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Pine Tree Trail News
Timeline

1/9/2023

The Pine Tree Trail now displayed on Maine State maps.

 

   Hallowell – The new 2023 Maine State maps have been published, and for the first time in decades the Pine Tree Trail is displayed in pale green.

   The Maine Tourism Association of Hallowell has provided Nathan Nipula, the founder of the original Pine Tree Trail sign, with new copies of the state map which features the Trail. MTA distributes the maps to all the Visitor Centers in Maine: Calais, Fryeburg, Hampden North and Hampden South on Interstate 95, Houlton, Kittery, and Yarmouth. The maps are also available by contacting either the MTA at 327 Water Street, Hallowell, ME 04347-1341,1-800-767-8709, or the Maine State Tourism Office at 59 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330 1-888-624-6345  1-877-624-6331 (tty). 

   In addition to its appearance on the map, the Trail is also featured in a panel ad on the back which directs people to learn more by visiting the Trail directory at https://www.pinetreetrail.com/  

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10/28/2022

Maine Department of Transportation begins Trail sign installations. 

    New Gloucester - One of the first newly installed D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs has been spotted on Route 100 in New Gloucester. 

    Marjorie Tillson Latuscha shared a picture of one that she spied in New Gloucester. Marjorie won a U. S. A. made Pine Tree Trail mug for having been the first person to share a photo of one.

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10/18/2022

Anonymous donor gives $1,000 for Trail expenses. 

   

    Molunkus - A supporter of the Pine Tree Trail has given $1,000 to help defray the costs of its revival. The money was used to help pay for a panel ad on the back of the new Maine state maps. The ad gives people a web address to access the Trail directory, https://www.pinetreetrail.com/  

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9/28/2022 

                New D.O.T. sign revealed at Big E

    Springfield, Massachusetts - Officials from the Maine Tourism Association and the Maine Office of Tourism displayed a new Maine Department of Transportation Pine Tree Trail sign to attendees of the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts. Held every fall, the Big E attracted 1,603,354 visitors in 2022.  

https://twitter.com/MaineDACF/status/1571498091760746499?s=20&t=xG4AXxvfAyeaLOLpH9WrOA&fbclid=IwAR0O2kxxHOJnvo3KyJhHuCvwA1kNOUhp4jeQu-jVIy9HeCwKlzPpFK5Zoic

9/16/2022

Antique Auto Club the first official group riding the revived Pine Tree Trail.

   Molunkus - The Maine Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America visited Molunkus Twp. on their way to a northern Maine outing.

Members in their beautiful vehicles stopped at the farm where the old, original Pine Tree Trail sign was found by Nate Nipula in 2012. 

   Nipula presented the club with a replica sign and accompanying documents before the club continued its tour in Aroostook County. 

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8/30/2022

Pine Tree Trail signs revealed, ready for installation

 

   Enfield - The new Maine D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs were revealed on August 30th, 2023, with Michelle Shores from the Maine Tourism Association, Hannah Collins from the Maine Office of Tourism and Pat Sutherland from Aroostook County Tourism. Former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, several Trailblazers and many supporters attended the event as well as representatives from the media. It was held at Barnes Brook Golf and the Pizza Grill in Enfield; Barnes Brook is also a Trailblazer. 

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8/25/22 The second order for Pine Tree Trail signs is placed with fundraising for the first phase of the re-signing done.

8/11/2022 The first order of Maine D.O.T. approved signs were completed by White Sign Co.  Pictured left to right are: Nate Nipula, original sign discoverer; Luke  Bouchard, manager, White Sign Company; and Jill Oakman, bookkeeper, Central Equipment Company/White Sign Company.

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7/11/2022 Barnes Brook Golf Course & The Pizza Grill donated toward the Maine D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs, becoming a Trailblazer.

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7/10/2022 David and Cathy Moison of Lincoln have generously donated funds to help with buying the signs.

6/29/2022 Eastern Maine Eye Associates of Bangor and Ashley's Ice Cream/Drinkwater's Variety of Lincoln have each donated $1,000 toward the Maine D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs, becoming Trailblazers.

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6/18/2022 Steaks N' Stuff in Lincoln and Lincoln Powersports joined the Trailblazers Legacy Program by giving $1,000 each toward the Maine D.O.T. road signs and their installation.

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5/10/2022 Machias Savings Bank branches (Caribou, Presque Isle, Houlton, Lincoln, Bangor, and Portland) joined together to become the newest Trailblazers. They have given a total of $1,500 for signs and installation.

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4/20/2022

Aroostook County Tourism Summit learns about Pine Tree Trail.

   Presque Isle - The Pine Tree Trail was introduced at the Aroostook County Tourism Summit to attendees of the spring event, held at the Presque Isle Snowmobile Club.  Aroostook County Tourism, Northern Maine Development Commission, Maine Office of Tourism,  Jacob Pelkey (Entrepreneur Program Manager/ Tourism Development A.C.T.), Patricia Sutherland (Chairperson A.C.T.), Hannah Collins (M.O.T.), Steve Lyons (M.O.T. Director) Michelle Shores (M.T.A.) attended as well as many business owners. Attendees shared a Pine Tree Trail birthday cake brought by Nate and Robbie to celebrate the Trail’s 85th birthday; pictured with the cake (from left to right) are Jacob Pelkey, Pat Sutherland, Nate Nipula, and Steve Lyons.

