KINGFIELD — Trail builders presented selectmen Monday night with a plan to develop a 15-mile network of nonmotorized paths to connect the town to other trails in Western Maine.

Seven members of the informal trail builders group presented their ambitious long-range plans to access both private, public and town land for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and other people-powered activities.

Kingfield is unique because it has a town center, and many of the trails meet there, spokeswoman Polly MacMichaels said.

“Plus, it’s beautiful,” she said.

The group didn’t receive the $4,000 it requested from Tax Increment Financing, but she said they were developing a more defined proposal and would continue with funding requests.

“We got together and developed some specific “‘asks,'” she said.

Besides funding, MacMichaels said essential components for making the entire project work include townwide signs and parking. The group has studied similar nonmotorized trail projects in other states, including one in Vermont that logged 94,000 visitors in a recent summer. The town of Carrabassett Valley and Maine Huts and Trails system are other examples of well-run trail systems, she said.

She said the project could be considered similar to the ATV or snowmobile clubs. They have developed a mission statement, but many of the issues concern town ordinances, liaison requirements with town officials, legal questions from public and private landowners and equipment required for construction and maintenance.

MacMichaels also suggested that the town might want to consider bike racks, so that riders could walk into town.

“I think that it’s great that you guys want to take this on,” Selectman Wade Browne said. “It’s a big project.”

In other matters, resident Tammy Goldfrank offered to update the information kiosk in the center of town.

Selectmen also congratulated Goldfrank and Jim Boyce, award recipients of the Spirit of America Foundation’s Tribute Program. The statewide public charity started in 1990 to honor volunteerism, and each year the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute is presented in the name of Maine municipalities to local individuals, organizations and projects for commendable community service.


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