The Bridgton Easy Riders on a club trip to Madawaska last season. Photo courtesy of Bridgton Easy Riders

Snowmobile clubs in the Lakes Region have been busy in the past few months, brushing trails and repairing bridges. Now they’re ready for some heavy snow. Here’s a look at what local clubs are doing this season:

BRIDGTON

The Bridgton Easy Riders have been busy working on their trails since September, said Trail Master Steve Brill, including brushing and building bridges.

The club holds a few events throughout the year, including a members-only snowmobiling trip up north, and maintains 67 miles of trails.

Brill said membership is “up a little bit” from last year, totaling 110 members.

CASCO

Crooked River Snowmobile Club recently got approval for a new building, which will be used to hold functions, adjacent to the town fire station on land that the town is leasing to the club.

Trail Master Bob Symonds said they’re hoping to have the building ready for next season.

In the meantime, he said, there weren’t many big projects to be done on the trails, so the club hasn’t done much trail maintenance.

A house has been built in one of the club’s major loop systems, so the group’s trail network has decreased to 45 miles.

Crooked River has 30-40 members, but Symonds said “there’s not a lot of volunteers, only three to four of us that really do a lot.”

He has a new device to attach to his groomer that will keep tree limbs back, so he hopes “that will save us a lot of man hours.” 

GORHAM

The Gorham SnoGoers started their work in July.

“We had two large reroutes needed due to approved housing developments that were in various stages of development. This entailed cutting completely new 10- to 12-foot wide trails, followed by stumping, chipping what was cut and leveling with large equipment,” club President Thomas Mazza said Monday.

The club widened other sections of trails, because “we feel like a wider trail is a safer trail,” Mazza said, and spent “hundreds of hours”  brushing and signing trails to improve safety and ease of use.

“We think riders will really enjoy the over 100 new signs that we placed on our trails this year. We have also been very active getting our grooming equipment ready for the season with some needed repairs and maintenance,” he said.

The club purchased a Sno-Place groomer and drag to accompany its two, full-size track truck groomers and two Skandic Snowmobile groomers, he said.

“We have approximately 54 miles of trails in our network which includes a section of Interconnected Trail System 89. Our trails connect riders to all of our surrounding towns.”

Mazza said the group is celebrating 50 years of being an organized club and is selling commemorative anniversary stickers and T-shirts.

In addition, it is hosting a social gathering at Sebago Brewery in Gorham from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 9. “All current, past members, or anyone interested in our club or snowmobiling in general are welcome to come,” he said.

Weather permitting, the SnoGoers plan a trailside event in late January or early February that will include groomer rides.

GRAY/NEW GLOUCESTER 

Royal River Riders has completed three work weekends, including repairing two bridges and building a new one.

Club Treasurer Andrea Segars said the club is working on “maintaining what we have” in terms of trails since “our options are limited for extra space.” 

The Muddy River Sno Seekers of Naples work to rebuild a bridge in November. Photo courtesy of Muddy River Sno Seekers

The club maintains 25 miles of trails, but membership has decreased to 17 members.

“We literally have six (members) that actually help with trail maintenance,” Segars said. “The younger generation doesn’t really want to take part in it. It takes lot of people and a lot of hours. A lot of people just don’t want to do it, take the time or effort.”

The club will be holding a calendar raffle in January and February and a fundraising dance in March.

NAPLES

Muddy River Sno Seekers has “done a ton of work,” said President Greg Reinhard, including re-planking bridges and brushing trails.

Individual membership has decreased from 50 last year to 30 this year, but the number of business members has increased from 13 to 22.

“Things are really going good,” Reinhard said. “We’re getting a big attendance at our meetings and on work days.”

The club, which maintains 63 miles of trails, plans to hold cookouts at its clubhouse this year; for more information, visit the club’s website.

In the meantime, Reinhard said, “we need another 18 inches (of snow) or so” in order to get moving.

STANDISH

The Muddy River Sno Seekers of Naples worked on clearing trails this fall. Photo courtesy Muddy River Sno Seekers

The Standish Sno-Seekers has just completed its clubhouse, located next to Johnson Field, which will be used as a warming hut and a location to store and work on equipment. It will also be home to the club’s snack shack. Shaw Earthworks donated the land to the club, which renovated an old garage on the property.

President Paul Politz said the club has done two bridge repairs this year and has been working on re-signing some of its trails. In addition, he said, “we did pick up a piece of equipment so we can groom railroad tracks, so going from Gorham to Steep Falls will be groomed now.”

Politz also hopes to collaborate with the Windham Drifters and Gorham SnoGoers on a three-club ride this year.

The club maintains 62 miles of trail and has 36 members, an increase from last year.

WESTBROOK

The Westbrook Trail Blazes have “spent almost three months doing trail work,” said Trail Master Anthony Latini.

Members built 10 new bridges and installed lots of new signs, so the past few months have been “very, very busy for us,” Latini said.

He hopes to purchase some new equipment next year because the club has spent “thousands this year on engine work and repairs” on its old equipment.

The club has about 50 members and maintains 32 miles of trails.

WINDHAM

The Windham Drifters Snowmobile Club is “ready to go,” said Trail Master Bob Casey.

Members have rebuilt five bridges thus far this year, and the club bought a new mower to bushwhack its trails.

The club maintains 37 miles of trails, and Casey said “there is some chatter about adding a quarter mile spur.”

Casey said the club has 75-80 members thus far, but he thinks they’ll have 100 members as the season progresses.

At this point, we’re just waiting for snow to fly,” he said. 

The Raymond Rattlers Snowmobile Club and the Sebago Branch Duckers did not respond to requests for comment.

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