Published DateA familiar name with a strong link to the valley's outdoor lifestyle legacy will literally be helping to pave the way for the next stretch of the Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg.
Hannes Schneider is the project manager overseeing the 2.52-mile portion of trail set to undergo construction beginning mid-May.
"This is fun for me," said Schneider last Friday afternoon during an interview at Fryeburg's Spice and Grain before trading in the project's blueprints for a lacrosse stick. He coaches. "For me, I can take my profession and put some of my personal pleasures into it."
Though many in the valley associate him with skiing and his grandfather Hannes Schneider and father Herbert (a 10th Mountain Division vet), Schneider, 44, is an avid mountain biker. Riding for some 20 years, he's twice competed in the
24 Hours of Great Glen, and also enjoys riding the woods of western Maine and the border areas with New Hampshire.
He can be found tackling trails in the White Mountain National Forest and plying the narrow single track of circuits like Sticks and Stones with sons Hannes, 15, a Fryeburg Academy freshman, and Markus, 13, a Molly Ockett eighth grader.
He also enjoys riding Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, and Vermont's Kingdom Trails.
Does he see a link between creating a piece of outdoor recreation in Maine with his family's skiing history?
"I don't think about it that way," he said. "I enjoy those recreational outdoor activities very much. I'm into them on my own."
The Denmark, Maine dad is a project manager and estimator for R.J. Grondin and Sons, a Gorham, Maine third generation family owned construction business.
The firm bid on the project with a winning figure of around $900,000.
"This is going to be a continuation of the project that Coleman did last year," he said. "We're going to pick up on the other side of Porter Road."
The new section runs from Porter Road to Airport Road, and the work is slated to be done by mid-September.
Schneider said the project is a good fit for the company since many employees live in this part of Maine and also in the areas where pieces of the trail that's slated to go between Portland and Fryeburg are already paved.
He figures on a crew of less than ten, including a field superintendent, laborers and others to operate equipment like an excavator and bulldozer. He also expects to tap local sub-contractors for some of the work.
The 10-foot wide asphalt trail will cross to the other side of Porter Road from where it ends now. A striped crosswalk will be installed. The trail will then follow the north/northwest side of the tracks to near the airport where near the Lyman Road area a small parking area for about 10 cars will be built.
The multi-use path will see more chain link and rail fencing. A section of the trail passes close to Route 113. That's where a five foot shoulder, guard rail and fencing will be installed as protection.
Last autumn about a 1.5-mile section opened in Fryeburg extending from just over the New Hampshire border at the Maine visitor center on U.S. Route 302 to Porter Road.
The non-profit Maine Mountain Division Trail Alliance works with the state to raise funds for the project which once completed would pierce through nine towns.
Schneider describes the stretch his company is constructing as as gentle curve followed by a straight shot. The elevation doesn't change much. It starts at Porter Road at about 418 feet, peaks at 435 and finishes in the 390-foot range.
Schneider will oversee much of the project from the company's offices, but expects to be in the field at least once a week.
"I think the trail is a good way to provide access to a lot more of the adventurous type of riding in the area," he said. "There's a lot of stuff that's a lot of fun."