A new trail up Number 4 Mountain near Kokadjo will officially open on Aug. 7, with a guided hike that is open to the public. The trail is the first of several trails planned to be constructed in the Moosehead Lake and 100-Mile Wilderness regions, a joint project by Plum Creek, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
The grand opening ceremony of the 1.75-mile trail up Number 4 Mountain will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, and will be followed by a hike guided by staff of the BPL. The public is welcome to attend.
The new pathway up Number 4 Mountain will eventually be extended to connect to Baker Mountain and AMC’s trail system, according to a recent press release. And the regional trail network will eventually provide more than 30 miles of new trials.
“This new world-class hiking trail will provide additional opportunities for hikers from near and far, strengthening this special part of Maine,” said Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb in a prepared statement. “This is an example of cooperation by a private landowner with conservation organizations to advance public recreational opportunities and further enhance an already attractive area. We are thankful for the many man hours of work on this trail by the Maine Conservation Corps and the AMC trail crew. Their hard work prepared this first trail to open and welcome hikers.”
The project is being made possible through land contributions by Plum Creek — as agreed to in its land use plan for the region — as well as the use of land owned by BPL and AMC. BPL is managing the trail construction in partnership with a Moosehead Trails Advisory Committee.
Through the Plum Creek land use agreement for the Moosehead Lake Region, BPL is provided with an easement on Plum Creek land – up to approximately 121 acres – to create the trail network and support areas, as well as an initial $1 million fund for construction and maintenance from Plum Creek.
In 2014, AMC lent its support through an additional $1.1 million grant from the Elimina B. Sewall Foundation to help provide long-term maintenance for the trail system.
“Through our Maine Woods Initiative we are strongly committed to helping further the region’s reputation as a world-class outdoor recreation destination,” said Walter Graff, Senior Vice President of AMC, in a prepared statement. “Together, we are able to create this wonderful trail system for the public because such a significant amount of land in the Moosehead Lake and 100-Mile Wilderness regions has been forever conserved.”
Located about 18 miles north of downtown Greenville, the new Number 4 Mountain Trail is considered to moderate in difficulty, according to BPL. The trail starts in a working forest and travels to a ridge, which it climbs to the top of the mountain and an abandoned fire tower. About one third of the trail is flat, and the rest is a steady incline.
The opening ceremony and guided hike on Aug. 7 coincides with Greenville’s Forest Heritage Days event, which runs Aug. 6-8. Those attending the trail opening will receive a complimentary hiking pack while supplies last, and all will be invited to participate in the first hike on the trail guided by BPL.
“The completion of the first trail is a big step, but there is so much more to come that is really exciting,” said Luke Muzzy, senior land manager for Plum Creek, in a prepared statement. “Still to come are more trails, new trailhead parking areas, remote campsites and new boat launches, which will make the area more attractive and welcoming to guests.”
The Number 4 Mountain trail is one of two trails in the network that crews began constructing in 2014. The second new trail, which leads to Eagle Rock on Big Moose Mountain, is now open to the public. The trailhead is on the East Moore Bog Road in the Little Moose Public Lands, just west of Greenville.
The Moosehead Trails Advisory Committee is working to finalize the locations of new trails located on the land easements from Plum Creek. And simultaneous planning is underway to identify locations for new trailheads, campsites and boating access locations.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg for new trails and related support areas that will play a substantial role in helping the Moosehead Lake Region grow as a tourism destination,” said Angela Arno, the Executive Director of the Moosehead Chamber and board member of the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation, in a prepared statement. “These trails will help further define our region as a world-class destination for outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism.”
Trail and project information are available at www.maine.gov/dacf/mooseheadtrails.