1.17.20

Last night the Valley Riders were able to help out our adjoining club to the north Northern Outdoors who had yet to be able to connect with us due to conditions at Moores Bog on ITS 87 just north of the turn to the Sterling Inn. This allowed us to have a groomed trail all but 1.25 mi and they are hoping with the recent and incoming snow to be able to make the full connection by the end of the weekend. That being said, 5 sleds had been through this section, and the recent 5-6" snow seemed to fill in a lot of the cracks leaving far less concern than before. But like everywhere still, the woodened sections of trail, powerlines, and minor wet areas still need another 6" or so before everything will be pancake flat.

ITS 87 north:

Groomed last night, and will be for at least 2 out of the next 3 nights throughout the weekend. The powerline section behind the highschool when leaving town is still pretty thin and does have a water bar right after the bridge at the bottom of the hill to be mindful of. Once leaving the powerline, there were some ruts created by pickup trucks this spring and hunting season that we were able to mostly fill in, but you still need to use caution for about a half a mile or so. From there the road system is in good shape with great coverage to the Rt 16 crossing.

The next section like always requires a lot of snow to really make it good, but there is good coverage throughout. The 2 biggest areas of concern are about halfway through when going down into the small bog area where there is some wetness and ledging, and when you are within a mile of the intersection for the Sunshine trail that comes off from and back to Toenline Rd, where there is a decent water bar we were able to fill in enough last night to make it more easily passable. Ironically, this is where we saw where the first sled of the year had left the trail going to fast downhill for conditions on their way back into town on a half groomed trail.

Once taking the left at the Sunshine trail intersection you are back on road system which is covered well and in great shape to the Townline Rd which has been being plowed to the Deadwater Rd, where you will cross the Austin Stream bridge. The short wooded section was worked over before the snow allowing smoother terrain to the old county road that parallels the stream to the gravel pit. Taking a left out of the gravel pit on the Ripple Rd should be a short plowed section for a half mile to the powerline where we are now taking a right due to logging. It had not been plowed as of last night, and had not been last week. The powerline could definitely use some more snow. There are a couple areas of concern that are wet/have water bars. We were able to fill them in for the most part, but are concerned traffic between now and the next storm are only going to open them back up so please use caution.

Once hitting the Heald Pond rd you will have smooth sailing and great conditions all the way to the Chase Pond Rd and for the next 13 miles. That being said we typically meet Northern Outdoors at mile 3, which you will see to there and for the next 5-6 miles to the end of the Chase Pond rd is in great shape. When you get to the end of the Chase Pond rd a pick up truck had plowed the Carney Brook Rd in from Rt 201 past Chase Pond approximately a mile and left a snow bank in the middle of the trail we removed last night. We groomed about 2 miles more before turning around and there did appear to be another inch or so of snow.

ITS 87 south:

We groomed down to the Solon Dam and back opening all the gates on the railbed in our section. Talking with the Solon Snowhawks this morning, they have opened all their gates on ITS 87 south only. The trail system is in good shape down to Griswold's store, but declines shortly there after.

ITS 84 west:

Are only section of this is the same section of railbed as ITS 87 south which is groomed and in good shape. I read this morning that North Anson's club will be out today grooming, so we are assuming they will connect with us at the Solon Dam.

ITS 84 east toward Wind Towers and Athens:

All groomed and in great shape to the power line where we meet Athens. The once place to be aware of is where the Frank Savage Rd turns into the Pat Cassidy rd where it appears camp owners are still plowing into there camps, so you will run about a mile of plowed road that we are ok to be on.

Lower Club Trail:

This is the first connector leaving town on ITS 87 or ITS 84 when taking the left off Pat Cassidy onto Mahoney Hill, instead of following ITS 84 on Mahoney Hill. This was pack last week and will be groomed freshly this evening. As many know this is a tight, windy so please use caution.

Heart of Gold Trail: (Aka middle club trail/start of the Wind Mills)

This trail was in fantastic shape on Monday after the storm last weekend. I'm not sure as the groomer go to this last night but most certainly will tonight if time did not permit last night. At the end of it after passing Whithee Pond, taking a left will bring you to the Rt 16 crossing to the Townline Rd and back to ITS 87. Taking a right allows you access to the rest of the Wind Mills which we can only go as far as Tower 20 as of right now, or wrap you back around to the Iron Gate Rd, connecting you back to Mahoney Hill rd ITS 84 in our system where we meet Athens.

