RUMFORD — Rumford will finally have an all-terrain vehicle trail system that actually goes somewhere, thanks to the Rumford Riders ATV Club and selectmen.

At Thursday night’s board meeting, selectmen unanimously gave the club permission to use town property for its proposed trail system that will connect to ATV trails in Mexico and Roxbury.

“Are you guys going to build that trail?” Selectmen Chairman Greg Buccina asked.

“We’re going to give it a whirl,” William Theriault, the club president, said.

The board also appointed Theriault as an applicant for the State Grant-in-Aid Program and approved a three-year ATV use permit of town property for the club.

“The trail in Rumford right now starts nowhere and goes nowhere, so people are very hesitant to get on it and ride,” Theriault said when asked about it by Town Manager John Madigan.

Theriault said the current trail travels along the left side of Route 2 from Falls Hill toward McDonald’s restaurant, crosses Route 2 and dead ends by Joe Pond.

The proposed trail, which is what the municipal grant is all about, would be taking a right at the top of Falls Hill and following the new power line corridor to the Swain Road. It would follow another power line from Swain Road to the Isthmus Road, cross that, and pretty much stay on snowmobile trails so long as landowners allow that use. The trail will then end up on Black Bridge and hook up with the Mexico ATV trails.

“In doing this, we can now go from Mountain View Annex Road and Franklin Annex Road and hook up with trails over there,” Theriault said. “They can come all the way through Rumford and connect with Mexico trails.”

Once the club gets that trail system into place, they plan to add two spurs. One will connect to the Black Mountain Ski Resort parking lot, for which the club already has permission; the other will connect to Roxbury’s ATV trail system, he said.

“So riders will have some place to go now, rather than nowhere,” Theriault said. “Instead of going from Point A to Point B and back, they’ll be able to go somewhere.”

He said they would also like to create a loop trail to Joe Pond and back to the new trail system rather than leave the current dead-end trail there. But grant money won’t be used for that.

“So if townspeople want to go for a ride for a couple of hours and they don’t want to go any great distance, there’s a loop they’ll be able to take,” Theriault said.

Another reason for creating the new trail system is that the current river trail is prone to being underwater in several sections when the Androscoggin River rises over its banks occasionally, he said.

When asked by Selectman Jolene Lovejoy, Theriault said the new trail system will cost $26,910 to build. That’s why the club is applying for a grant, he said.

“Thank you very much for what you are doing,” Buccina said to Theriault. “I’m thinking of getting an ATV for myself.”

After voting unanimously to appoint Theriault as the grant applicant on the town’s behalf, Buccina said, “Good luck and thank you again. Hopefully, that will spur some people to (come to) our area.”

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