Close the Gap

Help Eastern Trail Close the Gap


The Eastern Trail held a virtual Community Forum on September 15, 2020 regarding the Close the Gap project to build the 1.6 miles of trail between the Nonesuch River in Scarborough and the Wainwright Field Complex in South Portland.

Go here to read a more detailed summary of the 9/15 Community Forum.

Thank you for your interest and support for this exciting project!  We also thank the over 600 individuals plus corporations, foundations and our governmental support for making this project even possible.

As work continues behind the scenes, we are constantly reminded of the words of wisdom from our founder and mentor, John Andrews: “It takes patience, perseverance and politeness (plus $$$$) to build this trail.”

Thank you for all of yours!

Stay tuned as we continue to move forward to complete this truly amazing project that will connect 16 miles through 4 communities providing access to users of all abilities to enjoy for safe and scenic commuting, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, walking, biking, birding, nature study and many other human-powered, healthy activities.


Past Press and Project Updates:

Read a December 2019 Update from the Eastern Trail Management District here.

Eastern Trail completes $4.1 million ‘Close the Gap’ campaign (12/30/2017 Portland Press Herald article).

Eastern Trail Alliance Reaches $4.1 million Fundraising Goal (12/30/2017 U.S. News and World Report omline article).

Thanks to all of our partners!! We could not have been this successful without every one of you. Bicycle Coalition of Maine, PACTS, Town of Scarborough, Maine, City of South Portland, Maine, Town & Country Federal Credit Union Maine and Maine Department of Transportation, to name just a few.


The Eastern Trail is a vital multi-use trail of state-wide significance in Maine. The trail extends 65 miles from South Portland to Kittery, and travels by scenic woods, tidal marshes, and classic Maine villages. Since its creation sixteen years ago, the trail has provided millions of people with a recreational and transportation resource that connects them to the beautiful Maine landscape.

Gap Map

Click on image to see larger view

But a key piece of trail is missing in Scarborough. A 1.6-mile “gap” interrupts off-road travel between South Portland and Saco. The construction of this critical trail segment, which includes two bridges will close this gap and provide 16 continuous off-road miles reaching from South Portland’s Bug Light to Downtown Saco. The cost to close this gap is $4.1 million dollars.

A formal fundraising campaign, “Close the Gap” has already raised $4 million toward the goal of $4.1 million. The Maine DOT views completing this segment as the “highest priority” trail project in the state, and has committed $2.05 million towards its completion.  In addition, the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) has generously committed over $1.1 million towards the project. The balance of the funding for the project is being provided by generous individuals, as well as municipalities, corporate and non-profit partners, and in-kind services in the way of construction materials and labor. Can YOU help us??
Close the Gap Drone Video Nov 2016
To date, significant contributions have been received from:

  • Town of Scarborough, and the City of South Portland $287,000
  • Town and Country Federal Credit Union, $100,000
  • Eastern Trail Alliance, $100,000 ($50,000 to match $50,000 from private donors)
  • Caiazzo Family of Scarborough, $30,000
  • Thompson Family of South Portland, $26,000
  • WEX, $25,000
  • Quimby Family Foundation $25k
  • Avangrid, $25,000
  • IDEXX, $25,000
  • Morton Kelly Charitable Fund, $20,000
  • Davis Conservation Foundation, $10,000
  • Proceeds from John Andrews Memorial 5k, $14,000
  • Additional private donations of $81,850


Go here to view Press Coverage about the Campaign and Recent Donations

Go here to take a look at the future (simulated trail images) – see what your donation will create.

Go here to see helpful Close the Gap campaign resources that provide more details, images, and documents suitable for viewing and printing.

Go here for a one-page Fact Sheet and Summary about the Close the Gap Campaign.

Need to Cross the Nonesuch River

A Bridge is Needed Across the Nonesuch River!

Another view of the needed Nonesuch River Crossing

The needed bridge, viewed from the Nonesuch River level


Gap Map

Click on image to see larger view

Help Us Close this Gap


Chamber Donation

Tom Hall, Scarborough Town Manager is presented a check for $100,000 by Deb Erickson-Irons, ETA Pres. and Bob Bowker, ETA Vice Pres.

Chamber of Commerce Donations to CTG

ETA Officers receiving Scarborough Chamber of Commerce $1000 donation, and South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce $500 donation