Iron Gate rd: (Aka upper connector)

We were granted permission from the state and Harmony club to help them out by maintaining this section this year. As mentioned above it makes a great loop, and is the best place in our system to safely play with your throttle, as it has a nice 2-3mi stretch that is straight as an arrow and a rocket ship ride when it is flat! This trail also also access to Athens and Brighton. Harmony is going to do there best to maintatin the Stagecoach Rd from Brighton to us every other week as far as we know now.

Lastly, we are working with the new club the Kingsbury Off-Grid Groomers (who are on Facebook and looking for new members) to make a connection from the top of Mayfield Hill on Rt 16 where we normally maintain the gravel pit road that leads to the rest of the Wind Mills that are closed for the season due to logging. If we can get this connection approved by the state and Weyerhauser, there is hope to open it next weekend. This would allow us to connect to the Breakneck Ridge trail system from the south end allowing you to loop back throught the Forks, but it will also get you access to Abbot and Parkman using many of the same ATV access we have currently.

If you haven't been out riding yet, now's the time. Get off your phone, pack your bags, and get up here.

Don't want to load your trailer, rent a sled and save yourself the hassel!

As always, ride right, ride safe and we will see you on the trails!!!

1.13.20

Probably do not need to here it from us but the trails are in good shape after this weekends storm. Groomers will be out this week as will Coburn Summit Riders and Pittston Farms.

Trails are flat and fast with no real icy spots and no rocks or exposures to speak of. There is a couple inches of snow forcasted throughout this week and a sizable storm on its way in for the weekend.

If you haven't been out and have had the itch, come up and see us! We did a short ride yesterday in and around Long Pond all the way down to Lake Parlin and back up ITS 89 north to town and conditions were better than last weekend with more coverage, no bare spots and plenty of fresh snow on top for lubrication.

We are hoping to get back out this week and provide a more detailed report before the weekend.

Ride right, ride safe and think snow!

1.13.20

Well it has certainly been a late start to winter this year, and while we all would like to have some more snow the time has come!

Yesterdays ride from our shop found flat, hard and fast conditions. We made it through the weekend storm with more sleet than rain, with some fresh snow on the top and more to come before and during the upcoming holiday weekend. We are expecting another 2"-4" of before Friday, with a weekend storm providing another 8-10". Our groomer is scheduled to go out Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening even through the storm so our trails should be even better than they are now!

Knowing the powerline leaving town on ITS 87 north was pretty thin, I decided to head down the railbed whch was completely covered with no icy spots showing. I turned on ITS 84 east and found the first 2 or 3 miles to be the thinnest in open areas with a few loose rocks in one spot the drag kicked up. But again everything was covered up. Once hitting Mahoney Hill and turning right down the hill, everything was again covered and in great shape. I then took a left across the Heart of Gold Trail also known as the upper Lake Rd to the ATV community that goes by the first 11 windtowers which was again flat and fast. Once getting down by Whithee Pond the trail was a little uneven, but completely covered and not rough.

At the next intersection where you can take a right to the rest of the windmills or Iron Gate Rd, I took the left on the T Rd that heads to Rt 16 where it crosses over to the Town Line Rd. Town Line Rd is again this year being plowed, and we have only been granted shared access for the 1 mi from Rt 16 and less than a mile on the Dead Water side. Taking the left off Town Line Rd is what's known as the Sunshine trail that leads you back into ITS 87, allowing for a nice bypass during low snow conditions.

Once hitting ITS 87, the condtions are great all the way across the Austin Stream Bridge off the Dead Water road, to the gravel pit where we turn left on the Ripple Rd. Please be advised that we are only going about a half a mile up Ripple Rd to the powerline where you will take a right at our new kiosk. The poweline section is passable with a few small water bars to be mindful of. It is a little rough and slow going, but once hitting the Heald Pond road on the other side, conditions turn back around for several miles all the way and a few miles beyond where we meet Northern Outdoors on the Chase Pond Rd.

About 7 mi up the Chase Pond Rd ends intersecting with the Carney Brook Rd. At this point you will notice a pickup truck plowed in past the Chase Pond Rd about a mile, then took a right up a dead end and left a snow bank in the middle of the trail so be very careful. We are hoping to work toegther for the upcoming weekend and get that section cleaned up due to Northern not being able to connect thus far due to lack of snow near Deer Bog and the turn for the Sterling Inn. So after leaving that plowed section you will travel about 2.5 mi to get to the Deer Bog bridge which is where you will find the thinnest conditions and ruts from folks that just had to ride Sunday before things had a chance to freeze up.

