Jim Boyce of Freeman Township enjoys snowmobiling and grooming the trails for the Kingfield Sno-wanderers Snowmobile Club during the season. Dee Menear/Franklin Journal

FREEMAN TOWNSHIP — James “Jim” Boyce enjoys the sport of snowmobiling. So much so that for the past 11 years he has been trailmaster, and grooming the trails for the Kingfield Sno-wanderers Snowmobile Club members and others who enjoy trail riding.

Boyce, 59, was born in Kingfield but moved with family when he was age 2 to Long Island, New York.

He worked as a union plasterer in Manhattan for 32 years before he returned to Maine.

During April to late November, Boyce takes care of the town of Kingfield’s grounds, including cemeteries, ball fields, sewer beds and any other properties the town owns.

Boyce has been recognized for his volunteerism with a Spirit of America Award and one from the town’s selectmen.

“I enjoy the sport of snowmobiling and have moved up the ladder in the Maine Snowmobile Association,” Boyce said. “I was a director for the club then a regional director for the western region and I was nominated for the western vice president. I’m also on the trails committee.”


Not only is he involved in grooming trails but he and others help groom two sledding hills weekly for the kids. They also groom an oval track at the Kingfield Elementary School for them to ski on.

Boyce has been married 40 years and has two daughters and a son and seven grandchildren who visit often.

How did you get involved in snowmobiling and become trailmaster? I got involved with the Sno-wanderers through my aunt and uncle, Tom and Sharon Boyce, who were founders of the club 50 years ago. I’ve been trailmaster for the Sno-wanderers since the 2011 season.

What are your responsibilities and skills required? Responsibilities require talking to landowners, making sure trails are well signed, working with our local game warden and making trails safe for all. As for skills, you have to be a people person, and a little knowledge of mechanics helps a lot working on groomers, building bridges, etc. I look at being trailmaster as a protector for the landowners who give us the privilege of crossing their land.

Is being a trailmaster a difficult job? As far as difficult, I do it with a smile. It’s all volunteers and it keeps you busy during the winter months. It’s not difficult at all — you have to like what you do.

What is your favorite part?   My favorite part is getting outside and enjoying our surroundings. I like to be out on a trail doing trimming or putting signs up or being in the groomer at night and seeing the animals. It’s like my own private zoo without the fences. I also like seeing sled after sled come into town and keep coming back because the trails were great. That puts a smile on my face. It’s like any voluntary activity, it’s hard to find help but it works out.

Do you train other people to groom trails? I do train people to groom. It’s not for everyone. It’s sometimes a thankless job, but most of the time people appreciate what you do to keep the sport safe and continue to grow. Remember to ride right and stay safe.

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