Hiking events

Hiking in Maine: Here’s your chance to give back to Maine’s trails

July marks the first “Love Maine Trails Month,” a statewide series of special events that are coordinated and promoted by the Maine Trails Coalition. Hikers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to “Lace up your boots, put on work gloves, and give back to Maine’s trails.” By working side-by-side with many dedicated stewards who could really use the extra hands, we can truly show our appreciation for the trails we love and use.

“We hope ‘Love Maine Trails Month’ will raise awareness of how people can get involved by highlighting what’s happening throughout the month,” said Sylvia Cassano, project coordinator for the Maine Trails Coalition. “We are reaching out to try to recruit new trail volunteers and to help increase support for trails locally, regionally and nationally. This year is a pilot, but we are hopeful.

Volunteers don’t need any experience working on the trails, just a good attitude and a willingness to spend a day outside with other like-minded people doing what needs to be done. made for the cause. Hikers can learn more about “Love Maine Trails Month” on the Maine Trails Coalition website at mainetrailscoalition.org, where there is a link to a calendar on Maine Trail Finder.

Here’s a look at some of the 14 events listed at last count:

Hikers can reach the Downeast Lakes Land Trust for one of five days of trail work in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest, a portion of nearly 58,000 acres of protected land managed for wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation and forest products. This is a great opportunity to meet new hiking friends while contributing to the trail growth effort in the beautiful Grand Lake Stream area of ​​North Central Washington County.

A dozen small paths to Hirundo Wildlife Refuge offer over 7 miles of hiking on 2,460 acres of woods and wetlands inside a wide bend in Pushaw Stream along the Old Town-Alton town line. There are a few fun opportunities to help clear the trails of this truly enjoyable place that is “dedicated to preserving nature while providing educational and recreational opportunities for the public.”

The Kennebec Land Trust could use your help trimming vegetation and clearing brush as they work to create a brand new loop trail in the Oak Hill Conservation Area in Fayette, about 15 miles northwest of Augusta. Protected late last year, the new 134-acre property, one of more than 40 in KLT’s care, preserves a ridgeline above Echo Lake and mature woodland adjacent to Hales Creek.

Interior Woods + Trails hosts 13 trail days (three in July) called “Boulders, Berms and BBQ, where participants can help maintain and build hiking and mountain biking trails in western Maine, primarily around the Bethel area. This ambitious nonprofit has been doing gangbusters with trails lately and you’ll want to get in on the action. Enjoy a hearty lunch (provided) when you’re done.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club has been busy replacing old toilets on the 268 mile AT they are responsible for. The last private project is at scenic Horseshoe Canyon on the West Branch of the Piscataquis River in Blanchard, just west of Monson. MATC has pre-packaged 150 bundles that are to be transported 0.7 miles to the job site, where the pre-built structure will be reassembled. Participate in one or both days.

Starter Head Preservation in Lubec protects a wildly beautiful section of the pristine Bold Coast coastline between Boot Head and Jim’s Head. Join the great folks of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust on a one-mile walk to Brook Cove, where you’ll help pick up and pack up trash that has washed up and collected on the pebble beach. Bags will then need to be carried to the trailhead on Boot Cove Road.

The Maine Trails Coalition was formed three years ago to serve as a “statewide voice for trail users, supporters and advocates” and to “champion the creation, ‘Use and Management of Trails in Maine’. Consider joining their ranks and getting involved in the good work they do for the benefit of the trail community and our outdoor recreation economy. Your enthusiasm, energy and expertise will be welcome.

Mount Desert Island’s Carey Kish is an award-winning member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. His latest book, “Beer Hiking New England,” will be available early next spring. Follow Carey’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram @careykish

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