After crossing the Deer Bog bridge you will have another couple of miles of groomed/frozen ruts on a road system to get to Pleasant Pond intersection. We have been told that the Forks system is about the and they are anticipating moving groomers Thursday.

So all and all we need some more snow but its on its way, and the trails are in good shape considering the year we have been having. What bad sections there are, are short lived and typically in and our of the towns, but everything is passable.

We did received permission from the Harmony Club and the state to groom the Iron Gate Rd this winter to help out Harmony, seens how we have lost several miles of trail we normally maintain, provding a nice extended loop. We have also groomed the lower connector of Mahoney Hill Rd that meets ITS 87 above the powerline and before crossing Rt 16 and it is in great shape. When taking this trail, just keep in mind it is very thin and rough on the powerline when attempting to come back to town. When heading north on ITS 87, everything is covered including the ledges on the other side of Rt 16 before the intersection off town line road, but it is somewhat bumpy due to a lack of depth of snow, and there is one passable washout, just befoer the bridge.

*Please note the upper Windmill section and Palmer Pond Rd will be closed all season due to active logging, so please do not attempt to travel those areas. We will be grooming past the building up to tower 22, but will be turning around before the last Rt 16 crossing as soon as we get a little more snow. The trail is closed at the top of Mayfield Hill on the Quarry Rd, but folks can unload there if they would like and travel back towards ITS 87.

Ride right, ride safe, and think snow!

3.21.19

It's the first day of Spring and we are still in great shape despite last weeks warm temps and little bit of rain. The Poker Run and Rider Appreciation Weekend went off without a hitch, with right around 60 participants allowing us to raise $1537.50 for the Valley Riders Snowmobile Club. Special thanks to all those who participated and a huge thanks to all the contributing businesses. Yesterday we closed the doors and had our company day with staff, and found trails to be in good shape. Road crossings are definitely getting bare, and in about every clubs system, there is a 1 bare spot not associated with plowed roads which are also down to dirt in most places. It is really hard to nail down an accurate report but the best summary is there is varying conditions from trail to trail and day to day. Groomers have still been out and about at least 3 times a week, but traffic has been making an impact. In the mornings trails have been very had not softening until 1030am to 11am, which is when the bumps are getting formed. All and all the riding is still good, but if you are expecting perfect trails....well we will see you next season. The upcoming weather is showing so rain but also the potential for either 2"-4" or 5"-8" of snow depending on the report before it is all done. Warm temps on Sunday, then it should cool back down. So if you got to get another trail ride in this weekend is the time to do it, with good potential to get another ride in next weekend. From what we have heard, Northern Outdoors will continue to groom through 3.31.19 assuming conditions allow it, as well as Coburn Summit Riders. I have not heard from the Solon Snowhawks or Abanaki Snowriders, but I can tell you that Solon trails all and all are in good shape with 2'-3' of snow still left in wooded sections. Our club should follow suit with the others, we will continue to groom at least twice a week if not 3 as long as conditions allow it. Stay safe, ride sober and stay on the right side of the trail!

3.11.19

We received some disappointing news at the Valley Riders Snowmobile Club meeting here on Wed night 3.6.19 that our full time groomer Dr. Dave's health concerns have forced him to give it up at the end of this season. We are in the process of training new operators this season to be prepared to try to fill the shoes of a great man.

We shut the shop down on 3.7.19 and went for a ride on the trails to get a first hand view of conditions after receiving conflicting information from various riders at the shop. We traveled up ITS 87 which seemed to be in pretty good shape to the Dead Water rd, where we then followed the Palmer Pond rd which had not been groomed in several days but was in decent shape, minus some wind drifts that had the potential to be problematic, due to flat and fast conditions for miles between them. When we arrived at the Breakneck Ridge trail, we found it to be freshly groomed with only 2 tracks across it all the way to Monson. After lunch with Mike and Kim at Spring Creek BBQ, we filled up and headed to Greenville on ITS 85 north and found the rail bed to be in great shape minus the Shirley Bog wind drifts and one other closer to Greenville. From there we followed ITS 86 to the Forks and found it to be in pretty good shape as well will only a few bumps in the corners. We stopped into Northern Outdoors for gas and a warm up and found out the had freshly groomed ITS 87 south the night before which was in fantastic shape all the way to our system. From there, ITS 87 was also in really good shape all the way to the other side of the Austin Stream bridge minus the drifts on the Ripple road just after leaving the Chase Pond Rd. After we crossed the bridge, we noticed the groomer had gone up the Palmer Pond road we had been on in the morning, getting that knocked out as, as well as traveling into Tower 30 from that north end into the Wind Mills.

