A fence in addition to signs is now in place to help prevent snowmobilers from crossing the front of the Emmanual Assembly of God Church in Livermore Falls. A detour through the back of the church property was arranged after part of Maine’s Interconnected Trail System had to be closed this winter. Some riders had used the front of the church property instead. Submitted photo

LIVERMORE FALLS — Jug Hill Riders Snowmobile Club maintains the trail system for Livermore Falls which includes Maine’s Interconnected Trail System [ITS] 87 and local club trails. Patrick Milligan, vice president of the snowmobile club reached out to the Livermore Falls Advertiser with additional information about three trail closures after an article on snowmobilers potentially losing trail access appeared in the Feb. 1 edition.

Currently, there are two closures affecting the ITS 87 trail system Jug Hill Riders maintain and one affecting the local club trail system, Milligan noted in an email Feb. 1.

“The first, is [two] bridges which are currently “undecked” located between Route 17 and Moose Hill Rd. in the swap behind the substation bordering in the vicinity of the Clay Brook wetlands zone,” he wrote. “This is a protected wetland area and due to wet conditions, landowner activity in the area and factors out of the club’s control this zone has been inaccessible.”

The State of Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands has been assisting the club with bringing this protected zone into compliance with Best Maintenance Practices for Motorized Trail Construction and Maintenance, Milligan noted. “Earlier in the fall, a crew from the Bureau of Parks & Land Off Road Vehicle Division was able to place new steel beams over the [two] areas of concern,” he wrote. “It is important to note that the power lines too are private property with landowner concerns the same as any other landowner. With the freezing temperatures arriving and less heavy equipment activity occurring in this zone, this should allow for work to be finished on the bridges.”

The snowmobile club recognized the inconvenience this closure could cause for travelers of the trail system. For this specific closure a detour was set up to allow riders to follow Route 17 towards Route 133 [Park St.] and cross through Livermore Falls Town Park [Foundry St.].

“This detour passes through the property of the Emmanuel Assembly of God Church,” Milligan wrote. “The proper trail is MARKED and SIGNED which passes BEHIND the Church Property. Some riders early on had passed through the church property via the front driveway/walkway. This is a safety concern for the landowner.”


When the club was first notified by the landowner, new signs and more markings were put out and snow banks were plowed in front of the incorrect trail. Still, people continued to pass through disregarding the signage. The club contacted Livermore Falls Police, Maine Warden Service, and on Feb. 1 placed fencing to block the route.

The second ITS 87 trail closure, new as of Jan. 31 was created when a crew with heavy equipment removed “mudmats” which served as the only crossing in a wet zone located in the vicinity of Hunton Brook, Milligan noted. This is a trail intersection of the ITS 87 trail which continues to Bowman Field or to the east to Rusty Lantern [formerly Pike’s Corner Oasis], he wrote. The detour for this trail is considered to be near the Livermore Falls/Leeds town line through the Barker fields across Strickland Loop which will reconnect to the intersection of ITS 87/Rusty Lantern store, he continued.

The third closure is on the local club trail which passes behind Dimension Lumber through the Dismal Swamp to Karn Rd., which comes out behind T&T LawnCare on Park Street.

“There are still many large trees and branches down and a few open water spots,” Milligan wrote.

Landowner permission is a critical foundation for recreational trail use.

An ITS map is provided to snowmobilers through the joint effort of the Maine Snowmobile Association and the Snowmobile Division of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of Conservation under the direction of the MSA Trails Committee, according to the Maine Snowmobile Association website. The ITS trails themselves are created through the efforts of snowmobile clubs, the Snowmobile Division, local municipalities, supporting businesses and the many landowners throughout the state of Maine who generously allow access to sledders, it notes. The ITS map is updated each year to reflect changes and additions to the trail system for the upcoming season with new maps usually available for distribution by late October, it continues.

“The ITS trail system has undergone many changes over the past [two] seasons with heavy equipment working in the zones, trees being removed and topography adjustments,” Milligan wrote. “Some of these key areas can only be accessed when FULLY frozen, to include brooks and spillways. With the small crew of volunteers we are out doing what we can to provide a safe enjoyable experience.”

The State of Maine Outdoor Partner Program has excellent resources available for how to be a good land user, https://www.maine.gov/ifw/programs-resources/outdoor-partners-program/explore.html.
For information on Maine snowmobile laws visit https://www.maine.gov/ifw/atv-snowmobile/snowmobile/laws-rules.html
Limited liability and trespass damages information relating to Title 14 MRSA  Sections 159-A and 7551-B visit https://www.maine.gov/ifw/atv-snowmobile/safety-information.html.
Updates on snowmobile trails in the Livermore Falls area will be posted on the Jug Hill Riders snowmobile club Facebook page, Facebook.com/jug.hill.
To volunteer or for other information contact Bob at 207-320-3031.

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