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Snow Riders Gain Access to Maple Corner Store

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Image from Vecteezy.
Snowmobile riders may now go directly to the Maple Corner Community Store and Whammy Bar for a bit of lunch, thanks to a recent action by the Calais Selectboard. Previously, the snowmobile trail crossed a distance away and did not have direct access to the store. Steve Gray, trailmaster of the Mountain Tamers snowmobile club, asked and received permission for his group to use a small portion of Kent Hill Road for access during the Dec. 11 board meeting. 

Gray described the newly requested part of the trail as leaving the main Vermont Association of Snow Travelers corridor and traveling in a short spur westerly about 0.02 of a mile, or less, along Kent Hill Road, and then crossing the County Road to the Maple Corner Store. Jamie Moorby, a selectboard member who is also a manager at the store, gave her hearty support. 

“I would just like to say that this idea came up in part because the snow machine trail used to cross through some backyards and deadend in what used to be my front yard across from the store,” Moorby said. “This idea has been bouncing around the store for a little while now. It would be great for snow riders as well as the store for the weekend lunch business and what not.” She further said the store would gladly help get the right signs in place for the project. The arrangement would be mutually beneficial to the riders and to the store, she said.

Gray made a point to bring up what he saw as potential drawbacks, including the safety for snowmobilers for crossing the County Road, and potential conflicts in the Maple Corner Store parking lot. 

“After you get up Kent Hill Road, you’re going to have to cross the County Road at a diagonal, which is permitted, but potentially dangerous. The traffic isn’t super heavy … but parking in the driveway without obstructing other vehicles could become a problem and we also get concerned when we encourage snowmobilers after dark and things like that … so … that’s just concerns … I think they ought to be mentioned,” Gray said. 

Someone else at the meeting asked about how Kent Hill residents would respond. Gray and Moorby said they did not want to be a source of conflict in town and would work with any complaints that came their way. Selectboard Chair Anne Winchester said it was something they could try, and if there are problems, they can simply put a stop to it.

Following additional discussion, the board unanimously approved allowing snowmobilers to ride on a short portion of Kent Hill Road in order to get to the Maple Corner Community Store and Whammy Bar.

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