Friday night (3.8.19) I found myself sitting next to Dr. Dave getting my first groomer operator lesson. We took off at 5:20pm went half way up ITS 84 east on Mahoney Hill and saved time by turning around at the closed opening of the Wind Mill travel as the trail proved to be in really good shape. So we go the connector to ITS 87 groomed and then the remainder of the railbed before refueling and heading up ITS 87 north to meet Northern Outdoors. ITS 87 north had its corners banked and a few rough spots but was all and all pretty decent. The responsibility of a groomer driver is no joke. My hat goes off to all that are involved for several reasons, most importantly taking on the responsibility of all that could go wrong.

Saturday our club President Jack Lord went for a mid-morning ride to scout out our trail systems and abutting clubs to give Dr. Dave and idea of what was going to need be tended to the most. He found that by about 1130am ITS 87 was already in pretty rough shape due to all the traffic. So Dr. Dave returned to the trails Saturday night to groom both ITS systems.

Yesterday around 4pm a few of us went out for a ride to mileage the Poker Run we have coming up this Saturday to raise funds for the club and found the following. ITS 87 south toward Solon had a few bumps but was in good shape. Solon's trail system seem to have been freshly groomed Sat night and received less traffic then ours. This was the case on all their club trails as well. Once heading down into Athens corner store from the powerline ITS 84 section, it was quite bumpy but still had plenty of snow and just needed a fresh grooming. While traveling ITS 84 west back to our system meet at the end of Mahoney Hill rd we found to also have good coverage but was rough until hitting our system. In our system ITS 84 was in good shape but getting bumpy in spots all the way to the connector, and needed a touch up with the groomer. The connector trail held up great over the weekend and made a nice short cut to the Bingham General store. Where to connector comes in on ITS 87, south was in good shape to the powerline and down into Moscow and the Austin Stream wire bridge crossing behind Lavallee's Garage. Once crossing the bridge to the right had been freshly groomed, but heading into Bingham General store was pretty bumpy and needed a pipe drag brought through it a few times to get it smoothed out.

That's all I got for now.

This week the temp is warming up with light rain forecasted for Friday and a couple of passing showers on Saturday, with temps then dropping back to the teens Saturday night and all next week. If we can get folks to hold off this weekend, groomers will have plenty to work with Saturday night and prolong next weeks riding to have good to great conditions for late season riding.

Bare in mind that plowed roads, and road crossings are going to start becoming a pain, and the snow will start to begin to be eaten away from underneath the trail. This may cause holes in the trail and ice to open up mean drivers will need to operate with even more caution than normal. But don't get me wrong, there is still a ton of snow and an immaculate base and I am anticipating riding into April at this point!

As always, ride right, ride sober and ride safe!

2.28.19

Well after a busy vacation week with lots of traffic, and fresh snow the trails are in fantastic shape. We have received over another foot of snow since our last report and even with all the traffic riders reported good to excellent conditions daily. You can quite literally ride out of Bingham north, south, east or west and return from a completely different direction. The one recent downside unfortunately is that the Wind Mill trail has been shut down on our southern end due to a logging operation. If entering from the Palmer Pond rd end coming from the Dead Water rd, Breakneck Ridge trail, or Bald Mtn trail, you can go up to tower 30 and do the loop around them, head towards Abbott (but not sure what grooming conditions are like) or dead end yourself at the Rt 16 crossing just before the Wind Mill office building.

So if traveling from the Forks and looking to do that loop, just realize that you either need to take a left off the Austin Stream bridge on to the Dead Water rd. Within 100' on the plowed Dead Water rd you will notice the groomed section on the Palmer Pond rd. This take you about 6 or 7mi before you can head in to the Wind Mills. It is about 5-6mi to the Wind Towers which you will have to back track and then continue up the Palmer Pond Rd, past the Breakneck Ridge intersection and back on the Bald Mtn trail.

Do be careful...we had significant winds this week that have created drifts in different places that can cause issue. In our system the most common is when traveling past Austin Pond between the Breakneck Ridge and Bald Mtn trails.

A potential positive we were made aware of this week was a new club attempting to get formed for the coming year or next in Kingsbury. They are hopeful to meet all abutting clubs and work together to better connect our systems!

ITS 87 North:

Is groomed in good shape and has good coverage.

