By Michael Kelley, Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH – A scenic route connecting the Piscataqua River and Casco Bay is one step closer to being completed.

Last week Scarborough Town Planner Dan Bacon and representatives from the Eastern Trail Alliance unveiled a preliminary plan to extend the Eastern Trail in Scarborough to the Wainwright Recreation Complex, the beginning of South Portland’s Greenbelt Walkway.

The Greenbelt Walkway is a 5.7-mile trail that runs from the Scarborough/South Portland town line to Portland Breakwater Lighthouse in Bug Light Park. The Eastern Trail starts near Route 103 in Kittery and ends at the Nonesuch River in Scarborough.

The proposed 1-mile trail would rely heavily on Central Maine Power corridors to extend toward Pleasant Hill Road, across the Pan-Am railroad line and past the pond behind Pond Cove drive before crossing into South Portland and ending at the Wainwright complex.

Bacon said extending the Eastern Trail into South Portland has been a longtime goal for town and Eastern Trail officials. Doing so has not been an easy task.

“It’s a complicated area to spread a trail through, but it is a high priority for the town and a very high priority for the region,” Bacon said.

Bob Bowker, vice president of the Eastern Trail Alliance, said the trail has come a long way since it was first envisioned 15 years ago as a place for people to walk, bike and run while enjoying nature. Since then the trail has been expanded, including a section between Biddeford and Kennebunk in 2010 and Saco and Old Orchard Beach in 2011.

“In 15 years there has been a lot accomplished with the Eastern Trail,” Bowker said. “Despite the fact we have over 20 miles of trails available, these projects left some gaps.”

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 Here are two other local news reports on the Eastern Trail project in Scarborough:

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