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jandrewsshovelEastern Trail News Page - Current and Archive

Many articles about the Eastern Trail are organized on this news archives page.  The most recent articles appear immediately below, with the first part of each article displayed. Click on any article title, or the "Read More.." link to read the full text of that article. A list of additional article titles appears at the bottom of the page.



People on the Trail: two inspiring stories

by Jim Munroe and Jim Bucar - Fall 2011 ETA Newsletter

The diversity of trail users — their backgrounds and purposes— defy easy listing or categories. In just recent months, we have encountered birders from the West coast of the U.S. searching for a rare egret sighted on the Marsh, a photographer from Soissons, France, executives from Michigan on a tandem bike, previewing the area before deciding to move here, a young father jogging while spending quality time with his infant daughter — but the Trail has also proven to be a unique resource for people with specific life goals. Here are just two examples.


GETTING THERE FROM HERE – Scarborough looks to close Eastern Trail gap

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:39 pm
By Duke Harrington This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SCARBOROUGH - When John Andrews, 74, was a young boy growing up in Gardiner, he checked out every book on chess he could find at the Maine State Library in Augusta. That experience came in useful, he says, when it came time to piece together the easements needed to create the 69-mile-long Eastern Trail - a walking path designed to run from Kittery to Casco Bay.

"The principles of chess apply to building this trail," said Andrews, while walking Saturday in a section behind Scarborough's Hillcrest Retirement Community, where he now lives. "Easements are such wonderful fun, and getting them, like chess, is a kind of war, full of tactics and strategy. You don't start right out and go after the king, you've first got to get this little piece, and then that little piece."

Now, as president emeritus of the Eastern Trail Alliance, which he founded 14 years ago, Andrews is beginning to maneuver those pieces into checkmate. A $1.3 million bridge over Interstate 95 opened in August, and a 4.37-mile section of trail will link Saco and Old Orchard Beach "by Thanksgiving," he says. That leaves just two small sections - in Biddeford and Scarborough - to finish

ohn Andrews, president emeritus of the Eastern Trail Alliance, sits where the Eastern Trail ends in Scarborough, at the old Eastern Railroad bridge over the Nonesuch River.

The trail's end (for now)

John Andrews, president emeritus of the Eastern Trail Alliance, sits where the Eastern Trail ends in Scarborough, at the old Eastern Railroad bridge over the Nonesuch River. Plans are under way to build a way to cross the river and close a 0.8-mile gap in the trail between the river and the South Portland city line. (Staff photo by Duke Harrington)

the trail from Kennebunk to South Portland's Bug Light Park. When complete, the Eastern Trail will mark a significant connection in the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile-long trail linking Key West, Fla., to Calais, in Washington County.

The Scarborough gap, from the Nonesuch River to South Portland's Wainwright Field complex, just over the town line, measures a mere 0.8 miles. But it could be one of the most difficult to build, given significant obstacles - in the form of rivers and railroads - that cross the path. Andrews says construction of that small slice could take up to three years and cost $3 million.

Last week, the Scarborough Town Council accepted a $150,000 grant that will get the ball rolling. Funneled from the feds through the Maine Department of Transportation, the money will pay for a study of how best to finish Scarborough's section of the trail.

Read the full article on line here

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Blazing a Trail

August 7

Blazing a trail

Mile by mile, bridge by bridge, Eastern Trail supporters are closing in on their goal.

By Deirdre Fleming This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Writer

In 1997, all John Andrews wanted his Saco Bay Trails volunteers to build was a trail from Scarborough to Saco -- a pathway through three towns.

A town officer told him he'd never get a bridge over Route 1, and support for the trail seemed minimal.

"Most of the people at that meeting are now dead," Andrews said. "This December, it will be 14 years since we started."

In December, Andrews and people from eight towns will celebrate the 21 miles of linear off-road bicycle and pedestrian trail they've built between South Portland and Kennebunk -- and the opening of not only the Eastern Trail's bridge over Route 1 but also another spanning the width of Interstate 95.

"All I had was the vision," Andrews said. "The thing just exploded."