ITS 87 South:

Groomed all the way to Skowhegan and has been in great shape with limited traffic the last few days!

ITS 84 East:

Is groomed and in great shape all the way to the power line section where you would meet the Solon and Athens clubs.

ITS 84 West:

Also groomed to the Solon Dam from our club is in great shape. We have been told it is excellent riding all the way over to Kingfield and beyond.

Wind Mill Trail:

From ITS 84 taking a left on what some call the Sunshine trail and others the old upper Lake Rd that was closed for most of ATV season, was open and groomed but is now closed due to a logging operation.

Town Line Rd:

This is now closed again due to a new logging operation. The northern end just before Dead Water rd is still open access for ITS 87 across the Austin Stream bridge or continue to the Palmer Pond rd taking you to the Breakneck Ridge and Bald Mtn trails.

Iron Gate Rd:

This trail is open but not groomed by our club. The first part of it has been groomed to the Stagecoach rd but has not beyond that connecting the Wind Mill trail which is now closed for the season anyway, so riders should not continue past the Stagecoach Rd that takes you into Brighton.

Lexington/Highlanders clubs:

Groomed with access to Kingfield and Stratton. If looking to get to Carrabassett Valley, trail signage will indicate heading toward Kingfield as the assumed shorter route. Just realize the old trail that went straight to Carrabassett Valley past Happy Horseshoe has been re-routed towards Kingfield.

As always, ride right, ride sober and ride safe!

2.18.19

Well we have been quite busy since our last report but have done a little riding and we have received some fresh snow just in time for vacation week of 12"-15" after a warm up and some light rain.

As of Friday night the trails had not been groomed due to warmer temps and light rain that evening, making Saturday not so pleasant come the end of the day. Since then ITS 84 and ITS 87 were groomed on Saturday evening and are in good shape. As of last night, the rest of the system should have been groomed to include the Wind Towers and lower Palmer Pond road connecting from the Austin Stream bridge off Dead Water road to the Wind Farm, Breakneck Ridge and Bald Mtn trail system.

Grooming schedule is currently off, as the club has used up its grant funding money and is in desperate need for donations to fund grooming for the rest of the season. As an effort put forth, Carol Lavallee of Lavallee's garage rallied the troops. So far the following contributions have been made:

Lavallee's Garage = $250, Valley Auto Parts = $250, 201 PowerSports = $500, Bingham General Store = $500, Jimmy's Market = $500, North Country Rivers = $500 and Crestview Kennels of Bedford, MA = $100. We are hoping more to come in soon, but we can use all the help we can get to get back to the 5 days schedule!

 

ITS 87 North:

Is groomed in good shape and has good coverage.

ITS 87 South:

Groomed all the way to Skowhegan and has been in great shape with limited traffic the last few days!

ITS 84 East:

Is groomed and in great shape all the way to the power line section where you would meet the Solon and Athens clubs.

ITS 84 West:

Also groomed to the Solon Dam from our club is in great shape. We have been told it is excellent riding all the way over to Kingfield and beyond.

Wind Mill Trail:

From ITS 84 taking a left on what some call the Sunshine trail and others the old upper Lake Rd that was closed for most of ATV season, is open groomed and in great shape all the way to the Palmer Pond Rd intersection, and continues to where we meet Northern Outdoors just past Austin Lake as well as back to ITS 87 at the Austin Stream bridge. Bald Mtn trail is now open and being groomed regularly. Breakneck Ridge was in excellent shape this past Saturday on our guided trip, and offered some old school pip drag loops that no one had been on.

Town Line Rd:

We have now got this back for the rest of the season. If coming from ITS 84 over to ITS 87 you will come to the road and take a left down the edge of the road to access the Town Line rd that is being plowed all the way to Dead Water rd. Please be sure to take the left off Town Line rd about a mile down so that you intersect ITS 87 where you are supposed to and not run the plowed road all the way to Dead Water.

Iron Gate Rd:

This trail is open but not groomed by our club. With the right conditions it can be a rocket ship ride with sections over a mile straight as an arrow. The first part of it has been groomed to the Stagecoach rd but has not beyond that connecting the Wind Mill trail as work projects still exist on that side.

Lexington/Highlanders clubs:

We have been being told these trails have been being maintained regularly as of late and are in great shape with limited traffic.

As always, ride right, ride sober and ride safe!

