Trail Maintenance Policies

as formulated in the 1980’s….

  1. The aim of the Monhegan Associates Trails Committee shall be to preserve the natural state of Monhegan’s wildlands. In its work on the trails the Committee shall strive to leave as little evidence as possible of human activities.
  2. Clipping of trails should be unobtrusive, with the clippings hidden off the trail, close to the ground.
  3. When trimming trails remember that each foot of the way is a place of wild NATURAL beauty. You are not just cutting an easy highway from the trail beginning to a place of beauty and peace at the end.
  4. On worn trails, watch for small loops formed by roots exposed by traffic. They should be clipped and removed for safety.
  5. If a young tree near the path needs extensive trimming, it is better to saw the tree off level with the ground than to trim it and leave it in a disfigured condition.
  6. When removing small trees or shrubs, ALWAYS saw them off level with the ground.
  7. When evergreen trees are about 2′ high, clip them at ground level if they are growing within about 4′ from the edge of the trail.
  8. When trimming branches, do not leave 4 or 5 inches sticking out from the trunk. Saw or clip them flush with the trunk of the tree (provided that the branch can be trimmed without disfiguring the tree; see 2 and 4 above.
  9. The trails should be marked at each end with a sign (about 2.5 inches square with a green background and white letters or numerals).  Painting of trail signs directly on rocks and trees is not in keeping with the aims of the Trails Committee.
  10. A sign with double arrows may also be used where two trails intersect.
  11. Where deer paths intersect trails, they may be blocked with brush and the correct trail indicated, if necessary, with a cairn.*
  12. Where trail signs are needed at trail ends or intersections, and no trees are available to mount them on, cairns may be built.
  13. Cairns may also be useful to indicate a trail crossing on open space (for instance, across the top of BlackHead) if care is taken not to use too many.
  14. Painting of trail signs is not in keeping with the aims of the Trails Committee.
  15. No existing trails will be closed nor new trails established without the approval of the Trustees. Minor modifications to existing trails may be made at the discretion of the Trails Committee Chairman.

The above criteria are not exhaustive. It is probable that the Trustees and Trails Committee, jointly, will want to add to them as experience warrants.

As a protection for both the Trails Committee and for the Monhegan Associates, trails policy ought to be set by the Trustees in consonance with the Monhegan Associates’ statement of purpose.

*Deer no longer inhabit the island but the comment is left for historical purposes!