Number 4 Mountain opens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2015
GREENVILLE, Maine – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Bureau of Public Lands (BPL), Plum Creek and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) today announced that the first trail in a new regional trail network in the Moosehead Lake and 100-Mile Wilderness regions will officially open to the public on Friday, August 7. The 1.75-mile trail is a new pathway to Number 4 Mountain, and will eventually be extended to connect to Baker Mountain and AMC’s trail system.
A grand opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on August 7 at the trailhead will be followed by a hike guided by BPL. The regional trail network will eventually provide more than 30 miles of new trails. The new trail network was made possible through land contributions by Plum Creek as agreed to in its land use plan for the region, as well as by utilizing land owned by BPL and AMC.
“This new world-class hiking trail will provide additional opportunities for hikers from near and far, strengthening this special part of Maine,” said DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “This is an example of cooperation by a private landowner with conservation organizations to advance public recreational opportunities and further enhance an already attractive area. We are thankful for the many man hours of work on this trail by the Maine Conservation Corps and the AMC trail crew. Their hard work prepared this first trail to open and welcome hikers.”
Through the Plum Creek land use agreement for the Moosehead Lake Region, BPL is provided with an easement on Plum Creek land – up to approximately 121 acres – to create the trail network and support areas, as well as an initial $1 million fund for construction and maintenance from Plum Creek. In 2014, AMC lent its support through an additional $1.1 million grant from the Elimina B. Sewall Foundation to help provide long-term maintenance for the trail system.
“Through our Maine Woods Initiative we are strongly committed to helping further the region’s reputation as a world-class outdoor recreation destination,” said Walter Graff, Senior Vice President of AMC. “Together, we are able to create this wonderful trail system for the public because such a significant amount of land in the Moosehead Lake and 100-Mile Wilderness regions has been forever conserved.”
The Number 4 Mountain trail is one of two trails in the network on which construction began in 2014. The second is a new trail to Eagle Rock which is now open with a trailhead on the East Moore Bog Rd. in the Little Moose Public Lands just west of Greenville.
According to BPL, the new Number 4 Mountain trail is considered moderate in difficulty with about one third of it flat and other areas with steady inclines. It travels through working forest to reach the ridge where the abandoned Number 4 Mountain fire tower stands. The trail is located about 18 miles north of downtown Greenville. The public is invited to the opening ceremony, which is scheduled to coincide with the popular Forest Heritage Days event in Greenville on August 6-8, 2015. Those attending the August 7 trail opening will receive a complimentary hiking pack while supplies last and all are invited to participate in the first hike on the trail guided by BPL.
Work continues on the remaining trail projects as part of this effort. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is managing the construction in partnership with a Moosehead Trails Advisory Committee. That committee is working to finalize the locations of new trails located on the land easements from Plum Creek. Simultaneous planning is underway to identify locations for new trailheads, campsites, and boating access locations.
“The completion of the first trail is a big step, but there is so much more to come that is really exciting,” said Luke Muzzy, senior land manager for Plum Creek. “Still to come are more trails, new trailhead parking areas, remote campsites and new boat launches, which will make the area more attractive and welcoming to guests.”
Trail and project information are available at www.maine.gov/dacf/mooseheadtrails.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg for new trails and related support areas that will play a substantial role in helping the Moosehead Lake Region grow as a tourism destination,” said Angela Arno, the Executive Director of the Moosehead Chamber and board member of the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation. “These trails will help further define our region as a world-class destination for outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism.”
The mission of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is to protect and manage the natural and cultural resources under our care in order to offer a wide range of recreational and educational opportunities and to provide environmental and economic benefits for present and future generations. The Bureau owns over 700,000 acres and looks after diverse values including recreation, cultural and historic preservation, wildlife, and timber.
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain, Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast. AMC helps people of all ages and abilities to explore and develop a deep appreciation of the natural world. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., guidebooks and maps, and unique lodges and huts, AMC helps people get outdoors on their own, with family and friends, and through activities close to home and beyond. We invite the public to support our conservation advocacy and research, youth programming, and care of 1,800 miles of trails. More information is available online at www.outdoors.org/mwi.With more than 4,000 members in Maine, the Appalachian Mountain Club offers educational programs for children, adults, and families; operates its Maine Wilderness Lodges for the public in the 100-Mile Wilderness region; operates Knubble Bay Camp and Beal Island Campground in Georgetown and Echo Lake Camp in Acadia National Park; publishes the popular AMC Maine Mountain Guide; and maintains offices in Portland and Greenville.
About Plum Creek
Plum Creek Plum Creek is among the largest and most geographically diverse private landowners in the nation with more than 6 million acres of timberlands in 19 states. We also operate wood products mills in the Northwest. We manage our working forests using sustainable practices to benefit Plum Creek’s many stakeholders. Our employees work together to create shareholder value, serve as stewards of the environment, make wood products for everyday use, and build strong communities. Please visit www.plumcreek.com for the latest information about Plum Creek.