Crooked River Academy builds trail bridges on Douglas Mountain

TRANSPORTING BRIDGE MATERIALS — Crooked River Academy students carry one of the stringers for a new bridge on the Douglas Mountain Scout Trail.  Pictured left to right are Justin Rice, Taylor Garrett, Mark Kemp-Libby, Cody Parker, Derek Secord, Dakoda Bellavance and instructor Brian Clark. (Photos by Allen Crabtree)

TRANSPORTING BRIDGE MATERIALS — Crooked River Academy students carry one of the stringers for a new bridge on the Douglas Mountain Scout Trail. Pictured left to right are Justin Rice, Taylor Garrett, Mark Kemp-Libby, Cody Parker, Derek Secord, Dakoda Bellavance and instructor Brian Clark. (Photos by Allen Crabtree)

By Allen Crabtree

Special to The News

SEBAGO — “When we’re through building these two new footbridges, Douglas Mountain hikers will have an easier way to climb the mountain,” said Brian Clark.

Clark mobilized a crew of his students and over two days in early June, along with fellow teacher Lynne Harrison worked with volunteers from the Crooked River Academy to do trail improvements and built two new footbridges along the Douglas Mountain Scout Trail in Sebago.

One footbridge was installed near the trail entrance across a tumbling mountain stream. Students then brushed out a short trail through the woods to allow hikers to bypass a section of the snowmobile trail that is often muddy and difficult to cross. The new trail rejoins the main hiking/snowmobile trail on the other side of the muddy section.

A second footbridge was installed farther down the Scout Trail, where it crossed another mountain stream. This stream crossing was often slippery, especially when the rocks were icy, and at least one hiker had fallen and injured himself there in the past.

Sebago Selectman Jeff Harriman had contacted Clark at the Lake Region High School on behalf of the Douglas Mountain Committee to solicit their help to do the trail improvements. Harriman suggested that doing trail improvements and building two footbridges on the trail would benefit both the town of Sebago and people who hike the Douglas Mountain trails. Clark agreed and the two made plans to have a crew of students come. The town provided materials and the students contributed their labor.

Sebago Selectman Chris Parker donated telephone poles to be the stringers for the two bridges and hauled them into place for the students.  Clark and Harrison recruited students Mark Kemp-Libby, Justin Rice, Taylor Garrett, Cody Parker, Derek Secord, Dakoda Bellavance, McKae Curran, Ryan Kruger, Jordan Morgan, Ashley Decker and Bryan Barbosa to help.

On June 4-5, students installed the bridge stringers over the two streams and then installed deck boards to complete the footbridges. They then completed the trail bypass. The two-foot bridges and the new trail bypass have already been used by hikers, and are a welcome and positive improvement to the Douglas Mountain hiking experience.

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