(4/25/23) We continue to make progress with growing the club. Over the past 2 seasons we have done the following…
New Trail Head Aluminum Signs with QR Codes installed at trailheads and intersections where sledders can use their phone’s camera to scan and access our website for important information such as trail updates, where to eat, buy gas and lodging options.
Our First Ever Website! Our new website is simple and effective giving information on trail conditions (updated every 3-4 days during the season), lodging, where to eat, local trails and links to other clubs that our trails connect to. You can view it here at: eastgrandsnowmobiling.com or use our new 2nd web address: Mainesnowmobiling.com
Increased Memberships from 37 in 2021 to 117 in 2023, before we had a website, we would end up with about 40 members per season. Now with the ability to join and make payments and donations online, we increased our memberships to 59 last season and 119 this season, a record high for sure! This is our 2nd season with a website and we log on and maintain it often!
Better Signing: We set a goal of continued improvements to our signage with the end goal being safety and assisting sledders new to the area with finding their way around easily and all the feedback is saying it is working very well! March 5th we had a sign inspection done along with our trails GPS updated. George Hurteau, Recreational Trail Coordinator with the Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry & BPL, gave us high marks on our trails!
New Local Loop Trail: This is our 3rd season with our new local 12-mile loop trail #7 that serves the majority of camps and businesses in the Greenland Cove and Sandy Beach Road areas on East Grand Lake. It used to be a one way 5-mile dead end trail ending at the Boulder Road. This is a huge improvement and it is multi use. The local ATV club uses it as well. An improvement with recreational riding in our area for sure!
100 Mile Loop: we’ve been promoting by sharing a link on our website and through social media with what we call a 100-mile loop over four local snowmobile club trails including Quad County Snowmobile Club in Springfield to our southwest, Linneus Sno sports to our north, and Eastern Maine Snow Riders to our west in Reed Plantation. As a result, we’re seeing a lot more through traffic on our ITS Connector Trail 105 as many are discovering the trails south of interstate 95. Many coming from the Sherman area are looking for trails less traveled. See supporting documents. Talking with a local who lives south of town and in view of trail 105, Carl commented that he has seen way more traffic this winter on the trial then any of the previous 13 years he has lived here!
Northern Maine Snowmobile Trails Map 2022-2023: We worked with the folks at Visitaroostook.com to get our trails updated on the present map. We also encouraged the only gas station and restaurant serving lunch & dinner in town to buy an advertisement so folks could easily find gas & food from the map. See supporting documents.
Higher Usage of our Trails: we’re seeing more traffic and hearing from many that our trails are a well keep secret, well maintained and less traffic than the trails to our north. Local businesses report increased sales as a result.
From 2 to 8 Lodging Partners: There are now over 100 beds trailside in the East Grand Lake area offered by our lodging partners in the towns of Danforth and Weston setting us up for future economic growth making the East Grand Lake area a sledding destination!
Five Certified Groomer Operators: We’ve gone for 3 to 5 certified groomer operators which gives us better consistency when it comes to grooming our trails during the peak season. There is nothing more frustrating when you are short on groomer operators and they/we are all off sledding and unavailable to get the trails in good shape during peak season!
New One Mile Reroute: This past November, we had a landowner issue intown which threatened to shut down our Connector Trails 105. Our local game warden Tyler Leach visited with the land owner and reported back that he thought it was best to processed with a reroute so as not to lose the trail during the sledding season. Our members sprang into action gaining permission to build this 105 reroute keeping trail 105 open for traffic north and south as well as accessing the region’s only fuel. We also went from more than 12 land owners that we crossed over down to three! This trail will be multi use and the local ATV club chipped in funds to assist with this last-minute project!
Landowner Appreciation Dinner: Wee had what is our first landowner appreciation dinner in many years with over 30 in attendance.
Our Next Steps/Goals:
Land Purchase and a Groomer Garage: We’ve never owned property with a building to store our machines in. On March 23rd, we made an offer on a piece of land strategically located on our trail system in town Danforth directly across from the Millyard restaurant and the region’s only gas station and it was accepted! Our next step is to build a groomer garage to store our machines in. Presently, our machines are stored in a building that one of our members has. He owns a construction business and when his equipment comes out in the spring, we’re able to store our machines during the summer into the fall but this is not a long-term solution.
Professional Grant Writers: We are actively engaging professional grant writers to assist us with pursuing and finding grants for our club for brush cutting equipment and to fund our groomer garage. Our efforts to promote the region as a sledding destination work well with the overall vision of the Greater East Grand Region Economic Council.
Our Trail Extending to The South: We used to have a trail towards Vanceboro but it shut down many years ago due to lack of involvement. The Vanceboro Lambert Lake Snow Hounds to our southeast recently purchased a ‘new to them’ New Holland tractor and drag from another club and we are in discussions with extending our trail south to the Forest City Road and the Vanceboro/Lambert Lake Snow Hounds are very interested in connecting to us at the Forest City Road. With our 2nd machine, this is very doable. We’ll be submitting plans to Joe Higgins.