Winter trail users urged to use caution

Posted Dec. 23, 2009, at 10 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — People who plan to use the unfinished Downeast Sunrise Trail this winter are urged to use caution and to be on the lookout for hazards such as washouts and construction materials along the trail.

In October, the state opened 32 miles of the former rail line between Machias and Pembroke, state Department of Conservation officials indicated Wednesday in a prepared release. The remaining section of trail between Washington Junction in Hancock and Machias still is under construction but is expected to be opened in the fall of 2010.

Winter users are allowed to use western sections of the trail while the ground is hard but should be careful in areas where drainage improvements are not yet complete. All users, including hikers, snowmobilers, skiers and others, must stay off closed bridges, officials indicated.

The western section of trail is expected to be closed again in the spring when the ground thaws and work resumes. Because of safety concerns for the public and work crews, state officials plan to aggressively monitor closed sections of the trail in the spring for potential trespassers.

Information is available at www.maine.gov/doc/parks/programs/snowmobile/suntrail.html.

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