In recent years, the vision of an off-road trail running the length of southern Maine has come closer to a reality as others have joined and worked alongside Andrews on the Eastern Trail.

This year, with an unprecedented number of off-road miles built on the unique path, those involved say there's no stopping now.

read the full article here.

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Critical link in the Eastern Trail set to open soon story - Tuesday, August 30th, 2011, 3:33pm
Submitted by Tim Goff

KENNEBUNK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A critical link in the Eastern Trail, a 60 mile long multi-use recreation trail stretching from South Portland to Kittery, is set to open soon.

"I think for the first time the Eastern Trail is really on the map," stated Bob Hamblen, president of the Eastern Trail Alliance.  "We feel like we are opening the door a little bit and saying, world come on in.  We've got a trail, we've got a new bridge, we are building more trail as we speak, so come in and check us out."

What has Hamblen so excited is construction on a $3 million bridge spanning the Maine Turnpike, connecting two sections of trail, will be complete in the next week to ten days.

read the full article here.

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A saltwater marsh anyone on two wheels can navigate

June 26, 2011 | By Cathy Genthner, Globe Correspondent

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — I had not been on a bicycle in years and my weight had crept up along with my age. Those concerns evaporated with the early morning fog as soon as I got going.

It was easy pedaling on a 3-mile section of the Eastern Trail that cuts through the center of the Scarborough Marsh, a wildlife sanctuary just 15 minutes outside of Portland. My senses were awakened by the sight of a blue heron nestled among the marsh reeds, the piercing cries of seagulls overhead, and the smell of the stinging salt air as I watched an angler pull in a striper.

“We think it is a unique experience that one can encounter while on the most popular and visible section of the trail,’’ said Bob Hamblen, a vice president for the Eastern Trail Alliance. “You can come by on any given day and see birders, bird hunters during hunting season, fishermen, canoeists, runners, and bicyclists.’’

Seals have been seen swimming under the bridge that crosses the Dunstan River on the trail just off Pine Point Road. Eagles have been spotted.

“People come from all around the world to take in the habitat. There are countless birds and seals. It is a wildlife sanctuary and is protected by the State of Maine. It is dust free, smoke free, and fumes free,’’ said John Andrews, president of the alliance. “The marsh changes every hour as the sun goes across the clouds. It is just a beautiful place to go biking.’’

The trail through the marsh is one segment of the 65-mile trail that runs from Kittery to Portland, taking in eight lighthouses along the way. It is part of the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway that stretches from Key West, Fla., to Calais. The trail crossing the marsh begins on Eastern Road (off Black Point Road) and heading south, goes for 3 miles to Pine Point Road and then to Old Blue Point Road. There are parking lots for vehicles and kiosks where the trail intersects the roads. The trail was constructed from the abandoned railroad that was built in 1841. Over a span of more than a century, the line was operated by the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad, followed by the Eastern Railroad, and lastly, the Boston and Maine Railroad until the end of World War II.

Read the full article online here

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Eastern Trail Management District Newsletter - January 2011

The Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD) is a group of representatives from each Eastern Trail town that manages the construction and upkeep of the trail. Below is ETMD's January 2011 newsletter:

A leader on the trail (Nov. 28, 2010)

John Andrews is the motivating force behind southern Maine's expanding off-road trail system.

By Deirdre Fleming This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Staff Writer

ARUNDEL - The trail was slick with sleet Friday morning and the rain was cold, but John Andrews happily covered ground in his work boots as he gave a tour through the wood-lined path leading to the Kennebunk River.

It was the newest section of the Eastern Trail, and after several trail "unveilings" in as many years, Andrews is getting used to showing off this ever-expanding off-road trail in southern Maine.

The Eastern Trail begins at Bug Light in South Portland and the plan is to extend it all the way to Kittery, some 70 miles. It currently travels off road in sections through South Portland, Scarborough, Saco, Old Orchard Beach and now, with the newest section, across Biddeford, Arundel and Kennebunk.


John Andrews points toward Kennebunk as he shows off a new section of the Eastern Trail in Arundel where it crosses the Kennebunk River with a new bridge. The trail is part of the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway.

