KINGFIELD — Larry Warren, president of Western Mountains Corporation, said he hopes for the town’s support to link western Maine with its Canadian neighbors via an historic trail.

“I started working with (Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments) and Arnold Expedition Historical Society to develop a trail from Kingfield to Coburn Gore about a year and a half ago,” Warren told selectmen Monday night.

Warren and his organizers have been working with the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Androscoggin Valley and Kennebec Valley councils of government, area county commissioners, and other state and local organizations and individuals, to develop conservation easements and raise money for outright purchase of properties. He already has spoken with town officials in Carrabassett Valley and Eustis to gain support for the complex project, he said. American Forestry Management, on behalf of landowner John Malone, will support access over critical areas of timberland in the unorganized territories.

Warren suggested that a non-motorized scenic trail could cross from Coburn Gore to Mont-Megantic National Park in Canada and also tie into a New Hampshire trail link. The Kingfield-to-Stratton route will be referred to as the Narrow Gauge Trail. The section from Stratton to Canada will be the Arnold Trail portion.

Warren said he became interested after talking with Richard Fotter, a member of the Route 27 Scenic Byway Committee, and the Flagstaff Area Business Association. Fotter suggested coordinating the trail with the Scenic Byway Committee to bring tourism in the area.

Kingfield could become involved, Warren said, as a starting point for hikers and history buffs who were interested in Arnold’s 1775 trek. Gen. Benedict Arnold started with 1,100 soldiers to attack the British-controlled city of Quebec at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Fewer than half his men survived to return to Massachusetts.

Today, that route is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Arnold Trail to Quebec. The late Eustis historian Duluth Wing found dozens of artifacts left by participants of the ill-fated journey, Warren said. He said he is not asking for any financial obligation from selectmen, but the more support he has from western Maine people, the more leverage he will have to raise money for the project.

In other news, selectmen held a brief public hearing for the proposed discontinuance of a section of Commercial Street. They also scheduled a special town meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Webster Hall for the vote.

They also approved appropriating the $3,500 for the annual Christmas-through-April shuttle bus, which provides a free round trip to Sugarloaf. Townspeople approved spending the money at the June town meeting.

They also discussed possible legal action to stop dumping and burning garbage at the Hinkley Pit on the outskirts of town. Area residents say the unidentified vehicles pull into the pit and leave piles of trash.

Code Enforcement Officer Tom Marcotte will contacting the property owners and explain the consequences of continued illegal dumping and burning of trash.


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