Jay board gets update on town recreation trails

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JAY — Randy Easter, a member of the Recreation Committee, gave selectpersons an update Monday on the town’s snowmobile and track-setter on town recreation land behind the schools.

Selectpersons approved the purchase of a new snowmobile, grooming equipment, and a tow-behind track-setter in December 2012. The groomer and related equipment cost $5,947.84 and the 2013 Ski-Doo Skandic WT Ace cost $9,000.

The idea was to create trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling by using an existing trail system, as well as creating new trails on skidder roads, which have opened up many miles of new terrain.

Easter told the board that a lot of work has been done on the property, especially on the trails.

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He trained five people on the operation of the snowmobile and track-setter. The board’s directive was that only trained people could use the equipment.

Last year, there was glare ice until February and then they were able to groom, he said. Each time they groomed, they started at the shed on the property and went to the recreation field near the cell tower. They went around the schoolchildren’s Christmas tree plot, down the Apple Blossom Trail to the field hockey field, soccer field and baseball field, then back up the Rocky Hill Trail to the shed, he said.

A few storms allowed them  to groom the Horseshoe Ridge Trail and Hemlock Hollow Trail, according to his written report to the board.

Last winter, he and Don Leclerc snowshoed some possibilities for additional trails for this season.

One of the trails incorporates some of Hemlock Hollow Trail and loops east toward the rec field, according to the report.

Another loop heads toward the old Town Office and makes a loop back to the Rocky Hill Trail, he said.

Easter bought a bed spring at a yard sale this past summer to use as a drag for crusty snow prior to using the track-setter.

He is looking for a pipe drag that can be used in powdery conditions prior to using the track-setter.

The Spruce Mountain high and middle schools each had a fall cross-country team, Easter said. The high school team, along with parents, spent one late afternoon using weed whackers, sickles, brush cutters, and chain saws to clean a few trees that had blown across the trails, he said.

Rob Taylor, a teacher and committee member, mowed the running trails through the rec area, which are the same trails used for the cross-country ski trails, he said.

David Frey of Ware-Butler Inc. in Livermore Falls recommended using four 16-foot beams to build a bridge across a stream on the Trail Mix Trail. The company donated the beams and delivered them to the shed.

Members of one of Taylor’s classes carried the beams to the stream. Leclerc, Easter and Leclerc’s grandson got the bridge completed before Thanksgiving.

Jamie Robinson is teaching an outdoor adventure class which has done some brush trimming on a trail. They will continue to do work on trails to be used this winter, Easter said.

Easter put up more marking ribbons on the trails and will get more signs from the snowmobile club to put up. He is also considering applying for a grant to do more trail work.

He would like to see the snowmobile trail follow the Farmer’s Way Trail to the access trail to the power lines, he said.

“The good news is, we are getting kids involved in using it, as well as adults,” he said.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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