PATTEN, Maine – Residents and guests to an Aroostook County city can quickly take pleasure in a storied stroll within the woods.
A $40,000 grant from the Maine Division of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Leisure Trails Program will fund a brand new one-third-mile path behind the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum.
Traditionally, the city has been the jumping-off place for loggers, fishers and vacationers earlier than they braved off-grid work and adventures in Mount Katahdin’s shadow. Native officers now wish to improve that connection by including accessible, outside choices just like the Lumbermen’s Path all through the city
“I really like the challenge. It is extremely natural, very grassroots,” mentioned Julie Isbill, Nationwide Park Service challenge supervisor for rivers, trails and conservation. “We hope there will likely be a complete system in Patten. Our plan is to start out with this, and ultimately, we may have miles of strolling trails.”
Isbill has been engaged on the path’s improvement with city companies, native volunteers and different teams, together with Katahdin Outside Trails, for the previous yr.
Building is slated for early spring, however volunteers and faculty college students have already cleared particles from the location behind the museum.
“The Katahdin Area has a ton of vitality, and that is an instance of that,” Isbill mentioned. “The city could be very can-do and resourceful.”
The flat, easy-to-maneuver Lumbermen’s Path, when accomplished, will reduce by way of a clearing and right into a swath of historic coniferous bushes. Museum relics will likely be positioned alongside the path and a youngsters’s story stroll will likely be on the path’s entrance.
The story stroll could have 16 everlasting, weather-proofed stations providing Maine-themed nature books like “The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Trip Ever.” Two-laminated pages of the e book will likely be at every station, Veteran’s Memorial Library Director Julie Buhler mentioned.
Buhler wants near $7,000 for the everlasting stations and 4 Islandport Press books for the path. She is making use of for grants to fund the acquisition. If unable to lift the total quantity, she’s going to attain out to the neighborhood, maybe looking for donations towards one web page of a e book or one stand, she mentioned.
“We really feel it’s going to assist households to get out. Grandparents can do the path and skim to their grandchildren,” she mentioned.
Bobbing up from the locals’ love of the outside and a rootedness in working collectively, the path began with Patten Space Open air, created by the Patten Planning Fee in 2021.
The grassroots group meets repeatedly to discover methods to develop a non-motorized path system within the space, Patten Planning Board Chairman Ron Blum mentioned.
“A Story Stroll in Patten will present a vacation spot for varsity teams, households, and vacationers, including to a rising array of experiences in and round city,” he mentioned.
Recognizing that Patten is a gateway neighborhood to Baxter State Park, Blum mentioned the city needs to construct extra leisure areas and non-motorized trails for residents and guests.
City planners are pondering past the Lumbermen’s Path, he mentioned, including that the unique plan was larger, however they determined to start out with the Lumbermen’s Path and construct from there.
The Outside Sport Institute in Millinocket is administering the grant, and has drafted objectives for future trails, Blum mentioned.
Planners are contemplating persevering with the Lumberman’s Path a quarter-mile to a park within the middle of city after which taking it over to the city workplace, he mentioned.
“It’s probably the most tangible thought proper now,” Blum mentioned.
Different potentialities embody clearing overgrowth alongside Webb Brook, a meandering stream by way of city, for a path alongside the water. They’re additionally contemplating some regional actions like a river path alongside Fish Stream, operating from Patten to Crystal and Island Falls.
The city can reapply for one more Leisure Trails Program grant when they’re prepared, Blum mentioned.
The city’s outside planning efforts embody work and concepts from a bunch of native teams, city leaders and volunteers, together with the Patten Selectboard, Patten Planning Board, Katahdin Space Trails, Patten Lumbermen’s Museum, Veterans’ Memorial Library to call a number of.
The Rivers,Trails and Conservation Help program of the Nationwide Park Service, MaineDOT Scenic Byway program are additionally concerned within the city’s leisure planning.
“This challenge is feasible because of the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum and the City of Patten permitting the path to be constructed on their properties,” Blum mentioned.