MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER)- Many New Englanders have taken a trip to the Katahdin region and take in the sights and sounds. Now the area wants to put an emphasis on their outdoor recreation, in hopes of getting the economic boost the area needs. This was through the help of their annual Trail's End Festival.
State Representative Herbert Clark sponsored the festival and said getting people to visit will boost the economy, "I see it as part of a puzzle. Putting the puzzzle together, getting people to come to Millinocket that might not have been here before or the Katahdin region."
Representative Clark added, "It helps the economy. All the little vendors in town, the vendors here, the hotels, the motels. People as far as Millocket lake all the way up there are doing real well when people come to town."
The area has been plagued with a weak economy and unemployment. This happened after the paper mills were shutdown and many lost their job.Only one of the mills has reopened and Clark said they need to find a new source of income.
"We can't put all our eggs in one basket like we have done here for years. We all know the paper industry, like we used to know it, will not be there like we had it before. We have to add other items to the menu to make sure we have a good economy here."
The additional ATV trails, close proximity to Katahdin, and as winter approaches the snowmobile trails will continue to increase the number of outside visitors.
Jame Renaud, a co-chairman for the Trail's End Festival said the area's biggest asset is the outdoors, "If they come here maybe stay the weekend, they spend the night at a local motel. They eat at local restaurants...And maybe they will tell their friends about it and they'll come. Some will move here, it's a snowball effect."
According to Representative Clark, there has been an increase in visitors to the area.