There is a newly-formed group now meeting monthly in Franklin County called the Western Mountain Bicycle Association (WMBA). The WMBA is comprised of community members and teachers alike with the assistance of a Quebec-Labrador Foundation field-staff person.
The group envisions what they call the Franklin County Rail-Trail, "a potential eighty mile loop with Stratton to the north, Kingfield to the east, Strong in the south and through Phillips, Madrid, and Redington to Rangely in the west, and back to Stratton" when complete.
Their mission is to promote the development of a bike trail which will honor and preserve the history of the Narrow Gauge Railroad and provide a variety of terrain for a variety of riders in the north Franklin County area. Other trail uses will include cross country skiing, day hiking, snowmobiling, walking, interpretive/nature use and it will be accessible for persons with disabilities in selected areas.
The WMBA's primary interests are to promote community involvement, mountain bike trails, recreational activity, public service opportunities, and tourism development. Overall, the trail is the focus of future place-based learning initiative sponsored by School District #58 which will include elementary, middle, and high school student involvement.
The Franklin County Rail-Trail Project is a grassroots initiative. Any volunteer support or input is welcome. Volunteer possibilities include, but are not limited to committee involvement, fundraising, map assembly, sign installation, talk to landowners, and trail construction. Donations of heavy construction "time" would be greatly appreciated.
For more project information, please direct any questions to the following contact representative:Jamison Olson
Photograph supplied by Sally Milliken.
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