1.28.19

We made it through the rain storm!!! Our groomer after grooming Monday and Tuesday night after the snow storm, got back on the trails the past 3 nights. Friday and Saturday night were spent on ITS 87 as it needed it again Saturday night after all the traffic. The Wind Farm, ITS 84 and Palmer Pond road were still in good shape from Tuesday nights grooming so they were left alone until last night. Now our entire system has been freshened up and is in great shape. There are no bare spots and plenty of lubrication for the slides and heat exchangers.

We took a ride yesterday from town up ITS 87 north, went by the Austin Stream Bridge and turned on the Palmer Pond rd. ITS 87 at 12pm had good coverage and was in good shape even with the traffic. The texture of the snow was much like sugar until we got on the Palmer Pond rd. From there all the way to Austin Pond and the Breakneck Ridge trail was firm, flat and hardly traveled at all. We went down the Breakneck Ridge trail a ways but not all the way to the Blanchard intersection that takes you into Monson, because it was in great shape per usual land all I needed to know. There was one spot in the trail that had a small amount of damage from the rain that was marked of with upright brush, so riders should be aware that some areas may have a spot or 2 to keep an eye when coming around corners. From there we retreated back to the Wind Mill trail and came back to ITS 84, hit the rail bed ITS 87 north and back to the shop. Once off Palmer Pond rd heading through the Wind Mill trail, we found conditions to be a perfect mix, not to firm and not sugar like ITS 87. Just before tower 32 intersection there was a small hole in the trail, I am assuming the groomer was able to cover up last night, and the top of the bluff at tower 30 lookout was completely covered in ice, with a little snow on the sides here and there for about 200' but had no bare gravel showing. This means the next snow storm will make the top very slippery until it sets up and freezes back to the ice. We also did a little off trail playing near the towers and Breakneck Ridge trail system and found an average of 3'-4' and spots with 6'-7'!!!

New notes: The Carrabassett River crossing that had just been opened for traffic on ITS 84 west toward Kingfield has been closed again due to the last rain storm. Also ITS 87 in Solon is now open all the way to Rte 43 where the Snow Hawks meet the Abanaki Snow Riders in Madison. Please use caution as the logging operation is still active in the area, but just crossing the trail to get to their wood yard. The road will still appear to be plowed as of now, but our next storm in a couple of days should cover it back up! (reference the picture)received_344777316363431

ITS 87 North:

Groomed in great shape and good coverage all the way to the start of the Forks trail section, which we here is also and has been in great shape. We are still sharing the Chase Pond rd with Weyerhauser to the Cow Mountain rd where we take a left. At this point you will find groomed, covered trail all the way to the forks with the exception of the driveway at Pleasant Pond that is plowed every year. The only two club connectors that are both open and groomed are the one 5 miles out of town that will take you back to the top of Mahoney Hill (ITS 84) where you can head towards Athens on the power line or back to the rail bed to access the north end of Solon or the south end of Bingham as an alternative to ITS 87 all the way through Bingham, and the other being the Palmer Pond rd used for ATV season, and ITS 87 2 or 3 years ago just beyond the Austin Stream bridge on the right. The Palmer Pond rd allows the quickest route to the Breakneck Ridge trail head, and allows a nice 3-4hr loop through the Wind Farm now that it is open.

ITS 87 South:

Groomed all the way to Skowhegan. Spots in Madison and Skowhegan sections may have some frozen and water damaged areas.

ITS 84 East:

Is groomed and in great shape all the way to the power line section where you would meet the Solon and Athens clubs.

ITS 84 West:

Also groomed to the Solon Dam from our club is in great shape. Carrabassett River crossing was clsoed as of 1.24.19 due to the recent rain storm. I anticipate they will reopen it this weekend after the cold stretch later in the week.

Wind Mill Trail:

From ITS 84 taking a left on what some call the Sunshine trail and others the old upper Lake Rd that was closed for most of ATV season, is open groomed and in great shape all the way to the Palmer Pond Rd intersection, and continues to where we meet Northern Outdoors just past Austin Lake. After reading Northern Outdoors trail report at the end of last week, the Bald Mtn trail is on there list to get groomed for the first run of the season this week. The trail is open, but has yet to be maintained due to a logging operation that just finished up. If taking the Breakneck Ridge trail over to Monson, Blanchard, Shirley or a short cut to Greenville in great shape! Do be mindful about 5mi in there is a marked out and frozen back up small water hole after coming around a left hand corner.

Town Line Rd:

Closed for the season due to a logging operation. Please respect the Land Owners wishes and stay off the plowed roads here to avoid possible future closure. A potential rumor currently is that we may have that back before the end of the season, but just a rumor at this point NOT fact.

