Justin Fereshetian on Thursday with one of the 18 disc golf baskets that will be installed at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville.. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

WATERVILLE — Quarry Road Trails is perhaps best known as a popular winter destination that attracts crowds for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and more.

But this summer the forested recreational area on the outskirts of the city will add a popular feature best enjoyed in warm weather: disc golf.

As the outdoor game grows in popularity, officials who manage Quarry Road Trails say the addition of a disc golf course makes sense.

“We are most well-known for winter activities like Nordic skiing,” said Justin Fereshetian, Quarry Road’s program director and head skiing coach. “We wanted to increase our summer offerings.”

A disc golf course made the most sense to Fereshetian, because the trails are already “quite wide” and the meadows on the property made for a good location for a course. Adding a course will hopefully benefit both the venue and the community, Fereshetian said.

While Fereshetian has been doing a lot of the work and research, he has relied on the Professional Disc Golf Association’s website for resources on building a course that follows the game’s official rules. He also has been working with experienced players to make the best experience possible at the course.

Justin Fereshetian stands Thursday in the middle of the second fairway of the 18-hole disc golf course that will be installed at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Quarry Road Trails intends on charging $6 for a single round or $10 per day. They will also offer a season pass for $199 that is to be completed in a one-time purchase. In time they will offer disc rentals and purchases, but such services likely will not be available when the course first opens.

Steve LeBlanc, owner of Quaker Hill Disc Golf in Fairfield, said business has been “steadily increasing each year since we opened in 2003.”

Quaker Hill opens 8 a.m. to sunset year round. Located at 146 Middle Road, they charge $6 per day and $1 for a disc rental fee, if needed.

“Disc golf is a great, family-friendly sport. Good exercise,” said LeBlanc. “It’s definitely growing.”

LeBlanc also reiterated Fereshetian’s sentiment about the Professional Disc Golf Association and said they have a ton of information about the sport, its rules and its growth.

A weekly league and three or four big tournaments a year are held on the course. The last one was on Father’s Day and had 92 people participate. They anticipate their next big tournament will have 105 participants.

The course in Waterville will be up and running during summer, but will be taken down around November when Maine starts to accumulate snow. Taking down the course allows for Quarry Road Trails employees to keep up the high standards of maintenance they give the trails during the winter, especially for Nordic skiing.

Waterville Parks and Recreation Director Matt Skehan said he is “really excited” about the Quarry Road course and sees it as a natural progression of  expanding outdoor recreation options in the city.

Skehan added that a disc golf course has been in talks for six to eight years now, and when Fereshetian was hired he seemed excited about the potential. Quarry Roads Trails is also working on adding mountain biking and a dock for canoes and kayaks.

Additionally, they intend on having the welcome center staffed at least a few days a week, likely Friday through Sunday. On days where the welcome center is unstaffed, participants will be able to pay through a variety of options, such as through their phone or a cash box.

The course will eventually have 36 tees, but at the start there will be 20. They will have two layouts that will be distinguishable by color: red and blue. Red will be for beginners and blue for advanced. They plan on adding two more layouts, yellow for intermediate players and gold for professional levels.

“As revenue comes in, that will allow us to purchase remaining tee pads,” said Fereshetian, who also said the revenue generated by the course will be used to maintain and improve it.

As of now, an approximate $10,000 is going into the disc golf course. Each tee pad is $150 and each basket is $285. The $10,000 includes signs, equipment and other expenses.

Fereshetian himself is “an avid disc golfer,” which plays into his excitement for the course to be functional. While there is no set date for the course to open yet, if things go well, it could open as soon as July.

“With our location in the state and off the highway,” Fereshetian said, “I think this could be really big for Waterville.”

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