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jandrewsshovelEastern Trail News Page - Current and Archive

Many articles about the Eastern Trail are organized on this news archives page.  The most recent articles appear immediately below, with the first part of each article displayed. Click on any article title, or the "Read More.." link to read the full text of that article. A list of additional article titles appears at the bottom of the page.



The Best Bike Paths on the East Coast Greenway

By Marc Chalufour
AMC Outdoors, September/October 2015

The ambitious effort to create the East Coast Greenway (ECG)—an uninterrupted network of bike paths, some preexisting and some newly constructed, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Fla.—began in 1991. Today, the off-road portion is nearly one-third complete, with designated roads connecting the dots. These eight segments highlight the best of the ECG in AMC’s region, from urban bike paths to rural rail-trails.

South Portland, Maine
The Eastern Trail will eventually connect South Portland with Portsmouth, N.H., via 65 miles of bike path. About a third of the project is now complete, including a dedicated bridge in Biddeford that crosses over the Maine Turnpike and the Eastern Trail’s northernmost section, in South Portland. To ride the latter stretch, begin at Bug Light, which overlooks Portland Harbor at the mouth of the Fore River, and pedal west. The trail skirts the river and, after a brief on-road connection, continues on to the Wainwright Athletic Complex.
DISTANCE: 10.8 miles round trip
INFO: AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast (AMC Books);

Read the entire article online here

In From the Outdoors: Q&A with Paul Schumacher and Lee Burnett, trail advocates

SPRINGVALE — A year ago Paul Schumacher and Lee Burnett began brainstorming over a question local business owners repeatedly asked: Could York County have more connecting trails?

Schumacher, the director of the Southern Maine Planning and Economic Development Commission, said the requests made sense: Trails help tourism, improve quality of life and increase the value of real estate.

So he got together with Burnett, project director at Forest Works!, which conserves forestland in York County, and began to examine the possibility of a large, interconnecting trail network.


Next stop, Kennebunk

Amtrak’s Downeaster welcomed as seasonal economic boost

By Faith Gillman Staff writer |  Posted: Friday, December 26, 2014

KENNEBUNK -The last time a train stopped at the station on Depot Road in Kennebunk, Lyndon Johnson was president. That same year “Downtown” by Petula Clark, and The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” were at the top of the Billboard charts. 

Fifty years have passed since riders were able to hop on a train in Kennebunk. But now that a seasonal stop on Amtrak’s Downeaster line has been approved for the town, passengers will soon be able to ride the rails and visit downtown and neighboring areas from Kennebunk once again – providing, supporters hope, a welcome seasonal economic boost.

Plans to bring the train back are well under way, according to Mat Eddy, Kennebunk’s economic development director. 

“We got the green light from Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (in May 2014) and hired Sebago Technics to do a conceptual drawing,” said Eddy. “We will have a 300-foot platform (that) will allow for bicycles to be loaded and unloaded at the stop.


EDITORIAL: A salute to the trailblazers

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 4:26 pm

Congratulations to the Sebago to the Sea Trail Coalition, which has finally realized its dream of creating a continuous trail from Sebago Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. Now, we’d like to see the Eastern Trail Alliance, which has made equally great strides in recent years connecting sections of former rail line along the southern coast of Maine, finally create an unbroken link from Kittery to South Portland.

The Sebago to the Sea Trail has been in existence since 2012, thanks to the members of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, which took it upon themselves to work with landowners and the state to carve a trail from Sebago Lake to the ocean. It starts out in the woods of the Sebago Lake Land Reserve, owned by the Portland Water District, and follows the Mountain Division Rail Trail from Standish into Gorham, past the Maine Correctional Facility in Windham and then into Westbrook, where it follows Bridge Street and East Bridge Street until plunging back into the woods along the Presumpscot River. It crosses into Portland near Riverton and then follows the Presumpscot through Riverside Golf Course and into Falmouth near the highway overpass on Blackstrap Road. From there it wends its way, sometimes on streets, sometimes on paths, through residential Portland and finally meets the sea at East End Beach, where “through-hikers” can celebrate with a dip in the ocean.


