Officials with the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) have completed a lease agreement that re-opens two airfields in Maine for public use: Ragmuff Airport (ME26) in Piscataquis County and Estcourt Airport in Aroostook County.
The lease and management agreement, signed with landowner Fresh Timber, preserves the airfields through December 2025, with the option for a five-year renewal.
Each airfield measures about 3,200 feet in length. Both lie within timbered, productive forest. The lease allows the RAF to maintain each airfield, aircraft parking areas, and windsocks, and manage encroaching vegetation in glideslope zones.
“This furthers our good relationship with North Maine Woods,” says RAF Maine Liasion Andy Rowe.
North Maine Woods, a non-profit public-private partnership formed in the early 1970s, oversees and maintains recreational facilities in the area.
“They love this idea of RAF taking lease responsibility, and I‘m optimistic there will be lease renewals,” he added.
Ragmuff has camping, picnic areas, and an outhouse. The west branch of the Penobscot River is about a mile-and-a-half hike from the field, with a chance to catch brook trout and landlocked salmon.
Locals say that fall is the premier time to visit — colors turn and it becomes bug-free, and partridge and fishing seasons overlap, RAF officials noted.
For information and the required safety briefing on Ragmuff, see the RAF’s Airfield Guide.
Estcourt will be added to the RAF’s Airfield Guide in the near future, officials added.
If flying in, RAF officials remind pilots to review safety briefings, follow fire protocols, and use backcountry ethics. They also ask that pilots buy a pass from North Maine Woods to help maintain the recreational facilities in the area.