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Acadia Winter Trails Association Handled Winter with a Capital W

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK —  A brilliant mix of epic winter conditions, committed volunteer groomers and park staff, and the generous Elizabeth R. Bright Endowment for cross-country trail grooming in Acadia provided outstanding cross-country skiing conditions for thousands of visitors to Acadia this winter. The weather’s contribution to skiing was undeniable this year. In mid-January, the snow began to fall and did not stop until records were broken and Hancock County was buried in over 100 inches of snow. The unceasing snowstorms laid a great ski base while consistently cold temperatures helped maintain groomed trails on Acadia National Park’s historic carriage road system. The grooming season lasted until April 9th, for nearly three full months of outstanding outdoor recreation.

The Acadia Winter Trails Association’s volunteers matched the intensity of the snowfall with their grooming efforts. A group of 12 volunteer groomers put in more than 400 hours this season to groom ski routes around Witch Hole Pond, Eagle Lake, Aunt Betty Pond, and Sargent Mountain. In particular, Courtney Chaplin, Gordon Beck, Mark Fernald, Matt Gerrish, Phil Lichtenstein, Stephen Linscott, and Zack Steele each put in 30 to 100 hours of grooming this season.

In addition, Acadia National Park staff was a tremendous asset to the program for equipment maintenance and trainings. ANP Roads Foreman Alan Farnsworth and his crew made time for snowmobile maintenance between all the required snowplowing this winter, and Park Ranger Chris Wiebusch led multiple safety trainings for groomers.

Winter visitors to the park were overwhelmingly positive about the groomed trails and deep snow this winter. Trail conditions were regularly posted on Friends of Acadia’s Facebook page, and visitors often wrote enthusiastically about their own ski outings. Their comments included: “your good work transformed this winter into awesome,” “Happiness is fresh ski tracks!” and “I am a former Nordic Center owner and have a true of appreciation of groomers. They are the unsung heroes!”

Although the Elizabeth R. Bright Endowment provides funds for maintenance and fuel for grooming equipment, Friends of Acadia is currently seeking contributions to replace and upgrade two very old snowmobiles, to enable the volunteers to handle snowstorms more efficiently in future years. To learn more or make a donation, visit http://friendsofacadia.org/get-involved/acadia-winter-trails-association/.

 

WINTER 2015 BY THE NUMBERS

  • Inches of fallen snow                                     > 100
  • Hours that volunteers groomed                > 400
  • Volunteer groomers                                       12
  • New groomers trained                                   4

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 20, 2015

CONTACT: Paige Steele, Conservation Projects Manager, paige@friendsofacadia.org

 

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