This fall, Androscoggin Land Trust Board member, Debbie Poliquin, and her friends Venise Wilding, Penny Gimpel and Lynne Barlow met at Riverlands State Park in Turner for a fall mountain bike ride. It had recently rained, so some of the trails were wet. The rain puddles did not discourage them, however, from riding and exploring this beautiful landscape. The area offers double wide trails, single track trails, and hiking trails, all surrounding the beautiful Androscoggin River. It’s a must see for anyone when in Central Maine!
(History of Riverlands State Park) In the mid-1980s, the potential sale of a vast parcel of land along the Androscoggin River in Turner left a cherished local landscape vulnerable to development. Compelled toward action, a small group of area residents began brainstorming ways to preserve the land as open space and to maintain its longstanding public access. Drawing upon the expertise of statewide conservation organizations, they succeeded in securing funds from the fledgling Lands for Maine’s Future Program to purchase the land, which was then transferred to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands for management.
Today, the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park is the fifth largest in the state park system, a 2675-acre expanse that offers miles of public trails, river access, year-round recreational opportunities, and significant natural habitat for wildlife.
This successful grassroots effort at land protection was the catalyst for the creation of the Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) in 1989 as a vehicle for continuing conservation efforts in the region. Over the 30+ years since its founding, ALT has worked hand-in-hand with local landowners and organizations to protect significant local lands that give our region its character and safeguard them for future generations.
-Debbie Poliquin, ALT Board Director