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Northern Maine Snowmobile Trail Report
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GPS Article

ITS92 Allagash to Escourt Station

AROOSTOOK COUNTY TRAIL REPORT UPDATED 03/21/2019

The Official Snowmobile Trail Report
From the desk of: Gary Marquis
Caribou Parks & Recreation Department
55 Bennett Dr.
Caribou, Me. 04736
207-493-4224

Aroostook County ITS Trail

If you are not one of the lucky ones to be out riding this past week well I am sorry to tell you are missing out on some of the best trails. This past week the riding is incredible. It is late March and the trails are looking like mid-winter conditions. There is no real sign of spring in the Northern part of the County. The next few days might have something to say about it, but with almost 3 feet of snow on the ground it will take a lot more than a few warm days to melt and hurt the unbelievable base that we have.

Most projects are going strong and continue to groom on a regular basis. Unfortunately, not everything is as perfect as one would like. Last weekends warm spell and untimely breakdowns in certain areas and with heavy traffic some trails are rougher than one would like. Please remember that this is late March and we are still riding. Unfortunately, the base is very hard, and it becomes difficult to cut the bumps out. The section of ITS 83 where the trail is rerouted to the powerline will fall about the quickest as that trail did not get a good base built on it, and the ground is not frozen underneath. The rollers on this trail will be they’re for the remainder of the season.

The weather forecasted for the next two days are not the most favorable. Projects will hold off until the temps drop. It looks like the unset will be rain and turning to heavy wet snow on Wednesday with more snow in the western part of the County.

CAUTION: Deer are everywhere they are being spotted in Caribou on trail 83B, In Ashland on ITS 85, Portage on ITS 85. Please keep an eye out all the time as we all know that deer live throughout this County. Also, as the snow is getting deeper this means that all the big game animals will be venturing out onto the trails as it is easier walking for them.

TRAIL INFORMATION:

Soldier Pond is reporting that their trails are still in good shape and hope to be back out grooming on Sunday.

Washburn is reporting that their trails are a little rough but plan to have them in good shape for the weekend. They plan to get back out once the temps drop.

Nordic Lakers reporting that their system is in good shape. Remember that the trail is being shared with a logging operation, so this plowed section will get muddy. Trail 81 down behind the capital hill area, please use caution as the water is starting to eat the edge of the trail. They will be back out once the temps cool down.

Portage Lakers are reporting a few sections of hard bumps on 90 but remember that this trail gets a ton of traffic and the trail is hard and difficult to cut. Please use caution off the 105 intersection with ITS 90 as there is a logging operation, it is very well marked.

Caribou is reporting good conditions and have been over their entire system all week and will be back out once temps drop. There is a new logging operation on ITS 90W just before the 105 trails. It is well marked. The reroute on ITS 83 the powerline has some big rollers so please use caution. The Railbed that goes towards town also has some big rollers so please be aware of this.

Fort Kent is reporting that they are still grooming and are reporting hard packed trails with some rollers. They will be back out once temps drop.

Eagle Lake is reporting good conditions and will be out once temps drop.

Fort Fairfield is reporting that they have been over everything the past two days and will go out again once temps drop. They are also noticing water holes starting to appear in the lower spots, please use caution.

Central Aroostook Snowmobile club is reporting they have been grooming and will have everything done before the weekend.

Ashland is reporting they have groomed all their trails and are reporting great conditions. They will be back at it once the temps drop. There is still a lot of deer on ITS 85 between Ashland and Portage.

Allagash is reporting that they groomed Glazier Lake Loop trail on Monday and will do 120 and 92 on Fri/Sat morning.

Frenchville is reporting their system all groomed and are going to wait until it gets colder.

Red Arrow has groomed everything and is waiting until colder temps. The powerline line section of 83 has some long rollers so please use caution. Irving has plowed out a road on ITS 83 on the powerline South of the Coulomb Road.

Chapman Ridge Runners are reporting that they are in good shape and will be back out once the temps drop.

Aroostook River Snowmobile club has groomed everything and waiting until temps drop. They are reporting that they have a few holes opening on some of the bridges on ITS 88. Also, on trail 83A, please use caution.

Easton is back up and running, they are reporting decent conditions and will see what the weather does.

Madawaska is reporting good conditions.

Grand Isle is reporting that they have received their part for the tucker and will be back on the trails once the temps drop.

Presque Isle Snowmobile club is reporting that they will be back out once temps drop.

Van Buren is reporting that they are in good shape and will be back out when temps drop. Please use caution on trail 79 off 105 heading towards long lake, rollers and a few places where springs are making ice on the trail. Trail 94 was fantastic on Wednesday.

Caswell is reporting they are in good shape. They will be back out once temps drop. Trail 100 to trail 94 remains closed. Trail 102 to trail 89 in the Connor area is now open. Please use caution as they are going through a logging operation. Logging operation on trail 81A please use caution. The section of the boarder trails that Caswell takes care of on Wednesday was great.

Southern Aroostook:

It’s the first day of spring and still lots and lots of snow in the woods making for some great spring sledding. The snow has taken on a granular texture with the freeze/thaw cycles but for late March everything is looking good for sledding into April. These trail masters and groomers are a constant inspiration to all of us with their dedication and pride in keeping the trails at peak conditions.

At Shin Pond village the groomer has been out on 114/ITS85 south to the Whetstone Bridge, while the second groomer went north to where ITS81 and ITS85 merge with 71D to connect with Libby’s. Libby’s was also out grooming and Mattagamon groomed north and south from Libby’s. Overall the trails are better than expected after the 5-day thaw that kept grooming at a standstill. The roughest stretches such as the high traffic 2-mile piece out of Shin Pond are greatly improved. Some bumps remain but will be gone over again soon.

