Group building mountain bike trails in Moosehead area receives $10,000 from Piscataquis County

DOVER-FOXCROFT – The Piscataquis County Commission is contributing $10,000 to a project that will bring 25 miles of bike paths to the Moosehead Lake area. Moosehead Outdoor Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Greenville, applied for funds to build the trails in the Little Moose public land area.

DOVER-FOXCROFT – The Piscataquis County Commission is contributing $10,000 to a project that will bring 25 miles of bike paths to the Moosehead Lake area.

Moosehead Outdoor Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Greenville, applied for funds to build the trails in the Little Moose public land area. The group aims to create and maintain mountain bike trail systems in the region, according to its website.

The project — which could cost around $750,000 for three trail areas — is already underway. As a growing nationwide sport, mountain biking could be a major attraction in the Moosehead Lake area, with the proposed ski resort redevelopment in Big Moose Township. Both projects promise to bring more visitors and economic prosperity to the region.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Wagenheim
LITTLE MOOSE MOUNTAIN BIKE – Up to 25 miles of mountain bike trails are offered for Little Moose Mountain public lands in the Moosehead Lake area.

The $10,000 contribution from Piscataquis County is part of a $120,000 investment to complete the first phase of the project. Aucoin Property Services began construction on the first area of ​​the trails a few weeks ago, Treasurer Rodney Folsom Jr. said.

“We currently have commitments in excess of $150,000, which will allow us to complete Zone 1 and begin the design plan for Zones 2 and 3,” the group said in a letter to commissioners dated May 25. “This project, when complete, will make the Greenville area an important cycling destination area that will benefit our local community and county.

The Moosehead Outdoor Alliance has already obtained the necessary permits from the state Bureau of Parks and Lands.

Two loops have been completed for the first phase of the project, totaling about a half-mile of trail near Gravel Pit Pond, Folsom Jr. said. The first area is for beginner and intermediate riders, while the second area is more intermediate. and advanced, he said.

Providing a variety of trails should help create a cycling culture in the region and encourage young families and children to use the trails, he said.

“The goal is to complete a few small loops, so that they are passable, and then continue to develop,” he said. “We hope to have a passable trail later this summer.”

The second area of ​​trails will be built in the South Ridge of the Little Moose Public Lands area, while the third area will be in the North Ridge, according to the group’s website. Construction of the second area should ideally begin next year, said Folsom Jr.

In terms of funding, the group hopes to operate under budget for the first phase of the project, he said. The remaining funds could move into the second phase and be used to apply for matching grants.

The Moosehead Outdoor Alliance wants to bring more groups to the area to use the trails and explore local businesses, said Folsom Jr.

The organization has seen other communities, such as Carrabassett Valley and East Burke in Vermont, as models for building more trails and boosting the economy of their areas, he said. Greenville could become more of a year-round destination by adding more activities like bike paths that appeal to all ages, he said.

Bike lanes will be nice to have in conjunction with the revamped ski resort, Commissioner Andrew Torbett said.

Commissioners approved the Moosehead Outdoor Alliance’s application on Tuesday. Then they changed it so that the funds would be distributed after July 1. The funds are in the budget that begins in July, County Executive Michael Williams said.