In the wake of the recent storm, the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department has been hard at work cleaning up the aftermath. After two days of chainsawing trees, a two-man crew from the department had cleared the gravel roads and main trails of the city’s popular Rolland F. Perry City Forest of fallen trees as of Nov. 1, as well as some of the smaller side trails in the extensive trail network.
“All of the East-West Trail has been taken care of, should be clear of debris,” said Nick Fiore, maintenance worker for Parks and Recreation Department, who has been clearing the trails with his co-worker Logan Robinson. “And all of the main roads are also taken care of. All of the small, red trails we’re not quite sure of yet. We’ve done a few, but still a lot of work.”
The Rolland F. Perry City Forest — commonly known as the Bangor City Forest — covers more than 680 acres of forestland and wetlands in the northeast corner of Bangor. Owned and maintained by the city, the property features more than 4 miles of access roads and more than 9 miles of trails for running, dog walking, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
On trail maps located in the city forest’s two parking lots and at intersections throughout the network, gravel roads are traced in brown, main trails are blue, and narrow side trails are red.
On the afternoon of Nov. 1, numerous downed trees still blocked the “red trails,” as Fiore put it, including a giant white pine tree that had broken in two, blocking the Bog Trail. But the fallen trees didn’t seem to be deterring visitors. The forest’s Tripp Drive parking lot was half full during lunchtime that day, when Fiore and Robinson were packing up their chainsaws and tractors in the road’s cul de sac. As they organized their gear, a visitor driving out of the city forest parking lot slowed down to thank them for their hard work.
While the Bangor City Forest is quickly being cleared of debris left from the storm, many trail networks across the state are in bad shape, and in many cases, the organizations maintaining those trails don’t have enough manpower to clear the trails right away. The Bangor Land Trust, for instance, has yet to assess the storm damage on its preserves and public trails.
“Some of us have been preoccupied with cleaning up our yards and streets and coping with the absence of electricity,” said Bangor Land Trust President Lucy Quimby in a recent email. “[We] probably won’t have a full picture of the state of the BLT trails until the weekend.”
Quimby asks that anyone wishing to volunteer to do trail work call the land trust office at 207-942-1010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land trusts and other organizations maintain public recreation trails throughout the state. If you want to help clear trails in your area, you can search for a nearby land trust on the Maine Land Trust Network website at www.mltn.org, and you can ask about other trail cleanup opportunities by contacting your town office.