This summer the Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) completed their part of the Katahdin Tourism Partnership’s “Grindstone Falls River Walk” project. Supported by a $11,650 grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the MCC developed the MCC developed a portion of a new 1.6-mile walking trail along the East Branch of the Penobscot River between Grindstone Falls Rest Area and Big Pines Turnout on the Grindstone Road. The Grindstone River Walk project was sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation and funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.
“Grindstone Falls River Walk” is the second in a series of on-the-ground projects slated to take place over the next few years along the 89-mile Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. Designed to improve safety along the Byway and enhance the visitor experience, these projects are the outcome of a 6-year collaboration between the Katahdin Tourism Partnership (KTP) and Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT).
The Katahdin Tourism Partnership (KTP) was originally formed in 2011 to assist the MaineDOT in the development and implementation of a Corridor Partnership Plan for the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway. One of the goals identified in the Plan, and the ultimate goal of the KTP, is to create a world-class visitor experience that will strengthen the tourism industry in the greater Katahdin region and stimulate the local economy.
MaineDOT’s Scenic Byways Coordinator, Fred Michaud said, “Gateways Facilities and smaller projects like the Grindstone Falls River Walk will improve the traveler’s experience in the Katahdin area by providing infrastructure and amenities that will encourage folks to stay, explore, and return.”
The partnership with the MaineDOT is one of many forged by the KTP that supports the organization’s efforts. For instance, Lakeville Shores, Inc., a Maine-based forestry management company and landowner, gifted about four acres of land along the East Branch Penobscot and Grindstone Road now known as Big Pines Recreational Area. The land at Big Pines is being put into conservation and is open to the public as a tranquil spot to enjoy scenic river views. A second site downstream owned by Penobscot County has been improved and will provide the public with yet another opportunity to relax and take in the beauty of the river.
The Grindstone Falls River Walk project was sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Conservation and funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. This project was funded in part by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, for which proceeds from the sale of a dedicated instant lottery ticket “MAINE-AH Money” are used to support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation. For more information about MOHF, go to www.maine.gov/ifw/MOHF.html
With representation from all seven communities along the Byway, the KTP operates as an open network of stakeholders guided by a Steering Committee and is committed to working across geographic and municipal boundaries. Information on the Katahdin Tourism Partnership is available online at www.katahdinpartnership.org.