Maine Lighthouse Ride Nearing Free T-Shirt Cut-off!
Free MLR T-shirts are given to the first 500 registering riders, and we are now at 460 registrations. Are you planning to ride? Do you want a free MLR t-shirt? Then register today – don’t delay!
Mark Your Calendars – ETA Annual Meeting May 14
The Eastern Trail Alliance Annual Meeting takes place on Thursday, May 14. This year’s meeting will feature 3 interesting Guest Speakers – More Information Here. All are invited. We hope you will join us — RSVP by contacting us at 207-284-9260 or email@example.com.
Two Sections of Eastern Trail Recognized as Family-Friendly Community Bike Trail
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.
A Reminder About Leash Laws that Apply on the Eastern Trail in the Scarborough Marsh Area.
We want to remind trail users in the Scarborough Marsh areas of the leash laws that apply between April 1 and October 1. The policy is expressed on signs that are posted in that area:
“For the purposes of protecting important wildlife habitat, all dogs must be leashed on this portion of the Eastern Trail and marsh between Pine Point Road and Black Point Road”
“If you have questions about this, please contact the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 358 Shaker Road, Gray, Maine 04039, (207) 657-2345 ext. 110”
Many Volunteer Opportunities – Can You Come Out and Help Us Promote the Trail?
Now that spring is here and summer is close behind, there are many events coming up that are opportunities for us to help promote and enjoy the Eastern Trail. Can you come out and join us? Go to our volunteers page to see a list of events where volunteers are needed. Or just call the ETA office at 284-9260 or email us to sign up.
LD 193 – A Bond to Fund Backlogged Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects
Communities across Maine are increasingly mindful of the enormous benefit of planning more pedestrian and bike spaces like the Eastern Trail, even as deep cuts have been made to federal funding for such projects. This has left the state with a backlog of projects waiting for planning and/or construction funds. A bill being considered by the Maine Legislature, LD 193, would help to clear the backlog, which can only help everyone who values greater pedestrian and bike access, as we hope you do. Our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Maine have assembled some info about the bill, and reminders about the positive impact these projects have on their communities. Please follow this link to learn how you can let our state leaders know that you support funding these important projects.
In January Derek Sturtevant, Chairman of Kittery Trading Post’s Round-Up Committee, called the ETA office to report that his committee had voted to donate $1,000 to ETA. Carole asked Jim Bucar and John Andrews to contact Sturtevant to visit Kittery Trading Post to receive the donation.
They learned that Round-Up is a program that encourages customers to round-up their check-out amount to the next highest dollar amount with funds to be donated to non-profits whose goals are aligned with Kittery Trading Post’s core values. Each quarter, the company rounds up those funds to the next round thousand dollars.
Sturtevant, who is Specialty Sports Divisional Manager, chairs the employee committee that allocates the generated funds. ETA President Bob Hamblen, who is Saco’s City Planner, is proud of the recognition achieved by ETA that resulted in this contribution.
The MLR was included in a recent list of the 12 best upcoming rides of 2015 across the country. The list is put out by Active.com, the national leader in online event registration for races and cycling events.
“This must-do ride…is sold out every year. The 100-mile century route tours nine lighthouses and includes a quick jaunt through Old Orchard Beach and the quaint village of Kennebunkport, the summer home to George Bush.”
This is the third year in a row! Active.com also gave the same steller recognition to the MLR both last year as well as in 2013.
Breaking news! An economic impact study and survey conducted along portions of the off-road ET during the summer of 2014 has just been published and is now available for reading. Go here for some insight into the economic benefit of the trail to its host communities.
Giveback Tuesday – Consider a Donation to Help the Eastern Trail
OK, Giveback Tuesday has passed, but we ask you to still consider giving back – donating to a good cause. Please consider a donation of money (tax-deductible!) or time (sign up aas a volunteer!) to the Eastern Trail Alliance. If the trail has become an important part of your life, consider helping to expand and improve the trail. Contact us for more information. Thanks, and have a great holiday season!!
Video: Eastern Trail in Three Minutes
Check out this cool video – Time-lapse video of a ride on Eastern Trail from Cascade Road in Old Orchard Beach, Maine to the Nonesuch River on the Scarborough/South Portland border.. View it on our Videos page
Maine Lighthouse Ride a great success!!
