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‘Happy Trails’ for Conway, Ashfield: State awards trail grants

  • Mike Barlow of the Conway Snowmobile Club uses one of their trail grooming machines. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Thursday, September 22, 2016

With a $67,688 Recreational Trails Program grant, the Conway Snowmobile Club will be able to buy equipment for snowmobile trail grooming throughout a 120-mile trail system that the club maintains and grooms in winter. This trail connects to four bordering towns and encompasses the Conway State Forest, the South River State Forest and private lands.

And the Franklin Land Trust will be able to complete a critical trail connection in the Ashfield trails network, between Sanderson Academy and the Bear Swamp Reservation, with the help of a $7,495 Recreational Trails Program grant.

This trail project also will include the purchase of an all-terrain vehicle to be used by trail volunteers and builders, to help carry materials and equipment to project sites.

On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that 30 organizations across the state were awarded about $1 million for maintenance and development of trail projects throughout the state. The snowmobile club and the land trust were the only two groups in Franklin County to receive these grants.

“When completed, these projects will promote a healthy, active lifestyle for the public to be able to incorporate within their daily lives,” Baker said.

State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, thanked the Baker administration for selecting the Franklin Land Trust and Conway Snowmobile Club for these grants. “This investment will help ensure that our local organizations can continue to improve on the existing network of trails for the benefit of everyone throughout Franklin County and the Commonwealth,” Kulik said.

Besides construction and trail maintenance for hiking trails, bikeways and off-road vehicle trails, the grants can be used to improve long-distance trails and rail trails. Each recipient matches their grant with at least 20 percent in funding or in-kind services. The state money comes from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles such as ATVs and snowmobiles.