Iron Gate Rd:

This trail is open but not groomed by our club. With the right conditions it can be a rocket ship ride with sections over a mile straight as an arrow. The first part of it has been groomed to the Stagecoach rd but has not beyond that connecting the Wind Mill trail as work projects still exist on that side.

Lexington/Highlanders clubs:

Trails have been groomed from the Concord end, and we were told that Lexington had headed our way at the end of last week. We are told the trails are in good shape and have had a limited amount of traffic. We had also heard that there was a trail closure issue at the Happy Horseshoe Campground intersection preventing folks from entering Kingfield and Carrabassett Valley, but taking a right and heading to the back of the Bigelow preserve and Flagstaff lake were groomed and in good shape allowing for a nice loop to Grand Falls and back through the Forks.

 

As always, stay safe. Never ride alone, leave a plan at home, ride right and we will hope to see you out there!!!

1.23.19

Well its been a while since our last report, and we have received 2 major storms since then. The first storm brought on 1.9.19 about a foot of heavy wet snow that stuck to the trees after a light misting through the night that caused clubs to be out in full force to reopen and groom trails. This storm put us into amazing riding conditions for that weekend if you were in the right places, and only improved throughout the week. Most clubs spent 5-7 days clearing brush and re-grooming. This allowed our clubs to the south as far as Skowhegan to groom and open their trail systems with decent to good conditions. Riders reported excellent conditions for ITS 84 toward Kingfield on Monday 1.14.19 as well as ITS 87 to the Forks on Tuesday 1.15.19. After a staff ride for dinner to the Inn by the River in the Forks Thursday night 1.17.19 we were able to verify that if you haven't been up here riding yet you need to be.

Then this past Sunday 1.20.19 we received and additional 14"-18" of fresh fluffy snow that did blow around the last couple of days creating drifts in some areas, but also added to our amazing base. As of this morning it appears that all clubs have been out and got their systems groomed the last 2 nights including our clubs to the south as far as Skowhegan, in preparation for our next storm this evening through Thursday evening. Not to be misunderstood, we are suppose to be receiving a wintery mix this evening late, that will turn to rain tomorrow with temps in the 40's. It appears for no that there will be no down pours, just a light steady/consistent rain for a 12hr period, then the temperature plummeting freezing everything up rock solid until the groomers get out Friday night and break things up which should help with lubrication. We are in no way fearful that the trails will be damaged, but rather help put some moisture back in the snow allowing groomers to do their thing. We are however URGING folks to stay off the trails on Thursday and Thursday night to avoid causing unnecessary damage to the trails. No Friday riding is not going to be that great because groomers will have to wait until Friday night before they can start to do their work. No one likes to wait 2 days to ride when they have planned their trip, but it is in everyone's best interest to hold out.

ITS 87 North:

Groomed in great shape and good coverage all the way to the start of the Forks trail section, which we here is also and has been in great shape. We are still sharing the Chase Pond rd with Weyerhauser to the Cow Mountain rd where we take a left. At this point you will find groomed, covered trail all the way to the forks with the exception of the driveway at Pleasant Pond that is plowed every year. The only two club connectors that are both open and groomed are the one 5 miles out of town that will take you back to the top of Mahoney Hill (ITS 84) where you can head towards Athens on the power line or back to the rail bed to access the north end of Solon or the south end of Bingham as an alternative to ITS 87 all the way through Bingham, and the other being the Palmer Pond rd used for ATV season, and ITS 87 2 or 3 years ago just beyond the Austin Stream bridge on the right. The Palmer Pond rd allows the quickest route to the Breakneck Ridge trail head, and allows a nice 3-4hr loop through the Wind Farm now that it is open.

ITS 87 South:

Groomed all the way to the Solon Dam and as far south as Griswold's Country Store in Solon. From there for possibly another week, the trail dead ends due to a logging operation on the McCarthy rd just south of Griswold's store. The detour needed to continue south on ITS 87 to access the southern most portion of the Solon club system, to Madison and Skowhegan, starts on ITS 84 from the Bingham/Solon rail bed. From there you must follow ITS 84 to the end of Mahoney Hill where you will get on the power line and follow it past Solon's Club trail 22/23 all the way until you run into ITS 113 which will be on your right, a plowed driveway, as ITS 84 breaks off to the left into Athens. The plowed driveway you travel about 150 feet before turning left into the woods. At this point you will follow ITS 113 all the way back to ITS 87. Before getting back to ITS 87 you will pass a club trail intersection I believe is either 21 or 22. Short version, ITS 84 east to ITS 113 south, to ITS 87 south.

