Construction is about to start on a mountain biking trail leading from Mountain Valley High School northwest to Rumford Water District land near Scotty Brook. Submitted photo

 

RUMFORD — A three-mile mountain biking trail from Mountain Valley High School to Scotty Brook is a natural fit for the River Valley, Chris Brennick of Pennacook Area Community Trails said.

“This project leverages our two greatest resources: our people and our land,” he said. “This is such an incredibly beautiful area that a mountain biking trail system fit in very naturally.”

Pennacook volunteers, who include town officials, ND Paper mill employees, Regional School Unit 10 faculty and others, have been working for more than a year to develop relationships with landowners and secure funding for the project.

Construction is about to get underway, according to Gabe Perkins, executive director of Mahoosuc Pathways, a nonprofit corporation developing, maintaining and promoting multi-use recreational trails in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range.

Having a group of committed citizens approach us from the River Valley with deep connections to the place and unbridled enthusiasm for trails in their area was a perfect match for us at Mahoosuc Pathways,” he said. “We look forward to working on this project long into the future. I’m so grateful to the committee members, the town staff and officials and our partnering landowners at the high school and water district,” he added.

The first phase of construction is paid in part by a $5,000 grant from the Oxford County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. It will start behind Mountain Valley High School and wind through the Rumford Water District land and town property to the northwest.

A volunteer workday is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, leaving from the rear parking area at the high school at 799 Hancock St.

The trail will be open to walkers and to snowshoers, but mountain bikers will have the right of way.

Mahoosuc Pathways built about eight miles of mountain biking trails in the Bethel area, and recently purchased the 978-acre Bethel Community Forest and constructed about 1.5 miles of walking trails there.

For more information about the workday, funding and equipment needs, or to make a donation, contact Perkins at 207-200-8240 or via email at [email protected]

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