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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.



Enjoy the Foliage!

Opinion - - A service of - Posted Oct. 14, 2015

A review of great places to go and things to do to enjoy the colorful fall foliage in southern Maine, including on and around the Eastern Trail!

Ah, October. That time of year is finally here again. Time to take in the bold and beautiful colors of fall. There’s plenty to do in our area during the fall season, but if you’re looking for a relaxing, leisurely adventure, take a drive and enjoy the foliage.


Team In Training - Iowa Chapter LLS with 60 riders in the Maine Lighthouse Ride

This year's Maine Lighthouse Ride will feature some very special guests. More than 60 riders from Team In Training - Iowa Chapter LLS, benefitting the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, will join us this coming Saturday. Notice their custom team jerseys!


Audio tours provide historic view of tri-city area

By LIZ GOTTHELF, Staff WriterA new local initiative, Treetops & Rooftops GIS, is bringing on demand tours of local points of interest.

Treetops & Rooftops, an initiative of Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement and created by volunteers, has developed a pilot program with three audio tours – historical tours of Pepperell Park in Saco and The Pier in Old Orchard Beach and an audio drama that takes place at a segment of the Eastern Trail in Biddeford behind Southern Maine Health Care.


New Eastern Trail spur nears completion in OOB

By LIZ GOTTHELF, Staff Writer
OLD ORCHARD BEACH — A nearly completed new spur trail leads pedestrians and bicyclists from the Eastern Trail to Veterans Memorial Park downtown.

The Eastern Trail, when fully completed, will provide 65 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails from Kittery to South Portland along the former Eastern Railroad Corridor.

The Eastern Trail was conceived in the 1990s as a “linear park” providing 12 southern Maine communities with a route for bicyclists and pedestrians without motorized traffic, according to a press release from the Eastern Trail Alliance.


Be Cool, It's a Bike Path

Image of sign on a bike path

Multi-use paths are being added to cities across the country at an exciting rate and more people are using them. That's a great thing. But crowding can lead to conflict. To stay safe, and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone, here are a few guidelines for blisfully sharing bike paths with fellow cyclists, joggers, dog walkers, and everyone else.

1. Get out of time-trial mode, duh. It's fun to go fast, but a bike path isn't the place to seek a KOM. Yes, you can crank things up a bit if you have clear sight lines and few other users but, as a general rule, keep it under control.

2.  Ride right, pass left. Act like a car in these situations. Right for travel, left for passing. And, of course, obey all traffic signals.


The Best Bike Paths on the East Coast Greenway

By Marc Chalufour
AMC Outdoors, September/October 2015

The ambitious effort to create the East Coast Greenway (ECG)—an uninterrupted network of bike paths, some preexisting and some newly constructed, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Fla.—began in 1991. Today, the off-road portion is nearly one-third complete, with designated roads connecting the dots. These eight segments highlight the best of the ECG in AMC’s region, from urban bike paths to rural rail-trails.

South Portland, Maine
The Eastern Trail will eventually connect South Portland with Portsmouth, N.H., via 65 miles of bike path. About a third of the project is now complete, including a dedicated bridge in Biddeford that crosses over the Maine Turnpike and the Eastern Trail’s northernmost section, in South Portland. To ride the latter stretch, begin at Bug Light, which overlooks Portland Harbor at the mouth of the Fore River, and pedal west. The trail skirts the river and, after a brief on-road connection, continues on to the Wainwright Athletic Complex.
DISTANCE: 10.8 miles round trip
INFO: AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast (AMC Books);

Read the entire article online here

In From the Outdoors: Q&A with Paul Schumacher and Lee Burnett, trail advocates

SPRINGVALE — A year ago Paul Schumacher and Lee Burnett began brainstorming over a question local business owners repeatedly asked: Could York County have more connecting trails?

Schumacher, the director of the Southern Maine Planning and Economic Development Commission, said the requests made sense: Trails help tourism, improve quality of life and increase the value of real estate.

So he got together with Burnett, project director at Forest Works!, which conserves forestland in York County, and began to examine the possibility of a large, interconnecting trail network.


Next stop, Kennebunk

Amtrak’s Downeaster welcomed as seasonal economic boost

By Faith Gillman Staff writer |  Posted: Friday, December 26, 2014

KENNEBUNK -The last time a train stopped at the station on Depot Road in Kennebunk, Lyndon Johnson was president. That same year “Downtown” by Petula Clark, and The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” were at the top of the Billboard charts. 

Fifty years have passed since riders were able to hop on a train in Kennebunk. But now that a seasonal stop on Amtrak’s Downeaster line has been approved for the town, passengers will soon be able to ride the rails and visit downtown and neighboring areas from Kennebunk once again – providing, supporters hope, a welcome seasonal economic boost.

Plans to bring the train back are well under way, according to Mat Eddy, Kennebunk’s economic development director. 

“We got the green light from Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (in May 2014) and hired Sebago Technics to do a conceptual drawing,” said Eddy. “We will have a 300-foot platform (that) will allow for bicycles to be loaded and unloaded at the stop.


EDITORIAL: A salute to the trailblazers

Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 4:26 pm

Congratulations to the Sebago to the Sea Trail Coalition, which has finally realized its dream of creating a continuous trail from Sebago Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. Now, we’d like to see the Eastern Trail Alliance, which has made equally great strides in recent years connecting sections of former rail line along the southern coast of Maine, finally create an unbroken link from Kittery to South Portland.

The Sebago to the Sea Trail has been in existence since 2012, thanks to the members of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, which took it upon themselves to work with landowners and the state to carve a trail from Sebago Lake to the ocean. It starts out in the woods of the Sebago Lake Land Reserve, owned by the Portland Water District, and follows the Mountain Division Rail Trail from Standish into Gorham, past the Maine Correctional Facility in Windham and then into Westbrook, where it follows Bridge Street and East Bridge Street until plunging back into the woods along the Presumpscot River. It crosses into Portland near Riverton and then follows the Presumpscot through Riverside Golf Course and into Falmouth near the highway overpass on Blackstrap Road. From there it wends its way, sometimes on streets, sometimes on paths, through residential Portland and finally meets the sea at East End Beach, where “through-hikers” can celebrate with a dip in the ocean.


Family-Friendly Community Bike Trails

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.

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