The Goal: When complete, Blaze The Trail South will add an additional 19 miles resulting in 25 miles of off-road trail connecting 7 communities in the most densely populated region in the state (Greater Portland, Cumberland and York Counties). This will provide a safe and convenient facility for bicycle commuters, recreational riders, walkers, runners, and wheelchair users for transportation, health and outdoor enjoyment.
If you would like to contribute to this campaign, use the Donate button below to pay by Credit Card, or via a PayPal Account.
If you prefer to pay by check, please send a check to: Eastern Trail Alliance – P.O. Box 250 – Saco, ME 04072 and please indicate BLAZING THE TRAIL SOUTH on the memo line.
The Result: This extension will promote trail-associated economic development in York and Cumberland Counties by providing a safe and scenic transportation and recreation corridor between towns that promotes regional cooperation in economic and tourism development plans. Based on the 2018 ETA Economic Impact Study data, over 251,000 annual visitors visited 22 miles of the off-road Eastern Trail, contributing $3M to the local economy.
About: This project is being managed by the Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA) and the Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD).
Funding will require a combination of Federal/State, municipal, foundations and private sources. With support from multiple sectors, we can build this important section of trail south towards the New Hampshire border.
Here are some specific status details for the communities involved in the BTTS project:
KENNEBUNK AND WELLS
- The towns of Kennebunk and Wells are strong supporters of expanding the trail. They provided the matching funds required for the Private Public Partnership program and received funding from Maine DOT to cover much of the route’s existing conditions survey.
- Thanks to donations from Eastern Trail supporters, the survey for the remaining four miles in Wells was completed in October, 2019, preparing this section for feasibility and design.
- In January 2021, the towns and ETMD were awarded an MaineDOT for Planning Partnership Initiative grant for section of the trail in Kennebunk, Wells, and North Berwick. The feasibility work is matched by ETA and will provide a better understanding of the technical challenges and associated costs.
- ETMD has worked with the North Berwick Town Manager and representatives from Pratt and Whitney, Hussey Seating and Pike Industries on the off-road Eastern Trail route and has identified three alternative routes that would combine on and off-road sections should the totally off-road route not be feasible.
There is strong support and interest in moving forward on 3 miles of trail in North and South Berwick. Thanks to support from Pratt and Whitney and Eastern Trail supporters, the existing conditions survey for the first .75 miles was completed in October 2019, preparing this section for feasibility and design work in 2021.
- North Berwick is engaged with ETMD, Kennebunk and Wells in the Planning and Partnership Initiative feasibility work.
- There is strong support and interest in moving forward on the 5 miles of proposed trail in South Berwick. The next step is moving forward with the towns to seek funding for an updated existing conditions survey and related feasibility work. This will create the southern terminus for off-road trail.