If you are looking for minimal traffic and well maintained, well-marked trails check out the Eastern Maine Snow Riders Trails in the Wytipitlock/Macwahoc area. ITS110, and 3 remain a hidden treasure.

The Molunkus Valley Snow Drifters are hard at it as always grooming ITS83, 83A, 3 and 3A as well as Bible Point. Trails are great and there is excellent spring sledding. They would like to remind everyone that there a lot of animals on the trail as well as some icy spots so slow down!

ITS81 to Shin Pond from Patten as well as ITS 112 from Patten to Island Falls is holding up well. This past few nights of low temps have been a gift and allowed the Rockabema Club to be out all week smoothing the trails. As hard as the groomers work to break up the trails, there are still some icy spots so keep an eye out and ride with care!

Big Valley in Island Falls report that the trails are groomed and frozen down to provide a nice base for sledding. All trails are in excellent condition.

The Benedicta Snowgang says that all trails are groomed to the max and riding is awesome. ITS83, Sherman/Whetstone is in top shape as is 83A, ITS81 and 81A.

The Meduxnekeag Ramblers started to tackle the railbed (ITS83) on Sunday after the thaw and are reporting that it was so icy and packed that they also hit it Monday and Tuesday. The trail is now in excellent riding condition with all the ice being broken up as are the border trail (IS86) and ITS86 to St. Croix Lake. The only trail they haven’t groomed is Club Trial 81. The club trail is ridable, but they haven’t been on it with a groomer, so you might want to take it slow.

Oxbow-Masardis is reporting that they have been out and are noticing corners are becoming icy so please use caution.

The Linneus Sno-Sport Club reports that their trails (ITS83, ITS105) are holding up well and are groomed and ready for the weekend crowds. The Clubhouse will not be serving lunch this weekend.

The Meduxnekeag Ramblers are still holding Saturday breakfasts at the clubhouse on Wiley Rd. from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Next week’s breakfast will be the clubs last of the season, but they are planning on it being a big shin dig in celebration of the clubhouse birthday. So, make plans to stop in on the 30th!

This Saturday evening the 23rd there will be an MSA Directors meeting at the Meduxnekeag Clubhouse.

* A Reminder: Landowners are within their rights to conduct logging operations on their own land. It is their business. They are nice enough to allow the Clubs access to get from one place to another. Please show respect and stay on marked trails and use caution.

Please keep an eye out on the County’s Facebook pages for the latest updates on trail conditions.

For the most accurate and up-to date weather information, please visit NOAA at https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=46.6588&lon=-68.5989

ON THE SOCIAL SIDE:
Washburn Trail Runners clubhouse will be open Friday, Saturday 7am to 2pm and Sunday 7am to 12.

Saint Francis Sno Angels will have their clubhouse open for lunches starting at 11am and will continue throughout the winter. Portage Lakers will be having a club ride on Saturday meet at Dean’s at 9:30am.

For sledders who are interested, there is now Snowmobile storage available for Monthly accommodations in Caribou. They are located at the Crown Park Inn; phone number is 207-493-3311. Units are Small, Medium, and Large. Price is $50, $75, $100. Caribou Snowmobile Storage located off trail 83A near Caribou Cabins. Call for more information call 498-3508.

THE FORKS AREA TRAILS GROOMING UPDATE (03/21/2019)
Riders are reporting that they have been enjoying some fine spring riding this week in The Forks! Still plenty of snow and we have been grooming regularly. Trails are pretty smooth except intown as noted below. We will continue to groom through March 31 as conditions allow.
  • ITS 86 east towards Greenville – because of heavy traffic, intown gets beat up quickly. Once out of town just 1 mile, things improve. Power Line section at Moxie Pond is fine. Great riding all the way to the ITS 88 intersection.
  • Kennebec River Trail - good snow all the way through from Berry’s Store to Northern Outdoors.
  • Bald Mountain Trail - plenty of snow with good riding. This trail connects to the Bingham Windmill Trail, as well as the Breakneck Ridge Trail (see note below regarding the Windmill Trail).
  • ITS 87 south towards Bingham - in fine shape. Great cruising all the way with some nice views of Sugarloaf Mtn and the Bigelow Range.
  • Pleasant Pond Trail - will not be opened this season, due to a winter long logging operation. Several miles of plowed roads.
  • Caratunk Spur - open and in good shape.



    **** **** The south end of the Windmill Trail off of ITS 87 has been plowed and there is now active logging going on. The Windmill Trail off of ITS 87 is now posted closed. You can still access the windmills from the north end, via the Bald Mountain Trail or Breakneck Ridge Trail. However, there is no longer a through trail. It is a dead end at the windmills and you’ll have to back track.

    With the deep snowpack, there are a lot of animals using the trails at all times of day and night to get around, particularly deer. Be careful out there.

    Jim Yearwood
    Forks Area Trails Club

    ATV Enthusiasts Please Remember: It is against the law to operate an ATV, dune buggy, 4 wheel drive vehicle, motorcycle or any other motor vehicle on snowmobile trails that are funded by the Club/Municipal grant program at any time of the year, unless the landowners have granted permission to do so.


    Welcome to our newest feature, an on-line newsletter and report update for our snowmobiling site. We will be providing up-to-date e-mail notification of trail report information, sudden changes in conditions and other relevant information throughout the winter months. If you would like to start receiving our newsletter, please type your e-mail address below and submit it to us.

 

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