The winter of 2015 will go down in the history books as cold, snowy and never-ending!
The Appalachian Trail in Maine sustained considerable damage due to above-average snow fall, below-average temperatures and storms that snapped frozen trees in half like matchsticks.
Here's what our MATC trail maintainers discovered this spring and early summer across the Appalachian Trail in Maine:
"Tree tops are littering the forest floor and in some areas, obscuring the trail completely," reported Tony Barrett, MATC member who was working near Mt. Abrams in mid-June.
During the Fourth of July weekend, Laura Flight and Richard Gower worked five hours to clear 1.5 miles of trail on the north side of Pleasant Pond Mountain.
Once done, they retraced their steps in only 45 minutes!
In the Whitecap District, Ron Dobra said the two maintainers dealt with at least 50 blowdowns. On his section up Barren Mountain, Ron broke a 20-year record, sawing for almost two days. â€œThis was a season to remember on the high ridges,â€ he remarked.
Dave Field maintains the section between Orbeton Stream to The Horn at Saddleback Mountain. This year he cleared 175 blowdowns within this 6.1-mile section where the average ranges between 30 to 40 trees.
it's important to recognize this volunteer effort as hundreds of hiking boots will tread over a smooth, well-laid out footpath in Maine this season.
Just What Does an MATC Trail Maintainer Do?
MATC trail maintainers are assigned a section of the Appalachian Trail to maintain and are asked to visit their section three times a season.
Maintainers are responsible for removing footpath obstructions such as blowdowns and other vegetation from the pathway; painting and maintaining blazes; repairing rock cairns; clearing debris from waterbars; and removing trash and illegal fire rings from undesignated campsites.
MATC membership is required once you receive an assignment. You will need to attend chainsaw safety training if you wish to use a chainsaw on the trail.
We are ALWAYS looking for more hands to help with this critical work. Our trail maintainers are standing by, ready to answer your questions.