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2/19/2022

Image of the new D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs released.

 

   Molunkus – The final image of the new modern Pine Tree Trail road signs has been released to the public .

They will be 18" x 24" in size and have accompanying arrows. While the original octagonal shape was preferred, guidelines did not allow for that to occur. 

   The octagon shape is now only designated for stop signs. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA): " It would generally fall under the category of an Auto Tour Route sign. Provisions for these types of signs are found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), Chapter 2H, Section 2H.07...Sign shapes are strictly controlled by the MUTCD and in particular the octagon shape is reserved exclusively for stop signs. We would consider an elongated octagon to still be an octagon; therefore, it would not be allowed to be used for such a sign. The specifics of the other aspects of the design and application of these signs would be controlled by the Maine Department of Transportation, who would ensure they are in compliance with the MUTCD and their own policies and practices." 

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2/18/22 The first order of new Maine D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs are ordered through White Sign Company.

1/6/2022

Original Pine Tree Trail sign donated to auction for funds for new signs.

 

   Molunkus - Charles and Jacklyn Garnett, supporters of the revival of the Pine Tree Trail, have donated an original Pine Tree Trail sign to be auctioned off on Ebay for the D.O.T. signs. 

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10/21/2021 Welcome Treeline, Inc./Maine Land Store of Chester to the Trailblazer Legacy Program.

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10/5/2021 Another Trailblazer has come on board! The team at GrandBelly's Country Cafe in Medway joins the Trail’s revival. 

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9/30/2021 Luke and Brandee Doane of Macwahoc, have become our newest Trailblazers as private donors.

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9/29/2021 White Sign Company of Stillwater, Maine, set up a special account for the Maine D.O.T. approved Pine Tree Trail signs.

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9/19/2021 Hanington Lumber of Reed/Wytopitlock and Hogan Tire of Lincoln, Houlton, Presque Isle and Caribou have come on board the Trailblazers Legacy Program.

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9/4/2021  Linscott's Fur Tanning of Carmel come on board as a Trail Blazer! 

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8/2021

The first Trailblazers come on board:

Maine Cedar Log Moose Company LLC, Molunkus; Nicastro’s Land Service, Lincoln; H. C. Haynes, Inc. Of Winn. 

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8/16/2021

Introductory Pine Tree Trail meeting held in Aroostook County. 

   Caribou - The revival of the Pine Tree Trail was the topic of an introductory meeting held in Aroostook County. Nathan Nipula and Robbie (Roberta) McKay met with State Senator Trey Stewart; Bob Clark, President of NMDC; Jacob Pelkey, Tourism division of NMDC/Aroostook County Tourism; Paul Towle, President of Aroostook Partnership; and Rep. Joseph Underwood, Presque Isle for a Trail discovery and introductory meeting. 

Nipula and McKay explained how the sign was found and discussed with attendees the goals for the Trail’s revival and the progress made up to that point.  

8/2/2021

Maine D.O.T. meets with Pine Tree Trail supporters.

 

   Augusta – Advocates for the revival and re-signing of the nearly 500-mile Pine Tree Trail attended a meeting in Augusta with representatives of the Maine Department of Transportation.  

Discussions were held requesting permission to re-sign the route and begin raising the funds needed for their manufacture and installation. The group was informed that if they could raise the funds necessary, the department would put them in.

7/21/2021

Local advocates hold public meeting about Trail revival. 

   Mattawamkeag - A public meeting was held at the Mattawamkeag town office building about the local Trail sign find and plans for its revival.  

 Local people from the area met to hear about an original sign found by Nathan Nipula of Molunkus. They also learned about the plans for its revival, and how the newly re-signed route has the potential to strengthen communities along its nearly 500-mile length. With more people traveling the long-forgotten expanse of road, many benefits will exist for towns, cities, nonprofits, and businesses along the route.

2020 - 2021

COVID19 slowed the progress of the revival of Maine's Pine Tree Trail.

 

  

2/13/2020

Pine Tree Trail valid; Dunlap: “Still the law of the land;”

 

   Augusta – A meeting with Secretary of State Matt Dunlap confirmed that the Pine Tree Trail is still a valid Maine route as passed by legislation in 1937. After checking Maine law, Dunlap agreed that the route needed to be re-signed. Nathan Nipula, the discoverer of the original Pine Tree Trail sign, held an informational meeting with legislators and Maine’s Director of Tourism, Steve Lyons, who said that it would be “like Maine’s own Route 66!” 

Spring of 2019

Nathan Nipula begins to investigate the Pine Tree Trail sign’s origins and the forgotten route it was connected to with his fiancé, Roberta (Robbie) McKay.

They begin to build community support to re-sign the nearly 500-mile trail and get it put back on Maine maps. The effort would become known as “the Pine Tree Trail Project” 

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2012 Nathan Nipula unearths an original Pine Tree Trail sign in Molunkus along Route 2. (Pine Tree Trail). He would store the sign for years...

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