We had a wonderful Maine Lighthouse Ride this past Saturday, September 6. Over 1000 riders came out the enjoy the trail and to help support the Eastern Trail Alliance. Thanks so much to all the riders, the many volunteers, and also to the trail users who shared the trail that day. will be very busy in many areas. Funds raised by the ride will be used to continue our efforts to build and to promote the Eastern Trail in southern Maine.
Pictures of the 2014 ride can be viewed here – all pictures by Jim Bucar, our fantastic and long-standing volunteer photographer!
Registration for the 2015 ride is now open for online registration. Be sure to register early to get in on 2014 rates and to ensure your place in this ride that has sold out the past two years!
MLR Bike Jerseys for 2014 Can Still be Ordered Online for Home Delivery
We are excited to again offer a Maine Lighthouse Bike Jersey for 2014 – you can see the new jersey design to the right.
Jerseys can be ordered online now – directly from Atayne, which “makes performance outdoor clothing and sports apparel that is safe for people and the planet.”
USGC “Tom’s Run” Memorial Relay on the Eastern Trail
Recently we heard news of this year’s running of Tom’s Run, a 200 mile relay that memorializes the life of Chief Warrant Officer Tom Brooks, a Coast Guardsman who inspired those around him in his fight against ALS.
We’re so pleased that this small, heartfelt memorial event was made easier by the use of the Eastern Trail. Many thanks to these members of the Coast Guard for sharing the following words and photos with us:
Deirdre Fleming: Eastern Trail on the road to further expansion
Great article in the Maine Sunday Telegram/Press Herald. Key Quote: “Andrews and his band of bicyclists have proven relentless. And this summer they’re not slowing as they fan out across this trail that now covers 20.7 miles to conduct an economic-impact study to help build support to expand the trail to Wells, South Berwick, Eliot and Kittery.” – click here to read the article
May 19, 2014 — 10th Anniversary of Groundbreaking for First Eastern Trail Segment
May 19 marked the tenth anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony that began construction on the first section of the Eastern Trail. The project was managed under the direction of the 12-town Eastern Trail Management District in partnership with many organizations including the Town of Scarborough. That section, crossing Scarborough Marsh, soon demonstrated amazing public support for the Eastern Trail.
Could anyone with their groundbreaking shovels in hand have imagined what would be accomplished in the following ten years?
Congratulations and many thanks to the hundreds, and thousands who believed in and supported the Eastern Trail vision and have worked so hard to continue building the first 21 miles of our off-road trail. Since that historic day, we have truly demonstrated that “if you build it, they will come.”
Click here to see some pictures of Eastern Trail leaders and visionaries gathering on the Scarborough Marsh Bridge on May 19 to commemorate the anniversary
Good News for the Community Bicycle Center
Our good friends at the Community Bicycle Center in Biddeford are moving to larger space. Read the good news here.
Saco section of ET dedicated to Mary’s Walk
A 2-mile section of the Eastern Trail that runs from Clark Street behind Thornton Academy to the trail kiosk on Route 1 by Hannaford was dedicated by the city of Saco to Mary Kerry Libby, for which the annual Mary’s Walk is named. Picture of plaque here.
Arundel adds parking spots for ET
The town of Arundel will be adding some parking spaces along the Limerick Road portion of the Eastern Trail. Two news articles can be read here
Eastern Trail Full Moon Walks Media Coverage
The latest coverage is entitled “Moonlight walks on Eastern Trail offered by guides” appearing in the 2/2 Journal Tribune – read the full article here.
The Eastern Trail is an important part of the East Coast Greenway, a developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles as it winds its way between Canada and Key West, linking all the major cities of the eastern seaboard. The vision of developing this trail system is the East Coast Greenway Alliance – Read their January 2014 Newsletter online here.
The Town of Scarborough recently hosted a presentation on the preliminary design for the section of the ET that would close the gap between the Nonesuch River in Scarborough and Wainwright Fields in South Portland. This section of the trail presents significant challenges that are both logistical and financial, as you’ll see. You can see this presentation in two ways: A slide show, and by watching a video from the meeting.
Here are some local news reports on this issue:
- Another link in Eastern Trail identified – Scarborough Leader
- Plans for new Maine Turnpike exit, Eastern Trail link, still lack funding – The Forecaster
- Eastern Trail expansion plan reviewed – So. Portland/Cape Elizabeth Sentry
Crossing Improvements in Scarborough
The Town of Scarborough recently made improvements to the Eastern Trail crossings on Pine Point and Black Point roads, including the addition of marked crosswalks and flashing warning lights, to assist trail users in crossing. Of course, even with these upgrades, please stop and look both ways before crossing any of the roads along the ET.
