June 30, a group of seven volunteers from the Belfast Bay Waterfront Coalition were building a timber bridge to make an easier passage over a muddy stream bed on a remote stretch of the conservancy’s Little River Hiking Trail.

The bridge consisted of a pair of 12-inch diameter poplars, cut on site and lain down to span the crossing. There was one reinforced post under the center of the bridge, and slats of milled lumber forming the deck — 23 feet long and six feet above the trough of the stream bed.

BBWC spokesman Skip Pendleton said the main issue was that it got muddy at the crossing, and in that condition was difficult to traverse. “It’s not impossible, but when you have older people who like to use [the trail], this makes it a lot easier,” he said.

The Little River trail, in its current form, stretches four miles, from the Belfast Water District, crossing Perkins Road, then around the upper reservoir and north to Walsh Fields. From there, what Pendleton called an “unofficial trail” leads to the Route 3 campus of the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. The four-mile course crosses city, water district and county-owned land and at least one private property.

Pendleton said the goal was to extend the trail north to the Head of Tide Preserve, a piece of conservation land managed by Coastal Mountains Land Trust. The completed trail, Pendleton said, would form a “necklace around Belfast.”

“I hesitate to put out maps,” he said, considering future extension of the trail. “Because the minute you strike a line, people say, ‘That’s my property.'”

Pendleton said the group maintains the trails to give residents and visitors access to some of the undeveloped woods in Belfast and Waldo County. From the new timber bridge, he looked down the trail in the direction of Walsh Fields, some two or three miles to the north and west.

“You walk down this trail and it’s almost like walking into the Maine North Woods,” he said. “It’s quiet and it’s picturesque.”