Page 37 - WCM 2022 Winter
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 says. Davis interjects, “We could also get to Kingfield, Rangeley, Stratton and all points north. ‘’
Steve Brady explains that Center and Fairbanks bridges aren’t safe, as riders must use sidewalks, which places pedestrians and riders in danger. As a result, many riders avoid Farmington, resulting in a loss of revenue, not only for Farmington, but Industry and Wilton. “We’d earn about a thousand dollars a mile with a new trestle,” Dalrymple says.
Despite the absence of the trestle, the club remains enthusiastic about the sport, while still recognizing the peril. Dalrymple muses that the sport may be declining. “I think there’s a fair amount of apathy. Young people don’t seem to realize that it can all go away. If they see a stick or a tree in the middle of a trail, they won’t get off their sleds and move it. They’ll just run over it.”
The Shiretown club has 40 members, but the group reports that only about eight are active. Ellis chimes in, “When I joined the club, I couldn’t find anyone to ride with. They all said they were too busy working on trails.” The Bradys added that they keep working because, “It’s so satisfying when the trails look awesome.”
The group agrees that the camaraderie amongst
those who love the sport will sustain snowmobiling as meaningful recreation. To that end, Betsy Brady explains that a forum was started to address collective concerns of local clubs regarding snowmobiling’s future. Industry, Farmington, Chesterville, Wilton, Vienna, New Sharon and New Vineyard joined forces to address longevity, and hence the Western Foothills Cooperative was born. One of their projects was creating a map of local trails, an important endeavor, as the MSA produces maps for ITS trails only, but Farmington has local trails in the absence of a trestle. The maps were sold at the local fair and generated income for the coalition.
Dalrymple suggests other possible strategies to ensure the health of snowmobiling. “Start kids young. Urge the state to develop programs to perpetuate the sport. Branding and marketing works, and we need it on a large scale.” Steve Brady circled back to end on this note. “Here’s the thing - I’ve ridden to the north side of the St. Lawrence Seaway. On a snowmobile, you can truly go anywhere.”
And that, boys and girls, should be our slogan.
As long as the commitment and dedication to snowmobiling remains central to our lives, as it does to the brave souls I had the honor of interviewing, then the sport that we Mainers love will thrive despite the challenges we face. ✲
Featured Snowmobile Clubs
Want to make a difference in the sport of snowmobiling? Contact the groups below today to find out where you can help.
Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club
PO Box 152, Eustis, ME 04936
Fryeburg Area Snowmobile Association
PO Box 15, Fryeburg, ME 04037
Bridget Gorton: 207-935-3355 Association-128617913877713
Mexico Trailblazers
PO Box 160, Mexico, ME 04275 Snowmobile-Club-Maine-100180583395234
Norway Trackers Snowmobile Club
PO Box 541, Norway, ME 04268 Snowmobile-Club-757161857642803
Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club
PO Box 950, Rangeley, ME 04970
Shiretown Riders
Farmington, Maine
Rob Martin, president: 207-578-0233
Eric Ellis, vice president/membership: 207-431-1254 Betsy Brady, secretary: 207-660-5603
Galen Dalrymple, treasurer: 207-779-6628
Scott Davis, trail master: 207-778-9836
Dan Smiley, trail master: 207-491-1852
Wild River Riders
PO Box 16, West Bethel, ME 04286 37

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