Projects have been working real hard to bring The County’s snowmobile trail system up to standard…..and believe me that hasn’t been easy. Heavy wet snow, especially in southern Aroostook and northern Penobscot County compounded with freezing rain during the holidays created lots of work for grooming projects……if you have never seen a trail that is virtuaally closed due to trees laden with snow and ice…..you probably can’t understand what those projects are going through….but suffice it to say….it is a ton of work. Most projects have made progress but it is safe to say that in some areas there are still face slappers so you will need to proceed with caution especially in the East Grand, Rockabema, Springfield and Linneus sections as well as over on ITS 85 around Ox Bow….but again….they have the trails open but could use some hearty souls that might like to cut some brush…….I am sure they would welcome the help.
Cautionary Notes: Fort Kent and the Maine Dept of Transportation have been working to reroute traffic off the dike near the construction work on the international bridge. Sledders are cautioned to follow signs that will lead them to Main St. Keep right and reduce speed.
There is lots of logging throughout The County. Up north Madawaska is reporting heavy logging on ITS 81/83 and 81A. There is a lot of truck traffic so sledders please keep right and reduce your speed.
Around The County
East Grand System has lots of snow but still have lots of trees down. ITS 105 in their system is now open and groomed. No reports on either end. The local trails are closed including Trail 7…but again they are working to open all trails by next week
Rockabema Section They have been grooming for about a week. They, like the others have been out trying to clear hundreds of blow downs. They have made progress but again proceed with caution as there are still lots of low hanging branches and whips. ITS 81 from Sherman Station to Lower Shin Pond has been broken open. Some plowed road on ITS81/85. The 10 mile stretch around Upper Shin Pond has not been groomed. ITS 112 from Patten west to ITS 85 has been opened up but a word of caution…this stretch has been rerouted across pastureland with fencing so please stay on the marked trail. ITS 85 from Big Sebois Bridge to the ITS 83 junction has been opened. If you want to weld a chainsaw this weekend and help those folks call 207-356-9533.
Shin Pond has been working hard and is reporting ITS 85 from Whetstone bridge to ITS 114 to Shin Pond is all open and groomed. ITS 85 Bowlin Camps to Matagamon Camps and onto Shin Pond is open and groomed. 71D is open and groomed but stay off Grand Lake Sebois . Also Club trail 64 to ITS 81 is open and groomed.
Ox Bow has rolled ITS 85 but they still have brush removal to do. ITS 86 nor 71A are open at this time. There is much logging in the area so sledders will have to heed signs.
ITS 85 moving north from Ashland to Portage, Eagle Lake and Ft Kent is in great shape with a bit of logging on the Masardis end as well as just outside of Ashland
ITS 120 (Debouille) was groomed again this week and is reported in good shape. This section has nice views and connects with ITS 85 near Eagle Lake and with ITS 120 out of Allagash.
ITS 83 from Houlton north is open, groomed and in great shape with no problem areas through to Madawaska where their system is in great shape.
ITS 81 has come together and is open and groomed from the ITS 85 intersection around Squa Pan north to Madawaska. A few skimpy places in field areas but snow showers over the next couple of days should remedy that. Please note that the #9 Lake Trail is closed currently due to logging.
ITS 86 is not open. 71A is also not opened at this time. Also Rt 62A that connects ITS 86 with ITS 114 will be closed for the season.
ITS 88 is looking good….really nice ride from Presque Isle out towards Ashland.
ITS 90 was open this week all the way through from Portage east to the ITS 81 intersection.
ITS 92 from Ft Kent to Allagash is open and groomed but remember it ends in Allagash and DOES NOT CONTINUE TO ESCOURT STATION. Allagash will be working on some loop routes…..we will keep you posted.
ITS 105 is groomed from Van Buren through to Squa Pan but further south is fragmented probably until next weekend. Van Buren has also opened Rt 94 however Rt 89 between Caribou and Rt 94 is not open all the way through at this time due to open water on the Madawaska River….we will keep you posted.
Soldier Pond has been out but the lake route is still not passable.
Twin Lakes (Daigle) has been out on their system and it is all open and groomed
St. Agatha has been through their system multiple times but reminds folks to stay off the lake…..not safe !
Frenchville’s system is open and has been worked multiple times.
January 5th. On the culinary side both the Washburn Clubhouse and the Meduxneakeag Ramblers clubhouse will be opening for breakfasts for the season. Meduxneakeag is open Saturdays for breakfast from 6-9 a.m. and Washburn is open Saturdays for breakfast and lunch from 7-2 and Sundays from 7-12.
January 8th The Meduxneakeag Ramblers will be hosting a meeting and pie auction on at the clubhouse beginning at 6 p.m.
January 19 The Sly Brook Club will host a steak feed from 4-7 p.m at the clubhouse
January 20th Portage Lakers will be hosting Radar Runs….registration at 9 with runs starting at 10. Log onto www.portagelakerssnowmobileclub.org for more info.
January 20th Pleasant Ridge Runners will host a breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at the clubhouse off Rt 81A
February 9th will mark the 9th annual Andy Santerre run which begins at Griffeth Ford in Caribou. Log on to www.amhc.org for more info
February 16th Madawaska will be hosting the USCC East X Country Snowmobile 100 Race log onto www.madawaskasnowmobileclub.com for more info.
February 16th Caribou Snowmobile Club will host their annual hot dog roast off Rt. 105 in Stockholm adjacent to vehicular route 161.
And don’t forget……if some of the folks prefer non motorized activities we have some of the best Nordic ski trail in Maine, two world class venues, one in Presque Isle and one in Ft. Kent and then nearly every small town in The County has local Nordic trails. Snowshoeing is popular as well as some great downhill skiing and snowboarding at Big Rock in Mars Hill……so if you are coming to one of the top rated areas in North American to snowmobile……bring the family for lots of outdoor fun!