Read the full article online here.

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Lighthouse pedal pusher Cyclist organizes a lighthouse ride to raise money for the Eastern Trail

By DEIRDRE FLEMING - March 15, 2010

phot of Bob BowkerCAPE ELIZABETH: Bob Bowker pointed at two lighthouses that sat back from the lush vegetation some distance from the park named for them on the Cape Elizabeth peninsula.

At one time, they were used by mariners to help navigate into Portland Harbor, he explained. ''They would line up the two lights,'' he said.

And just as Bowker offered this impromptu history lesson about Two Lights State Park, a motorist with a Maine license plate pulled up and asked the cyclist for directions to Portland Head Light farther up the coast.

Bowker obliged, but quickly added with a wave to Cape Elizabeth Light east and west: ''There are two lighthouses right there.''

As the creator of the Maine Lighthouse Ride, Bowker is a bit of an advocate for lighthouses. The charity ride, which will be held for the fifth year Sept. 13, winds by five lighthouses and within view of three others that sit offshore: Wood Island Light, Ram Island Ledge Light and Halfway Rock Light.

Read the full article online here

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Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails in Maine: A Guide to Maine’s MultiUse Connections (Summer 2010)

bikepedreportBackground: This report provides a listing of Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Shared Use Trails in Maine, including the Eastern Trail. This report is divided into two sections. The first section lists the bicycle and pedestrian connections that are for nonmotorized uses only. They generally have improved surfaces of either asphalt or stone dust The second section includes Shared Use Paths which also allow ATV’s. All of these trails have been built with partnerships at the local, state, and federal level. They are all open to the public and are built to connect neighborhoods, villages, business areas and towns. This report is meant to be a general outline of bicycle and pedestrian offroad opportunities in Maine.

Walking and Bicycling Trails:

  • Acadia Carriage Roads (Mt Desert Island)
  • Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Path (Brunswick)
  • Auburn Riverwalk (Lewiston, Auburn)
  • Beth Condon Pathway (Yarmouth)
  • Bethel Pathway (Bethel)
  • Collins Pond Pathway (Caribou)
  • Calais Waterfront Walkway (Calais)
  • Eastern Trail (Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, South Portland)
  • Foundry Road Path (Livermore Falls)
  • Kennebec River Rail Trail (Augusta, Hallowell, Farmington, Gardiner)
  • Lisbon Trails (Lisbon)
  • Mountain Division Trail (Windham, Gorham, Standish)
  • Mousam Way Bike Path (Sanford)
  • Narrow Gauge Pathway (Carrabassett Valley)
  • Portland Trails – Back Cove/ Eastern Promenade/Bayside Trails (Portland)
  • Presque Isle Bicycle and Pedestrian Walkway (Presque Isle)
  • Sipayik Trail (Perry)
  • South Portland Greenbelt (South Portland)
  • University of Maine Bicycle Path (Old Town, Orono)
  • Westbrook River Walk (Westbrook)

Shared Use Paths: Motorized and NonMotorized Use:

  • Aroostook Valley Rail Trail (Washburn, Van Buren)
  • Down East Sunrise Trail (Ayers Junction to Ellsworth)
  • Four Season Adventure Trail (Newport to DoverFoxcroft)
  • Greenville Junction to Shirley Mills Rail Trail (Greenville Junction)
  • Lagrange Rail Trail (LagrangeMedford)
  • PattenSherman MultiUse Trail (Patten)
  • Sanford Rail Trail (Sanford)
  • Solon/Bingham (Solon to Bingham)
  • Southern Bangor and Aroostook Trail (Houlton, Phair Junction)
  • St. John Valley Heritage Trail (Fort Kent)
  • Turner Bike Path (Turner)
  • Whistle Stop Trail (Jay, Farmington)

Read the full report here.

Eastern Trail Management District Newsletter - January 2009

The Eastern Trail Management District (ETMD) is a group of representatives from each Eastern Trail town that manages the construction and upkeep of the trail. Below is ETMD's January 2009 newsletter:

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