Folks who plan to use the Golden Road on Oct. 19 and 20 should prepare for the possibility of taking a different route to their planned destination.
A portion of the 96-mile logging road between Millinocket and the St. Zacharie Border Crossing will be closed intermittently for one day due to road work, according to David Randall of Huber Resources Corp. in Old Town, which owns the land at the location.
It involves the replacement of a culvert on Five Mill Hill, which is 1 mile east of the North Maine Woods Caribou Gate in T3 R13. It is located approximately 40 miles west of Millinocket.
That means moose hunters, bird hunters and others pursuing outdoor activities — in addition to the loggers and foresters who regularly use the road — may want to have a backup plan to reach the Golden Road on the other side of the checkpoint.
Randall said the road won’t be shut down for the duration of the period, but that delays could be significant depending on the work being done at a particular time.
“During this time the road will be closed to traffic for short periods. We will work as quickly as we can to allow vehicles to pass,” Randall said.
“I was on the phone with a contractor [Thursday] and he said we should be able to let people by for the most part, but there will be times when folks are just going to have to wait for a little while,” said Randall, who indicated delays potentially could be as long as two hours.
Randall said the construction is scheduled to begin on the morning of Oct. 19 and the bulk of the project should be completed that day. It will be wrapped up on Oct. 20.
While the second full session of Maine’s moose hunting season ends on Oct. 16, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is conducting its first adaptive unit hunt in Wildlife Management District 4A from Oct. 19-24. That is a large subunit of WMD 4 located north of the Golden Road.
There were 200 moose permits allocated for the week, and grouse and woodcock hunters also frequently access hunting areas from the Golden Road.
People wishing to avoid delays at the Caribou Gate may want to use another North Maine Woods entry point to access the Golden Road.
North Maine Woods is suggesting travelers consider using the Seboomook Dam automated checkpoint in Seboomook Township, the 20 Mile Gate on 20 Mile Road southeast of Pittston Farm or via the unmanned gate on the Kelly Dam Road North of Jackman to the South Branch Access.
Randall said despite the occasional inconvenience, hunters and outdoors enthusiasts are fortunate to have the chance to access the land around the Golden Road for their pursuits.
“The North [Maine] Woods is a very unique situation where you have that much privately owned land that is completely open to folks,” Randall said. “You don’t see that in many places in the United States, or really anywhere.”