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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.

 


 

Deirdre Fleming: Eastern Trail on the road to further expansion

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming tested the Eastern Trail in 2003, cycling from Kittery to South Portland, and saw how beautiful even the most developed areas of Maine can be. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer Nearly 20 years of expansion has proven successful, and more is on the way.

Sunday, May 25, 12:01 A.M.

Pennsylvania trail guru Carl Knoch said it takes decades to build an off-road, long-distance bike path through urban areas.

In southern Maine it’s been nearly 17 years since the Eastern Trail was launched. And as we close in on two decades of work, the effort behind this urban trail has gained ground, quite literally.

I can attest to that, having spent the past decade waiting for the Eastern Trail Alliance, the nonprofit behind the trail’s development, to make it worth my while as a long-distance cyclist.

Four years ago the Eastern Trail Alliance founder, John Andrews, promised me they’d get me an off-road commuter route from my home in Kennebunkport to Portland. True to his word, it happened a year later when the Eastern Trail bicycle-and-pedestrian bridges were built over Route 1 and Interstate 95, and five miles of trails were added between Kennebunk and Old Orchard Beach.

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Eastern Trail 10th Anniversary

Eastern Trail 10th Anniversary at Scarborough MarshET Leaders and Visionaries: (from left) Bob LaNigra, John Andrews, Bruce Gulifer, Tom Daley, Bob Bowker (photo by Jim Bucar)Monday May 19, 2014 marks ten years since ground was broken for construction of the Scarborough Marsh 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 has generated 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."

Several Eastern Trail leaders, and visionaries, who led the efforts to get this project designed, funded, and off the ground, gathered on the Scarborough Marsh bridge on May 19 to mark the 10th anniversary (all photos by Jim Bucar):

 

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Old Orchard Beach on path for trail expansion

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:56 pm | By Kayla J. Collins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |

A portion of the Eastern Trail runs across Milliken Mills Road in Old Orchard Beach. Two town-owned areas off Portland Avenue and Milliken Mills Road are in the process of being developed for recreational use and are within walking distance to the Eastern Trail.OLD ORCHARD BEACH - The next phase of developing 72 acres near the intersection of Portland Avenue and Milliken Mills Road in Old Orchard Beach as a multi-use forestry space and public recreational area is under way.

The Town Council has accepted a $2,802 bid from stewardship forester Parker Forestry Associates, North Berwick, to inventory the property and create a Forest Management Plan that would include a description of land ownership objectives and what can be done to improve the site.

In January, the town received a matching grant for about $8,000 from Project Canopy and the Maine State Forest Service to help extend the network of recreational trails in the community, and to preserve 68 acres of land off Portland Avenue as wildlife habitat, according to Conservation Commission member Kimbark Smith, who is also the project manager for what has been dubbed the Milliken Mill Woods project.

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President’s Letter

Volunteers Needed!

president letter spr 2014If 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.”

All that and more.

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10th Anniversary Scarborough Marsh Groundbreaking

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

By John Andrews

Scarborouch Marsh Bridge Ribbon CuttingScarborouch Marsh Bridge 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.

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Leave it to the Beavers

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

By Joe Yuhas

Beaver WorkBeaver Work (photo by Jim Bucar)Prior 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?

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What’s the Economic Impact of the Eastern Trail?

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

by John Andrews

Trail Counter Mounted on a TreeMounting a Trail Counter on a TreeWho 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

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SETA is alive and thriving!

By Joe Yuhas

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

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.

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Joe Yuhas

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

By Brenda Edmands

Joe Yuhas(photo by Jim Bucar)The 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.

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Wells Seeks Funding for Design of Trail

[Note: This article appeared in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The full newsletter can be viewed in this pdf document]

By Marianne Goodine, Treasurer, ETMD

Ready for the Trail in WellsReady for the Trail in Wells (photo by Jim Bucar)As 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.”

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