January 07, 2020
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Blame the beavers: Down East Sunrise Trail suffers 2 more washouts

Courtesy of Down East Sunrise Trail
Courtesy of Down East Sunrise Trail
State officials are warning users to be wary of washouts on the Down East Sunrise Trail after beavers making dams caused water buildups.

A popular walking trail in Hancock and Washington counties had two severe washouts just after state workers fixed a third caused by a beaver dam on Thursday.

The washouts of the Down East Sunrise Trail in Township 7 near Muckleberry Pond at mile 20.3 and in Harrington at mile 37 were reported Friday. They followed a washout in Columbia Falls in Washington County on Wednesday at mile 45 of the 87-mile trail, trail workers said.

Postings on the Down East Sunrise Trail Facebook page said it was clear that beavers making lodges were responsible for the damage.

One poster wrote, “In my 12 years of managing this trail, I have never had three major washouts happen within a 3-day period. So much beaver activity I cannot keep up with it.”

Workers have posted detour signs around the impassable washouts and advise trail users to exercise caution whenever they come near a washout or high water.

Pictures of the washouts revealed severe damage and exposed culvert piping. A contractor finished replacing a culvert at the Columbia Falls washout sometime Thursday.

The beaver who caused the damage will be trapped and relocated, if need be, Corliss said Wednesday.

The 87-mile trail runs between Ellsworth and Pembroke.


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