Round the Mountain trail work planned at Snow Bowl

By Susan Mustapich | Aug 23, 2019
Photo by: Gabriel Blodgett Plans are underway to connect a 5.5-mile section of Coastal Mountains Land Trust's Round The Mountain Trail, which begins at the Hope Street trailhead, to a reworked section of the Kuller Trail at the Camden Snow Bowl.

CAMDEN — The town of Camden and Coastal Mountains Land Trust approved an agreement Aug. 20 on trail work to take place at the Camden Snow Bowl as part of the Round the Mountain Trail.

Select Board member Alison McKellar raised questions about erosion controls and liability for erosion or other problems during the construction. She reminded the board of erosion problems that occurred previously at the Snow Bowl. The trail work at the Snow Bowl for Round the Mountain is in close proximity to Hosmer Pond, which was polluted by soil runoff during multiple heavy rain events coinciding with the widening of ski trails and replacement of chairlift systems at the Snow Bowl in 2014 and 2015.

CMLT Project Manager Ryan Gates responded to McKellar's concerns, saying that the trail improvements will reduce erosion.

Camden Planning and Development Director Jeremy Martin said he will be overseeing the work, and that the town has a great relationship with CMLT. The land trust will also be hiring a third-party inspector, Gartley and Dorsky, to handle the erosion control inspections, Martin said.

Martin said CMLT needed the agreement in order to apply for permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The town of Camden is a co-applicant for the permits.

Chairman Bob Falciani explained that because the agreement is in the form of a memorandum of understanding, it can be modified if need arises. The agreement names Beth Ward, Camden Snow Bowl manager and Parks and Recreation director, as the designated representative for the town and Gates as the representative for CMLT.

Plans were announced in June 2016 to build the 9-mile low-elevation recreational trail for mountain bikers, Nordic skiers, runners and hikers. The trail is part of an effort to protect 1,500 acres of land around Ragged Mountain through conservation easements and land acquisition. The Snow Bowl will offer a trailhead, one of three, to access the 9-mile loop.

In June, construction began on a 5.5-mile section of the trail, which begins at Hope Street, in  the town of Hope. CMLT projected connecting this trail with the Kuller mountain biking trail at the Snow Bowl this November, but that start date is still uncertain.

A trailhead and signage will be added and changes will be made to the lower section of the Kuller Trail to make the trail safer and create an easier access to the Round the Mountain Trail from the Snow Bowl, according to CMLT Executive Director Ian Stewart. The existing trail is too steep, especially at the turns, for beginner and intermediate users, Stewart wrote in a an Aug. 1 letter to the Select Board.

The work includes reworking the beginning of the Kuller  trail with a 910-foot section that is six to eight feet wide; adding three-quarter-inch gravel to the first 100 feet of the trail for erosion control "and a dressier look," installing an 8-foot wide, 5-foot long wooden bridge over a stream crossing at the 350-foot marker on the trail; instalingl a similar bridge over a stream crossing at the 850-foot mark on the trail; reworking four of the climbing curves on the trail to lessen the difficulty of ascent and descent; and relocating approximately 90 feet of the existing trail to avoid a wetland area.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 23, 2019 14:21

Excellent! I did the trail walking in summer and cross country skiing in winter. It is so great it is being kept up.



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