The Spring 2014 ETA Newsletter can be viewed in several ways.

Click here to view to entire newsletter as a pdf document.

You can also view individual articles in the newsletter – click any title link listed below:

2014 Maine Lighthouse Ride Filling up Fast!
President’s Letter
Leave it to the Beavers
10th Anniversary Scarborough Marsh Groundbreaking
What’s the Economic Impact of the Eastern Trail?
Joe Yuhas
SETA is alive and thriving!
Brief Calendar of Trail-Related Events
Wells Seeks Funding for Design of Trail

2014 Maine Lighthouse Ride Filling up Fast! – By Bob Bowker, MLR Chairman

MLR Article spr 2014With six months still to go until the 2014 Maine Lighthouse Ride, the popularity of the ride is obvious — about 400 riders already pre-registered for the September 6 event. Riders represent over 20 states, including South Dakota, California, Colorado, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas, and Michigan. This year we also have riders from the United Kingdom and Canada. And let’s not forget our local folks, with strong contingents from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. We plan to continue to build on the success of last years’ 10th anniversary ride, which sold out at 1,000 riders three weeks before ride day. In response to the continuing surge in demand, we are increasing our rider limit to 1,200 riders this year. Anyone want to wager when the sellout date will fall?….Read the entire “Filling Up Fast” article here.

President’s Letter – By Bob Hamblen

president letter spr 2014Volunteers Needed!

If there’s one thing that’s been constant since I attended my first Eastern Trail Alliance meeting, it’s been the M&Ms. Oh, no I guess that’s not true – there was quite a lapse for a time, now that I think about it. Fortunately, however, volunteers have not lapsed, and a couple of handfuls of these energetic, inspired folks continue to work at making the ET what it is and what it will become. Tom Daley, Maggie Warren, Mac Sexton, Larry Glantz –when the ETA Vol Hall of Fame is called to order, these are but a few of the many who will be in attendance. And I’ll bet, if asked, every one of them would agree that the experience was an enriching one. “We volunteered, we spent time with equally motivated people with common interests, we achieved, we made things happen.”…Read the entire “President’s Letter” article here.

Leave it to the Beavers – By Joe Yuhas

beaverPrior to and on October 13, 2013 (a Friday!) heavy rains covered over half a mile of the Biddeford section of the Eastern Trail with impassable flood waters. Reluctantly, we closed the trail, an unprecedented action. The ET website and ET Facebook page immediately relayed to trail users that we had informed Unitil and Biddeford’s department of public works and city manager that the section of the trail would be closed until further notice.

As a further complication, an event had been scheduled on that section of the trail for the following day. As you might imagine there was concern about how long the trail would be closed. But even more perplexing, was the question of how and why the flooding occurred. The trail had been open for over three years and had not flooded after many periods of prolonged heavy rains. What had changed?…Read the entire “Leave it to the Beavers” article here.

10th Anniversary Scarborough Marsh Groundbreaking

By John Andrews

Scarborough Marsh Ribbon CuttingDo any of you remember the old waste water pipe bridge over the Dunstan River that meanders through the marsh? I’m sure you remember its replacement, the Eastern Trail Bridge that carries trail traffic while supporting both that pipe and the Granite State Gas Pipeline. I doesn’t seem possible, but ten years have already passed since the May 19, 2004 groundbreaking ceremony took place a few weeks after the accompanying photo was taken….Read the entire “Scarborough Marsh Groundbreaking Anniversary” article here.

What’s the Economic Impact of the Eastern Trail? – By John Andrews

counterWho uses the ET? Where do users come from? What does the average visitor spend on ice cream? Boots? Bicycles? Lodging? Beyond a little casual knowledge— I’ve met cyclists on the ET who came from Vermont, New York and Quebec just to bike the ET— we have no measured data. We intuit that these users must benefit local economies, but we haven’t yet quantified those benefits. How can we measure them? What have others done?

Carl Knoch, Northeast Trails Development Manager for the Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC), wanted to answer these questions for a Pennsylvania trail. He electronically counted users and asked hundreds of Pennsylvania trail users to answer self-mailing questionnaires. With the results, he began to measure the trail’s economic impact, learning how many people….Read the entire “Economic Impact” article here.

Joe Yuhas – By Brenda Edmands

Joe YuhasThe ET provides a space for recreation, transportation and socialization for all users. And sometimes it provides a lift when your life has hit some rough patches.

When Joe Yuhas’ wife Delpha was going through some intense stages of her illness, she and others urged Joe, her primary caregiver, to take a break each day. Her doctor’s office was on Route 1, near Scarborough Marsh. So, as Joe explains, “I would throw my bike in my truck, go to the doctor’s to pick up her prescriptions, then ride the trail for an hour or so,”

The exercise, the beauty of nature and the change always helped him find a path back to at least a small sense of balance. Shortly after his wife’s death, the dedication of the KAB section of the ET close to his home only reinforced the positive feelings he had about the trail….Read the entire “Joe Yuhas” article here.

SETA is Alive and Thriving! – By Joe Yuhas

The Southern ETA group has gained gratifying strength and numbers since last summer’s community displays and presentations. Those activities were designed to spread the word of the Eastern Trail and increase support at the grass roots level. Our awareness program showcased the far reaching benefits of the existing trail, as well as the benefits that will follow as the off road trail is extended to and through Wells, the Berwicks, Eliot and Kittery to connect with NH at the Memorial Bridge.

Since fall, SETA members have been meeting on a regular basis to explore and increase the effectiveness of our awareness program. Many new faces have been added to the group, increasing the pool of talent and imaginative ideas to accomplish our goals….Read the entire “SETA” article here.

Brief Calendar of Trail-Related Events

Spring is finally here! Mark your calendars for the following Eastern Trail happenings and other running, walking and cycling events.

Find out more at the websites listed below;

Eastern Trail Alliance (ETA)
Bicycle Coalition of Maine (BCM)

In addition to events listed below, several groups are holding events on the Eastern Trail. For more information on these and how to apply to host an event on the trail, visit the Trail Events tab on the ETA website.

Ongoing:     ETA volunteers lead monthly moonlight walks. Check website for details.

2nd Thursdays: Monthly ETA meeting – time and location posted on website.

May 15:        ETA Annual Meeting at Old Marsh Country Club, Wells, ME

May 15:        Walk for Wishes at Thornton Academy, Saco, ME

May 21:        VA2K Walk & Roll, Saco, ME….Read the entire “Brief Calendar of Trail-Related Events” article here.

Wells Seeks Funding for Design of Trail – By Marianne Goodine, Treasurer, ETMD

Wells Seeks Funding for the TrailAs we spring ahead and look forward to warmer weather, the Town of Wells is working together with the Town of Kennebunk to continue the trail southward through Wells to the North Berwick Town Line. Wells is currently putting the finishing touches on its Fiscal 2015 budget and will present to the Wells voters at the Annual Town Meeting on June 10 a funding article to “Undertake with the Town of Kennebunk preliminary design of the Eastern Trail through Wells and Kennebunk along the Granite State Gas Pipeline Transmission corridor.”….Read the entire “Wells Seeks Funding” article here.

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