AUGUSTA, Maine — On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage will help dedicate a summit trail on Haystack Mountain in Castle Hill in honor of a Presque Isle native who was killed in Iraq five years ago.
The Dustin J. Libby Trail will be dedicated at 8:30 a.m. in memory of Marine Cpl. Libby of Castle Hill, who was 22 when he was killed in action on Dec. 6, 2006, while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned as a squad leader to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Libby was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq at the time of his death. He had served in the country previously in 2004. Between his two Iraq tours, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
The trail was renamed through legislation sponsored by state Rep. Alexander Willette, R-Mapleton, and passed by the Legislature last March.
The summit hiking trail at Haystack Mountain in Castle Hill is part of a 215-acre area owned and managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and maintained by the town of Castle Hill.
“We are very pleased to be able to honor the memory of a dedicated Maine Marine who gave his life in service to his country and our state,” said Will Harris, director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands. “It is very appropriate that this trail, which offers one of the best 360-degree views of Aroostook County, should be dedicated to Cpl. Libby’s memory.”
Members of the Libby family, LePage and Conservation Commissioner Bill Beardsley are expected to attend Friday’s dedication.
Maynard Brothers General Contracting of Presque Isle donated the stone that was engraved for the trailhead marker. The engraving was donated by Aroostook Monuments of Presque Isle. A bronze commemorative plaque will be placed on a park bench at the trail summit.
Haystack Mountain has an elevation of 1,142 feet and is located about 10 miles west of Presque Isle. Hikers reach the summit after a moderate climb of about one-third of a mile.
According to www.mainetrailfinder.com, “[t]he views are spectacular and will not disappoint.” They include views of Mount Katahdin and the Scopan Lake Public Land Unit, wooded forests of the North Maine Woods, farmlands, Maine’s first windmill project on Mars Hill, and Aroostook State Park, Maine’s first state park.
For information on Maine state parks and historic sites, go to www.parksandlands.com.