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River Valley Outdoors
Author on an early-season trail finds some snow at higher elevation -- in beautiful, spring t-shirt weather. (William Clunie Photo)
Plenty to Do During Mud Season
Lots of folks that normally get out during the rest of the year seem to avoid doing anything during what many refer to as “Maine’s Mud Season.”
That would be a big mistake here in the River Valley -- there’s so much to do that it boggles the mind. This early warm weather allows folks a chance to get out and enjoy the extra time outdoors in comfort. The lack of rain this year also makes hiking the wooded mountain trails less muddy.
I called around to check with a few local businesses to see what they had to offer for those that just can’t wait to dust off that old layer of cabin fever -- and I was pleasantly surprised to see so much going on.
I phoned Jackie Chase, from Chase Cyclery in Andover, and asked her what she had planned for this season of wonderful, early-spring weather.
The bike shop owner said, “I run road and mountain bike trips through the local recreation center. A lot of bike riders also call and ask us to map out a ride for them for the day. All they have to do is call our shop and we can set them up.”
The helpful cycle shop owner can be reached by calling the shop at 392-3732, or by stopping in to the Andover shop at 133 N. Main Street.
Bethel Bicycle LLC, in Bethel, also runs bike trips every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Their website (bethelbicycle.com) shows their schedule and lists further information for anyone that would like to ride with them. Riders can also check in at their shop at 53 Mayville Rd. in Bethel, or call them at 824-0100. Maggie Lore runs the program and asked that folks get on their email list by contacting her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
River Valley hikers are probably already aware of the “Peak-A-Week Club.” This group offers a weekly hike from April 4 through October 10, and meets every Wednesday at the Information Parking Lot in Rumford at 5 p.m.
This same group of hikers also has a canoeing and kayaking program running throughout the spring and summer. Several lake and pond paddling trips have been planned in conjunction with the hiking trips. Interested paddlers can contact Marsha McKenna at 357-5582 for further information.
The Mahoosuc Land Trust has organized a series of outdoor adventures for this year, too. One hike that looked interesting will take place at 10 a.m. on April 29th. Hikers can call 824-3606 for more information on their schedule or visit their website at mahoosuc.org.
Don’t let a little mud keep you from getting outdoors this time of year. There happens to be quite an array of healthy activities going on all across the River Valley that should keep folks from staying indoors. Hiking or riding through the scenic mountains that surround this region offers plenty of fresh-air opportunities for those willing to do a little searching.