The Story of the Return of Maine’s Pine Tree Trail
The story starts 10 years ago. And it involves something from 85 years ago.
Nate is out cleaning up property at a farm his fiancé and he inherited. And he comes upon a rusty piece of metal that was once a road sign.
It was in such condition that he almost threw it away. Almost.
That sign was stored for 10 years. But after time, he and his fiancé Robbie decided to investigate the origin of the sign.
Three years ago the couple started their deep dive into the origin of the sign. Here’s a summary of what they found.
In 1935, Maine was looking for new ways to bring tourist money into the state.
The next year for the first time Vacationland was put onto Maine auto license plates
Then the next year the Maine Legislature passed an act to designate a route from Portland to Fort Kent as the ‘Pine Tree Trail.’
That’s where the original sign came from, and the couple’s idea was born.
The idea was to recreate The Pine Tree Trail with road signs along the almost 500-mile way. And just like the original idea, use it as a way to get the community along the route to get involved in Maine tourism and to tout the benefits of their communities as travel destinations for Mainers and those from other states.
First, the couple met with former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and he told them the trail ...
Is still the law of the land
The route was still active. It hadn’t been put on maps for 70 years, the signs were gone, and even though the route went by the wayside after World War II with the construction of the interstate, it still was legit in the eyes of the government.
Next stop for Nate & Robbie, is a meeting with Director of Tourism for Maine Steve Lyons.
Steve told them
The Trail would be like Maine’s own Route 66
The couple was encouraged to move forward with their plan to replace the original signs with new signs to be placed along the trail.
Then covid hit.
But this will be the year the signs are erected.
They have been working behind the scenes with the Maine Department of Transportation, they have raised the money needed to manufacture the signs, and are still in the process of gathering funds needed to pay the D.O.T. to put the signs up. Here is where you can help.
The Pine Tree Trail project also has a Facebook page to get information on the project.
This is the 85th year since the creation of the Pine Tree Trail. And hopefully the year we will see the signs popping up along the roads from Portland to Fort Kent.
From Maine’s Forgotten Trail to once again The Pine Tree Trail.