Have you seen those Great Pictures of the Sept. 7 Maine Lighthouse Ride?
They are great, capturing the fantastic experience of both riders and volunteers. ETA Volunteer Jim Bucar has a great eye and donates much time to get these great photos. Go here to see the pictures.
A big “Thank you” goes to Tom Littlefield and Judy Haley for participating in the ceremony to represent the Eastern Trail. Tom rode as part of the ceremony and Judy was the main contact for the Eastern Trail Alliance.
The bridge, connecting Portsmouth, NH and Kittery, ME, is a critical link for the East Coast Greenway, and for those entering the Eastern Trail at its southernmost point.
Several news stories on the Grand Opening ceremony can be found on our News Archive Page.
MEMORIAL BRIDGE PROJECT PAGE – SeaCoastonline.com has a Rebuilding the Memorial Bridge page that provides a complete look at the Memorial Bridge project, including photo galleries, news stories and a timeline of events going back to the 2011 closure of the original 1923 bridge.
Also check out SeaCoastonline’s Memorial Bridge Opening 2013 photo gallery
Additional details on the event and the bridge project can be found on the NH/ME DOT web page.
Biddeford Savings Funds Maps to Biking Adventure on the Eastern Trail
Funding from Biddeford Savings is helping thousands of hiking, biking and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy southern Maine’s Eastern Trail.
The bank provided full funding for the printing of 10,000 maps of the Eastern Trail, a 65-mile section of the East Coast Greenway, a transportation-recreation greenway connecting Kittery, in southernmost Maine, to Casco Bay in South Portland. The Eastern Trail has a growing span of off-road sections, as well as scenic on-road trails designed to follow primarily quiet country roads. Experienced bike riders and hikers can enjoy a beautiful journey from South Portland’s Bug Light Park on Casco Bay to Kittery on the Piscataqua River.
We Did It! – Bikes for Kids celebrates Success with 25 new bicycles, helmets
“And now the kids are riding 25 new bikes on the Eastern Trail” is the way the Saco Bikes for Kids campaign is defining its success in promoting use of the Eastern Trail and healthy lifestyles among youth. View the celebration poster, and read a news article about the feat. Some of the happy children with the Saco Parks and Recreation summer camp ride are shown (in the image to the right) riding their newly donated bicycles on the John R. Andrews Eastern Trail Bridge in Saco.
Signs put up to alert Maine motorists to turtle crossings
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Signs are being put up to ask motorists in southern York County to be aware of rare turtles crossing area roads. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy are marking the turtle crossing areas in Wells, South Berwick and York with hopes of reducing highway deaths of two of the state’s rarest species, Blanding’s and spotted turtles. Motorists encountering the roadside turtle signs should reduce their speed and be on the lookout for jaywalking turtles. Drivers who see a turtle crossing the road and want to help are asked to safely pull over to the side of the road and, only if it is safe to do so, move the turtle to the side of the road in the direction it was headed.Article from WCSH Channel 6.
You can’t get there from here: Eastern Trail connection between South Portland, Scarborough remains elusive, expensive
SCARBOROUGH, May 2, 2013 — If the “Bridge Out” sign is not enough, the drop down to the Nonesuch River from where a bridge used to cross the river is a vivid reminder of the obstacles blocking the off-road linkage of the Eastern Trail to South Portland.
But as a $150,000 study funded by the Maine Department of Transportation progresses, Town Planner Dan Bacon and Eastern Trail Alliance President Bob Hamblen are aware the water crossing may be the easiest part of constructing a 1.5-mile trail section to the Wainwright Field Athletic Complex in South Portland.
Our Maine Lighthouse Ride is getting well-deserved national attention on a website titled “13 Scenic Century Rides.” The MLR (slide #10 on the site) is listed as one of 13 rides that “come with scenery you will never forget.” The listing goes on to describe more about the MLR, saying that “Several distances are offered, including a 100-mile trek that passes nine of Maine’s iconic lighthouses and ventures into breathtaking coastal areas.” This publicity is sure to increase interest in the ride, particularly since this site (Active.com) advertises the ride nationally and registers our MLR riders online.
Eastern Trail Alliance eyes expansion – Group’s goal is to extend trail south from Kennebunk to Kittery
The Kennebunk Post – The Eastern Trail Alliance and Southern Eastern Trail Alliance have begun to set new plans for expanding into motion.
