Welcome to the Arnold Trail Gun Club. As a new member, you should know some background information about the club you have joined. The Arnold Trail Sportsmen’s Association was formed over 75 years ago. Over the years it has moved in whatever direction the active members have taken an interest in regarding hunting, fishing and shooting. The original founders were sportsmen interested in perpetuating and improving hunting and fishing conditions in Maine. In the fifties and sixties the club hosted annual ice out fishing derbies on Great and Long Ponds within the Belgrade chain of lakes. In the sixties the club house and one manual skeet field were located on leased private property (the Brown Farm) on the River Road in Waterville. In the late sixties this property was purchased by the Wyandotte Woolen mill to build a new mill and the members needed to find a new location. In 1968 the club purchased the property where the gun club is now located. This then rural undeveloped location was bought by the members who loaned the club the money to purchase the 53 acre parcel. Members cut the driveway and cleared enough land to build two skeet fields. Their primary interest at that time was skeet shooting. The old clubhouse was jacked up and moved to the new location.
To pay for the purchase and renovations the club hosted several registered skeet shoots each year for the next 20 to 25 years. During those years, skeet shooting had a healthy statewide following, it even reached the point where a third field was needed to host the annual State Skeet Championship, so the members cleared more land and build the third skeet field.
In the late 80’s and 90’s registered skeet shooting waned but the club survived by having a healthy membership who enjoyed shooting skeet. By the turn of the century Sporting Clays began growing in popularity. A small group of members wanted to build a 5-stand field and that became the beginning of a resurgence in club activity. The third skeet field was transformed into a Sporting Clay 5-stand by adding 6 more trap locations and 5-stand shooting cages. During this development another skeet facility in Maine closed down – Auburn Skeet Club. Officers of the Auburn club approached Arnold Trail and offered to give the club part of the proceeds from the sale of the land where Auburn Skeet Club was located for membership and shooting rights at Arnold Trail. Arnold Trail welcomed them in the club and used the money to purchase five new traps and move the existing trap field to what is now field number 4.
In 2007 members started the ball rolling to build a new club house by creating a building fund. Over the next two years this fund grew to $12,000 and construction began in the spring of 2009. With 100% labor and most of the materials either donated by club members or at cost through a local lumber yard construction continued for the next two years. By the spring of 2011 we finished our new club house.
Opened year around, future plans for the gun club are to continue improving our shooting facilities for its membership and guests.