In this October 2019 file photo, upper Shin Pond and Mount Chase is covered with morning fog. Credit: Courtesy of Fred S. Grandinetti

MT. CHASE, Maine — A new all-terrain vehicle trail being built by the Shin Pond Trail Riders ATV Club will connect two formerly separate trails — one in northern Penobscot and the other in Aroostook counties — and is expected to be ready in time for this summer.

The new trail, which starts in the Shin Pond area of Mt. Chase and extends to the Littleton/Monticello area, will allow ATV riders to traverse the two counties in a single day, where previously it would have required a multi-day trip, Shin Pond Trail Riders president Blaine King said.

“The biggest thing is connecting two areas that until this point have been vastly separated,” King said. “ATVs take a lot longer than snowmobiling to get from Point A to Point B, due to the fact that a lot of the trails have a rougher going in the summertime.”

The trail had already been in use for snowmobiling during the winter, and now will be converted to support ATVs as well. It means a quicker construction than it would normally take for an ATV trail.

“We’re fortunate in that way. It won’t require a lot of work to get it open,” King said. “Some of the resources and groundwork are already in place.”

Some of the remaining work that needs to be done on the trail includes installing the proper signage as well as repairing bridges.

The trail is being built on land owned by New Brunswick-based Irving Corp., which requires that any riders on the trail belong to a club that is part of ATV Maine, as opposed to state-owned land that is free to use regardless of club membership. There are a total of 23 clubs across northern Penobscot and Aroostook counties that residents can join to use the new trail.