Optimally, the off-road trail will continue from South Portland through Wells, North and South Berwick and Eliot, all the way down to Kittery. The alliance held an informational meeting Tuesday, March 26 in North Berwick to discuss expansion plans and feel out any opposition.
Formally designed in 1998 to follow the abandoned Eastern Railway, the Eastern Trail was constructed for runners, hikers, bikers and other general outdoor enthusiasts.
Nearly every year since the millennium, new paths have been forged between South Portland and Kennebunk.
3/26 ETA/SETA Informational Meeting in No. Berwick a Major Success
A large and enthusiastic crowd attended this meeting to present and discuss options for moving the Eastern Trail forward in North Berwick. More information about the meeting here. Click here to read a Foster’s Online news article published in advance of the meeting (publ. 3/19). Click here to view a video of the meeting. Stay tuned for updates about new trail developments in North Berwick!
More Great Media Coverage of the ETA Full Moon Walks
More Great Media Coverage of the Eastern Trail
New Mile Markers for the Eastern Trail
In December 2012, the Arundel and Kennebunk Public Works Departments combined forces to install 14 mile markers on over 3.5 miles of the Eastern Trail — extending from the Arundel northern boundary to Route 35 in Kennebunk.
Measuring six inches by 12 inches and mounted at eye level, these double-sided signs are stationed at quarter-mile increments along the off-road sections of the trail and they provide trail users with a precise location on the trail. More importantly, geo-coordinates of the mile markers will be recorded in the E911 systems of all fire-rescue and police dispatch centers servicing the Eastern Trail, enabling first responders to identify the precise position of any caller requiring emergency assistance. Recreationalists will also find the mileage markers to be a convenient way of tracking their progress while running, cycling, or walking along the trail. These mile markers were generously donated by Southern Maine Medical Center — a longstanding supporter and a sponsor of many charity and health promoting events conducted on the Eastern Trail.
Are you on FaceBook? Read about Gary Allen, marathon runner who used the ET on his run to Washington
Gary Allen recently ran 700 miles from Cadillac Mountain to Washington, D.C., averaging 50 miles a day. We were pleased to learn that along the way, Gary utilized parts of the Eastern Trail Go to ET’s Facebook page for Gary’s story, events listings and other news – and great comments about the ET! Go to the page for other news updates – and great comments about the ET! Recently the ET FaceBook page went over 1,000 fans (“Likes”). Check out the ET FB page here. Go to Top of this page
“Tracks Aplenty on the Eastern Trail” – 12/2/2012 Maine Sunday Telegram Article
An article about the Nov. 27 Moonlight Walk led by John Andrews and Joe Yuhas. Key quote: “The trail is humming with energy and events — and it’s not done growing.”
KENNEBUNK – Since the two major bridges connecting the Eastern Trail went in this year, organized events along the trail have increased twofold.
But to a large extent, the fascination, attraction and use of this off-road, woodland trail has been building steam all along
“The last wintertime moonlit walk we had was last January. That drew 30! We might beat that today,” boomed John Andrews, the 75-year-old retired engineer who is a driving force behind this trail being built between South Portland and Kittery.
Eastern Trail is Featured in East Coast Greenway Article
The Eastern Trail, as the southernmost portion of the East Coast Greenway in Maine, is featured in a recent Bangor Daily News article entitled “East Coast Greenway continues to evolve from Kittery to Calais.” Read the full article here. Go to Top of this page
Eastern Trail provides a beautiful venue for the running portion of recent successful Triathalon
The inaugural Revolution3 Triathlon in Old Orchard Beach was held August 26, 2013. Revolution3 Triathlon, a group that organizes professional events nationally, put on the race. Lauren Goss of Mount Pleasant, S.C., who won the women’s event had this to say about our favorite Maine greenway: “The Eastern Trail was beautiful. I would love to live here just to run on that.” The quote appears in a Sun Chronicle article. Go to Top of this page
Eastern Trail listed as one of AAA Magazine’s 10 Most Scenic trails for two-wheeling in New England
The Eastern Trail is featured in an article is from the AAA Horizons magazine for Southern New England. It lists the Eastern Trail as one of ten favorite scenic trails in New Englandi. Read the full article here. Go to Top of this page
The Eastern Trail is featured in an article titled The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan: Relive Summer Camp in the Kennebunks. It lists the Eastern Trail as a key “to do” – read it here!
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