On Saturday, 18 people braved the single digit weather to identify animal tracks in the fresh blanket of snow. Just before dawn, the weather was -6ºF with wind chill - but that didn't stop this group. The adventure began at the Round Top trailhead in Rome where we parked and circled up for a quick info session. Peter Kallin, ( 7 Lakes Alliance board member, previous executive director, and dedicated volunteer) gave a history of the conservation of the Dolley property and a quick intro to what we could expect.
Aimee and Lauren from 7 Lakes Alliance introduced themselves and shared some information about the organization, animal tracks, and the Dolley property.
We crossed the street to the hiking trail which doubles as a snowmobile trail maintained by the Rome Rough Riders snowmobile club. As we followed the trail, we stopped at tracks on the way. Evidence of deer, coyote and fox were identified shortly into the woods. As the group reached the open field where the homestead used to be, we found tracks of mice, bird, and even vole tunnels.
Please consider joining us on our next adventure.. A full moon snowshoe on Great Pond! February 9th at 5:30pm we will meet at the Great Pond boat launch. Don’t be late, the moon rises at 6:12pm.
The Dolley property is a 14-acre conservation property in Rome, Maine nestled in the Belgrade Lakes region. This is a remarkable conservation property with historic, cultural and ecological features including old stone walls that run along the property, several wells, historic chimney from the main house and descendants of an apple orchard can be found throughout the 2-acre field. It was purchased on July 5, 2001 from the Barry Dolley Trust
The 87.7-acre property was purchased as part of the Kennebec Highlands project but BPL policies prohibit the purchase of buildings. 7 Lakes Alliance decided to conserve the 14-acre homestead.
It is located on the southern edge of the 6,800-acre Kennebec Highlands, state-owned conservation property that offers great hiking and biking trails amidst forested mountains and a number of ponds.