Mountain Bike Trails At the Outdoor Center, the club assisted the town with the construction of several trails. First was a trail that connects the Outdoor Center to the Narrow Gauge rail trail at Campbell Field. The Narrow Gauge is a popular trail that runs along the scenic Carrabassett River. This connector trail was designed for riders of all abilities to enjoy and access the Outdoor Center. On this connector trail and near the Outdoor Center parking lot, a family loop that winds back and forth on gentle rolling terrain was created. Both of these trails are three feet wide and covered with a fine crushed stone ( a surface similar to the Narrow Gauge).
These two trails added some great and much needed beginner trial to the system. The other trail that we assisted in building at the Outdoor Center was designed for intermediate riders and uses x-country trails 7, 29 & 32 with a tread within a tread (a ribbon of crushed stone within the x-country trail corridor) and single track re-routes designed to avoid seasonal wet spots and undesirable grades. The re-routes feature a 18″ – 24″ tread where the organic soil and small roots have been stripped away to mineral soil and the tread surface sloped so it will drain. This trail is slightly more technical but still enjoyable for the low-intermediate rider.
Other trail improvements in the valley included tail sections on Maine Huts and Trails system, in the Bigelow Preserve and on Penobscot Nation land . On Maine Huts and Trails we cleared the tread on a one and a half mile section of trail between the Poplar Stream Hut and Flagstaff Huts that we call “The Sticky Trail” creating a single track feel on this double track corridor. CR NEMBA gained permission to work on land that belongs to the Penobscot Indian Nation. This includes land in the Redington pond area, as well as short sections of trial along the Narrow Gauge. We were also were given permission to use the Houston Brook Road (dirt road) to access the Bigelow Preserve which allows us to place it on a map and mark it with directional signage for the public.
We received similar permission to work on the “Stratton Brook Trail” that runs through the southern edge of the Bigelow Preserve. We cut and removed dozens of blown down trees and trimmed brush to clear the trail corridor. There were a couple of rotten bridges that needed to be replaced. The Department of Conservation provided the materials and club members hauled them to the bridge locations where the Glenn and Jesse built the bridges. This trial section will also be mapped and marked for public use in 2012.
Events with regional draw The club partnered with the Town to host two events at the Outdoor Center that drew participants from all over New England and Atlantic Canada.
IMBA/NEMBA Trail school – In May we hosted a trail building school. The program was presented by experts from the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). Classroom discussion covered topics such as building and caring for trails, planning and executing trail projects and boardwalk construction. Field clinics included trail assessment and rehabilitation, designing & construction of new trails and working with rock. Over 50 people participated. It was an incredibly professional and informative event that helped set the stage for the trail work we completed over the summer. Carrabassett Back Country Cycle Challenge – In July we held a 60-mile mountain bike endurance race that was part of the US CAN Endurance Series. The series had two races in Canada and two in the US. 150 riders (6 pro’s), family and friends spent the weekend in Carrabassett Valley to see if and how fast they could complete this course. The course covered a tremendous amount of territory and required land owner permission from over a dozen property owners including Sugarloaf, Penobscot Indian Nation, Bigelow Preserve, and Maine Huts and Trails. Over 50 volunteers with help from the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol helped make this happen. By many accounts it was the best venue and course of the series. See what’s planned for this year’s race!