Snowmobile Trail Report (week of January 17, 2018)

Gary Marquis, Special to The County
6 years ago

This past week really tested all County projects from Allagash all the way down to Danforth and everyone in between. 

Most clubs have been grooming night and day since the storm and are reporting good conditions. The snowpack is quite deep and should hold up after the warm-up, with another possibly 6 inches of snow predicted for Saturday into Saturday night. Though some might think the warm stretch is a bad thing, it is going to help put some moisture in the snow, which will help set it up well.

Please use caution, as the snow is deep and the animals are staying out on the trails.

There is a dogsled race this weekend in Eagle Lake, please use caution while in this area.  The trails will be marked.

Something that riders can do to help clubs out is, if you see signs down or buried in snow, please clean off the front of them or stand them back up.  Let’s help these clubs as they will have their hands full with more snow on the way.

Trail info

ITS 92: This trail is groomed and in great shape from Fort Kent all the way to the Allagash. Make sure you stop in to the Saint Francis Clubhouse on your way through or grab a bite to eat at Two Rivers Restaurant in Allagash.  Gas is available trailside at Chamberlain’s.

ITS 90: This trail has been in good condition from one end to the other.  Just be mindful as in the Fort Fairfield section and the Caribou Area through the swamps you might encounter a little water after the warm-up.   Deer have been reported off the brown road, and there is a logging operation up off RT 228, so please use caution.

ITS 120: Allagash has reported they have gone done all the way to where they meet with Eagle Lake and reports are in good shape.

ITS 83: This trail is in very good shape from one end to the other.  Presque Isle has a new route; they will no longer be going over the Presque Stream and this has been barricaded.  The trail goes up by the Presque Isle Inn and Convention center and connects with ITS 88.  It has been completely signed.  The new map shows these changes.   There is a logging operation at the intersection of ITS 90W and 83; watch for signs.  Please slow down near the house in Westfield.  There will be a logging operation near Monticello; the trail is open until the logging starts, and the reroute is about 20 miles long so you will need to plan accordingly.   Molunkus Valley Sno-Drifters is reporting a reroute that is a 1.5 mile, this section will be marked over the weekend.  Benedicta Sno-Gang are reporting their section of 83 is in good shape.  They are reporting more rain down this way, so please use common sense during this warm-up.  

ITS 81: This trail is connected all the way through. There is a logging operation on the section in Grand Isle; please watch for signs.  Oxbow’s section of this trail is groomed and in good shape.  There is a logging operation where trail 98B and 81 intersect. Watch for signs.  Madawaska is reporting good conditions and will finish signing shortly

ITS 85: This trail is open and in good condition all the way through.  There is an active logging operation at the intersection of where Portage and Eagle Lake meet.  Frenchville is also reporting good conditions.  Fort Kent is reporting that there is a hole and water on the trail.   It is between Fort Kent and Frenchville and is signed; please use caution.  South of Oxbow is a 15 mile reroute; please watch for signs

ITS 105: This trail is in good condition.    

ITS 88: From Fort Fairfield through Presque Isle, Aroostook River and Ashland have reported good conditions.  

ITS 86: This trail is open and groomed from the border all the way to Oxbow.

Trail 61 in Washburn remains closed now.

Trail 89: This trail is open to the Black Bear Lodge and connects with trail 102 which is the old trail 100 that Pleasant Ridge Riders maintains.  From this intersection north to 94 still has not been connected.  Caribou will put it on social media when connected.

Trail 100: Caswell is reporting that they are all over every section of their trails and conditions are good.

Trail 71D is closed for the season as there is logging; this is in the Grand Lake Seboeis area.

Trail 81: This trail is in great shape.

Chapman is reporting good conditions and will suspend grooming until temps turn colder.

Trail 73 and 73B are being maintained by Fort Kent; conditions are good.

Central Aroostook Snowmobile Club reports a lot of moose traffic on the Number 9 Lake trail and Rte. 70A.

Southern Aroostook  

Bowlin-Mattagamon-Shin Pond: Trails are groomed out of Shin Pond South to Whetstone and west to Bowlin and Mattagamon.

Oxbow-Masardis: Grooming operations continue with all trails finished by the weekend. Rain and 46 degrees tomorrow should make for a great base to prolong the season.

Rockabema in Patten reports that they have hired someone to run the groomer but it’s slow going with 7 ft. drifts in some places. They are out on the trails grooming but have not made it through to Shin Pond. There is a club meeting potluck at the clubhouse starting at 5:30 on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Benedicta Sno-Gang – With the rain, the Sno-Gang is concentrating on getting all trails flat and ready. ITS 83 in Sherman/Whetstone Falls is being groomed with good/excellent conditions, and ITS 81 in Sherman/Benedicta/Mattawamkeag will be groomed tomorrow. Municipal Trail 70 in Benedicta/Whetstone Falls is closed for the season due to heavy logging.  

Big Valley Snow Club in Island Falls is reporting all trails groomed, ITS 83 to Oakfield and south to Sherman and connector 112 to Patten and 60 North to Linneus.

Linneus SnoSports reports ITS 83 is groomed. The club trails are still being worked on. 64 west to Drews Lake will be groomed but a landowner issue has shut down the trail after the lake. Linneus is down to one groomer but has plans to buy another.  

Linneus SnoSports Cross Country Ski Trail is groomed and perfect. 6.5 miles through woods and fields make for a great skiing experience. Coming out of the clubhouse trail there is a logging operation at the bottom of the hill. Follow the trail to the road that runs along the sled trail until you get to the little hill. Up and over that and you will come to the trail loop.

Meduxnekeag Ramblers have been out grooming and breaking through 7-8 ft. drifts. It has been hard going but ITS  83 and ITS  86 to St. Croix Stream have been packed, as has club trail 81. The section of ITS #86 between Littleton and Hodgon has not been groomed yet but will be done on Monday.

Molunkus Valley Sno-Drifters has most of its section of ITS#83 groomed and will be working on the Bible Point Trail on Saturday. Eastern Snow Riders report 3, 3A and ITS# 110 packed and groomed

Riders need to be aware that ALL trails are being used by deer, moose and other wildlife. Snow is so deep off trail that they have nowhere else to go. Two particular places with larger than normal concentrations of deer are ITS 83 north from Sherman and 3A and 3 out of Sherman.

On the social side

The Fort Fairfield Snowmobile Club will host breakfast this Sunday, Jan. 14, at the Clubhouse on the Strickland Road starting at 7 a.m.

The Ashland Snowmobile Club will have an open house this Sunday, Jan. 14.

The Presque Isle Snowmobile Club has stew night every Friday starting at 5 at their Clubhouse.

The St. Francis Sno Angels’ clubhouse is open Saturdays from 11-7.

The Meduxnekeag Ramblers Snowmobile Club breakfast is cancelled for this weekend.

The Washburn Trailrunners’ Clubhouse is open for the season from 8-12 Friday, 7-2 Saturday and 7-12 Sunday.  

The Pleasant Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club will have a stew night fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 4-7 at the clubhouse on 17 Pleasant Ridge Rd., with all proceeds to benefit the groomer fund.

The Pleasant Ridge Riders will host a breakfast fundraiser Sunday, Jan. 28, from 7-10, also to benefit the groomer fund.