New Trails Along Old Canada Scenic Byway For Hikers, Runners, Bicyclists
This week The Morning Sentinel of Waterville Maine reported on the planned development of expanded trails on the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway that follow along the Dead and Kennebec Rivers in The Forks, Maine. We at Northern Outdoors have been following the project closely and are excited for the expanded walking, hiking, bicycling, and running recreational opportunities that these trails bring to our region in the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, these trails will be open to snowmobilers with exceptional riverside scenery. (A note to our ATV friends, there are a lot of ATV-designated trails already in the area during non-winter months as these join with the tremendous ITS network in our part of western Maine.)
There are two trails planned for completion by September 2015. The central trail follows the Lower Kennebec River along the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway from Solon past Northern Outdoors in The Forks and up about three miles along the Kennebec River to Moxie Falls. The 2nd trail branches off at the confluence of the Dead River and Kennebec River and follow the Dead River all the way to Grand Falls. This trail connects to Maine Huts & Trails’ new Grand Falls hut, completing a world class hiking loop within the region. This trail, when completed, will be 14 miles one way. The Kennebec trail will be 8 miles, using the existing FAST (Forks Area Scenic Trail) that runs for 5 miles on the Old Canada Scenic Byway a from Northern Outdoors to The Forks confluence.
According to the Morning Sentinel: “They say the trails along the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway would boost the tourism industry in the area, which is already near two major Maine trail systems — the Appalachian Trail and the Maine Huts & Trails System.
The byway, which stretches 78 miles from the Solon-Madison town line to the Canadian border, is one of four National Scenic Byways in the state, roads that have been designated as having cultural, historic and natural importance. There are 125 such roads across the U.S.