Beginning in 2013 we are extending the Pathway 2.5 additional miles towards Angevine Park, thereby linking several of the local recreation areas, and bringing the Pathway closer to the Bethel Water District and Bingham Forest lands. Our goal is to have a 12-foot wide multi-use recreational pathway with a significant portion paved. The route will cross some of the same ground as the snowmobile trail that goes from Bethel into the Sunday River Valley but will only share it for a short distance at both the east and west ends where it leaves the North Road and then comes back to it. About 2.2 miles will be off the road and .3 along two sections of the North Road.
Mahoosuc Pathways will be working closely with the DEP to obtain permits for access near designated deer yard and wetlands.
The rough cost estimate for the 2.5 mile extension is: $10-20 per foot = $110,000- $220,000 with paving costing an additional $20-30/ foot= $220,000-$330,000. Northern Oxford Health and Services Council has committed $25,000, and several grants have been written for additional construction funding. Mahoosuc Pathways and the Town will continue to seek in-kind donations and financial support for the project. The Town will assume maintenance for the trail extension when it is finished.
The Bingham Forest is a 2,400-acre preserve recently acquired by the town located between the North Road and the back side of the Sunday River ski resort. The land is subject to a trust that permanently protects these lands for the benefit of the people of Maine and provides restrictions on the use of the land. We are assisting the town with the planning stages for a network of walking, mountain biking and Nordic ski trails in this area. We have written a letter of support to the Bethel Conservation Commission and assisted the town with grant writing and drafting the management plan for the state.