ATV Club Nears Goal of Statewide Trail Connection

The Sunrise Trail Riders have been reformed and are in the process of connecting Calais to the statewide network of ATV trails. A spaghetti supper will be held on October 17th to recruit new members and raise funds for the club. (Submitted photo)

By Lura Jackson

 

The project to connect Calais with the ATV trail network that runs throughout the state is nearing its goal, and club members are now being sought to assist with the continuing development of the established sections of the trail. To help raise awareness of the club, the Sunrise Trail Riders are holding a public spaghetti supper on October 17th, and all interested community members are invited to come. 

The Sunrise Trail Riders have been in existence for years, but interest in the club dwindled in the past when it became apparent that a connection to the statewide trails wasn’t forthcoming. With renewed interest and significant support from the community, the club was reformed and reorganized in July. The appointed officers are Bill Lee, president; Mark Harman, vice president; Suzy McDonald, secretary; Jim Porter, treasurer; Artie Mingo, guardian of membership. Trailmasters include Robbie Lyons, Ross Cookson and Jon Beech. The club now has an active membership of approximately 30 people. 

Since reforming, the club has been meeting regularly to plan work days and discuss progress on connecting the trail. “It’s going really good,” said Lee. He said that the club has made progress behind the cemetery, with a goal of connecting to the area behind Washington County Community College. Beyond that, the group aims to connect with the Hardscrabble Road.

“Once we get to the Hardscrabble Road, we can go anywhere in the state,” Lee said. The current proposed trail has met a roadblock in the form of a property owner that has not consented to allowing the trail to pass through their land. According to Lee, if that property owner continues to hold their ground, the club will utilize an alternate route. 

The club has been assisted by Charlie Corliss, Recreational Trail Coordination with the State Department of Conservation. “He said he’d help us in any way he could,” Lee said. “He’s been out there plotting different trails and speaking with landowners, answering any questions they have. He’s been very, very helpful. He’s a great resource to have.”

The Calais City Council has been another vocal supporter of the club. “The city council has been behind this 100 percent,” Lee said. He said that there have been discussions about having an ATV-focused weekend festival in future years in the fall that would potentially include an ATV parade. “We’re hoping to give people an alternate route to come and stop and shop.”

Many community members have offered their support in the form of donations of materials for the trail. Tradewinds Shop n’ Save and PATs Trading and Pawn have both donated food items for the upcoming public supper, which Lee says is “a way to get the general public familiar with us and what our goals are, and to get more people interested and answer any questions they may have.”

 

The supper will be held at the Methodist Homes Recreation Hall in Calais on October 17th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A small donation is requested of those wishing to attend. Afterwards, there will be a club meeting and all are welcome to join.