ITS 84 East:

Is groomed and in great shape all the way to the power line section where you would meet the Solon club

ITS 84 West:

Also groomed to the Solon Dam from our club is in great shape. Since the most recent storm on Sunday not sure if the Anson club has made it up through, but I imagine they have, and certainly will Friday night. Conditions are said to be great all the way to Kingfield, and the Carrabassett River crossing was opened up as of 1.12.19 and is said to be now safe to cross.

Wind Mill Trail:

From ITS 84 taking a left on what some call the Sunshine trail and others the old upper Lake Rd that was closed for most of ATV season, is open groomed and in great shape all the way to the Palmer Pond Rd intersection, and continues to where we meet Northern Outdoors just past Austin Lake. We have heard rumor that Northern is attempting to get the Bald Mtn trail opened for the weekend, as groomer issues have prevented it thus far as well as a logging operation just finishing up last weekend. If taking the Breakneck Ridge trail over to Monson, Blanchard, Shirley or a short cut to Greenville, you should find great to fantastic conditions, as thr Four Winds club to our knowledge has been out in full force with no current issues keeping their trails maintained and in great shape!

Town Line Rd:

Closed for the season due to a logging operation. Please respect the Land Owners wishes and stay off the plowed roads here to avoid possible future closure.

Iron Gate Rd:

This trail is open but not groomed by our club. With the right conditions it can be a rocket ship ride with sections over a mile straight as an arrow. Occasionally we see the Brighton area come through with a groomer off the Stagecoach Rd, but have heard rumors that the Brighton, Wellington, Harmony area have been lacking on trail maintenance this season. If they have made it through, (there was a bridge out during ATV season on the Stagecoach rd that may be preventing it) you will still find the first mile from ITS 84 to the Stagecoach rd bumpy. The Iron Gate rd is the club connector from ITS 84 to the start of the Wind Mill trail, and the closed Townline rd section.

Lexington/Highlanders clubs:

Unfortunately this awesome, and limited use section of trail has had little to no maintenance done to it this season. This is not by our eyes, but those of other riders and land owners reporting conditions and asking questions. If you have ever ridden this area, and enjoy the ability to get to Carrabassett Valley so quickly with great conditions, limited traffic and spectacular views, get involved with their club as the are in desperate need of help, down to just 2 or 3 active volunteers on the trails the last several years.

 

As always, stay safe. Never ride alone, leave a plan at home, ride right and we will hope to see you out there!!!

 

1.3.19

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Trails are all groomed and ready to be ridden! I will hopefully have a more detailed report tomorrow if I can get out there tonight or first thing in the morning!

Following last weeks rain storm we have received 3 snow storms. Last Saturday 12/29 we received about 4" of fresh fluffy snow that was capped off with some rain holding it in place for the high winds we received after it and provided the base that remained from the rain storm with some ride able snow.

1/1 we received actually more than up north in Jackman with 7" of heavy we snow, and a very light mist after it. This allowed groomers to get on the trails the last 2 nights to smooth out their systems and get them all re-opened. Clubs are reporting that all running water has froze back up, and cracks created as well as other trail problems have been for the most part filled in.

Northern Outdoors as of yesterday and Breakneck Ridge trail as of the day before have connected with our system and are reporting good conditions.

We do have some closures and re-routes in affect. Pleasant Pond Club Trail that links the Bald Mtn trail will be closed due to logging, and the Bald Mtn trail connecting ITS 86 to the Bingham trail system by Lake Austin will be closed for a few more weeks until another logging operation is complete. So for now the only loop to the Forks is ITS 87 to ITS 86 to Greenville then ITS 85 south to the Breakneck Ridge trail which is a very large loop for most but doable for many as well.

ITS 87 North toward the forks you will find a shared section of road that Weyerhauser is allowing us the PRIVILEGE to use. Please follow the 15MPH signs, use caution, and give them plenty of room to work. Our understanding is that this section will be logged all winter and there is no other re-route for ITS 87 if we loose it.

The south end of the Palmer Pond road by the Austin Stream bridge is also being plowed as of now and is closed for that reason until they are finished logging. The Forks area map is in the printing process now and should be available in the coming days will show that it connects, because we are anticipating to have it before the end of the season, possibly the end of January.

As always, ride right, ride safe and we will see you on the trails.