Family-Friendly Community Bike Trails

No surprise here - two sections of the Eastern Trail were among 6 trails recognized as family-friendly community bike trails in Maine, according to the 4/30 Portland Press Herald. 

Scarborough Marsh - "This trail is a lot of fun for birding enthusiasts if you want to make frequent stops to look at the marsh birds. The smooth, packed-gravel surface and lack of hills on this path make for a very easy and pleasant ride with kids."

Greenbelt Walkway in South Portland - "The diversity of sights along this trail is fun – from a view of the water and lovely backyard gardens (the trail abuts quite a few homes) to the woods and open fields. And Mill Creek Park and Bug Light are great spots for a picnic lunch."

Check out the full article here.

Vision of walkable Oak Hill nears reality

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 9:42 pm | Updated: 9:44 pm, Wed Dec 10, 2014.

By Kate Irish Collins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SCARBOROUUGH - It’s been at least seven years since town leaders in Scarborough first began talking about making Oak Hill more walkable.

Now, the town’s Ad Hoc Transportation Committee is hoping to get the final designs for upgrading the intersection by enhancing crosswalks and making changes to better address pedestrian and motorist safety in early 2015.

In a memo sent to the Town Council recently, the committee said its goal is to get the final engineering plan in February and then put the project out to bid in either late February or early March, with a completion date of mid-June.


Rodgers Ski and Bike Shop Sign in Scarborough

Jim Bucar saw this sign recently in Scarborough, and stopped to snap a photo. 

Rodgers Ski and Sport is a constant supporter of the Eastern Trail, and we very much appreciate their support.. Thus we want to recognize and boost their efforts, as they have been advertising and boosting our efforts. Thank you, Rodgers!

rodgersETsign(photo by Jim Bucar)

MaineDOT Complete Streets Policy Signed on June 14th, 2014

MaineDOT Commissioner Bernhardt signed a new policy on June 14th, 2014 that outlines important elements of Maine’s improved project planning and development processes. Complete Streets policies have a foundation in federal law, guidance, and best practices, and have been signed into law or policy in states and communities throughout the nation.

The MaineDOT Complete Streets Policy, developed in 2013 and 2014 through extensive internal and external stakeholder processes, outlines how MaineDOT and its project partners will consider the needs of all users when planning and developing projects. The intent of this policy is to help ensure that all users of Maine’s transportation system—our customers—including bicyclists, pedestrians, people of all ages and abilities, transit users, and motor vehicle users, have safe and efficient access to the transportation system.


"Adding Trails to Rails Saves Lives" - a 2008 ETA Study

Can Trails Make Rails Safer?
Annually 500 trespassers are killed in rail corridors.
With 142,000 miles of freight corridor, that s an annual fatality rate of One fatality for every 300 miles of rail corridor.
Not even one fatality has been recorded during the 40-year history of rails-with-trails for a pessimistically estimated annual fatality rate of One fatality for every 8000 miles.
Can we explain this 26-to-1 difference in fatality rates?
Americans, rightly or wrongly, consider rail corridors to be trails. If Rails are trails, they are terribly dangerous ones. They are also poor trails, awkward to walk.
Simply by providing a better, nearby trail, people apparently walk on the real trails thus reducing rail trespass fatality rates.

Eastern Trail parking spots are approved

By Alex Acquisto, Staff Writer

ARUNDEL — The board of selectmen approved the installation of six to eight parallel parking spaces on the west side of Limerick Road, near the juncture of the Eastern Trail.

The juncture lies southeast of town hall, between the respective intersections of Limerick and Mountain roads, and Limerick and Campground roads.

There is designated parking for the Eastern Trail in the corner of the town hall parking lot; however, the walk to the actual trailhead is somewhat precarious due to the narrow road and minimal shoulder.


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