WATERVILLE — The Friends of Quarry Road recently received $712,500 in federal funding for improvements at Waterville’s largest public park, Quarry Road Trails.

Funding is part of $2.85 million awarded in a partnership between the Northern Border Regional Commission and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for 11 economic development projects in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. The grant to the local, nonprofit Friends organization is the largest of the 11 announced by this collaboration and the only one in Maine.

Incorporated in 2010, the Friends of Quarry Road supports development and operations at the 200-plus-acre, city-owned park located at the end of Quarry Road.

“Quarry Road Trails is fast developing as the premier state destination for cross-country skiing,” said the Friends’ acting president, Kelley Griffin, in a news release. “Maine’s outdoor recreation industry contributes $3.3 billion to Maine’s economy. Waterville, through Quarry Road, is well positioned to leverage this growth industry, strengthening the economy of the city and state.”

“Quarry Road Trails has some of the best snowmaking capacity in New England for its Olympian-designed Nordic ski trails,” said Griffin. “Despite this past weekend’s downpour, snowmaking enables the venue to host regional events such as this weekend’s New England Nordic Ski Association’s Eastern Cup ski race,” she said. Last year’s event attracted over 500 competitors and their spectators to Waterville.

The grant will support further development of the venue, including a guest services building and improved parking.


“Quarry Road is an incredible asset to Waterville, and this grant underscores its potential to continue growing into a four-season venue for our residents and visitors,” said Waterville City Manager Bryan Kaenrath.

“The efforts of Friends of Quarry Road to enhance the experience at this unique city park are turning it into a destination for Nordic skiers in and out of state,” said Kaenrath. “The Friends are also providing access and opportunity for residents to support healthy outdoor activity year-round while creating a positive economic impact for the city.”

Featuring over 10 kilometers of wide trails designed for cross-country skiing, including 2.5 kilometers of illuminated night skiing and another 8 kilometers of trails for single-track biking, Quarry Road Trails provides opportunities for a variety of activities, from hiking, running, and mountain biking in the warmer months to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

Growth plans include an outdoor recreation center, paved, expanded parking, and other enhancements to serve both day visitors and teams that come to Waterville for major state and regional races. Those races, and outdoor enthusiasts who visit the facility, drive local economic activity when visitors dine in restaurants, stay at local lodging, and shop at local businesses.

This award is the first federal funding to go toward the Quarry Road venue. Recent trail improvements were funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Davis Conservation Foundation, the Maine Recreational Trails Program and private donations to the Friends. Youth programs are supported by the Onion Foundation, Quimby Family Foundation and area sponsors.

The Harold Alfond Foundation and Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation have supported the venue since inception.

For more information, visit quarryroadskiclub.org.


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