Try your luck in the Gifford’s Ice Cream Eating Contest on Saturday, August 31st at the 8th annual Rangeley Trail Town Festival, 10am-4pm, Pond Street. Free games, activities, and music for all. Peggy Yocom

Where are Rangeley’s best hikes? What the best food and gear to take? Learn this and more from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts at the 8th Rangeley Trail Town Festival on August 31st from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Try your hand at free games, contests, and activities for everyone—all at Haley Pond Park on Pond Street, near Ecopelagicon.

Play “Leave No Trace” games with Koty Lewis, the MATC Ridgerunner based at Piazza Rock.  “Leave No Trace” is a set of seven principles—including “Plan Ahead and Prepare,” “Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces,” and “Leave What You Find”—that help everyone learn how to take care of the outdoors. Enter the raffle to win outdoor equipment.

See if you can get all the answers to local adventurer Doug Dunlap’s Foot and Paddle Quiz that will take you all around the Festival site for clues. Play hiker boot toss. Make your own survivor bracelet with Rowenna Hathaway of the Rangeley Lakes Regional School’s PTA. And, if you like Instagram, put your face in the “Myron Avery” wooden picture board by the Ecopelagicon and enter the “Face In The Hole Challenge” to find eight other historical figures all around Rangeley.

At 12:30pm, sing along to Rangeley’s own Joe Montimurro. Joe has a long rock-and-roll playlist, and he’ll be hosting an open mike for anyone to perform their music, as well.

At 3:00 p.m., see how fast you can eat a pint of Gifford’s “Muddy Boots” in the Ice Cream Eating Contest, the favorite event of the Festival ($2 kids, $3 adults, free to Appalachian Trail hikers). Then, gather ’round the campfire for a marshmallow roast.

All day, Maine outdoors organizations will share first-hand information about how to hike safely and how to care for local woods and trails. For example, members of the Maine Appalachian Club will tell how you can become involved in their work on the trail. T.R.A.C. (Trails for Rangeley Area Coalition) will share details about its weekly hikes and paddles. The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust will hand out maps of its many trails and tell about its latest plans to preserve land for Rangeley’s future.

Artists and crafters whose work highlights the outdoors will line Pond Street, including Billdad Soap of Stratton and Rangeley’s traditional wood carver Rodney Richard, Jr., now of Pownal, who will demonstrate jackknife and chain saw carving.

The Marble Family Farm food truck from Farmington will sell their award-winning “Hotties,” whole-wheat pocket-shaped crusts filled with a variety of vegetarian and meat options for breakfast and lunch. Rangeley restaurants will be open, too. And the Rangeley School’s Outing Club will bring their ever-popular popcorn machine.

On the evening before all these activities, the Trail Town Festival presents the Maine Outdoor Film Festival at 7:00pm in Rangeley’s Lakeside Theater. Donation is $6; $3 for AT hikers and children under 12. Refreshments available for purchase.

Rangeley is one of only 35 towns along the 2,180-mile AT to be named an official “Appalachian Trail Community.” The town received this honor from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to honor Rangeley as a community that actively protects all of its natural, cultural, and recreational resources, including the AT, which runs from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin. For more information on the Rangeley Trail Town Festival, call Linda Dexter of the Ecopelagicon, 864-2771; join us on facebook; and visit our website:


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