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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.

 


 

East Coast Greenway continues to evolve from Kittery to Calais

By Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN Staff Posted Aug. 29, 2012,at 1:20 p.m.

Marjorie Foote and Philip McGranahan of Kittery bike through Scarborough Marsh on Aug. 14, 2012, as they follow the East Coast Greenway from Portland to Saco.Exiting the train in Portland, Philip McGranahan and his wife Marjorie Foote donned helmets, righted their bicycles and headed south on the East Coast Greenway, a route that would lead them along off-road paths and low-traffic roads all the way to Saco.

The Kittery couple pedaled the bike-friendly path several years ago — they couldn’t agree on exactly how many — but as they followed the ECG signs, they noticed that much of the route has changed. In Scarborough Marsh, where a pedestrian bridge opened to the ECG in 2004, they paused and noted that the marsh hadn’t been a part of their previous trip.

Though they ended their day in Saco, the ECG extends much farther. Through Maine, the route currently extends about 380 miles from the Canadian border in Calais to the southern tip of the state. From there, the route continues to the tip of Florida, threading together 16 states.

Read more...

Relive Summer Camp in the Kennebunks - New York Magazine

nymagtravelETA Webmaster Note - NY Magazine's "Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan" was published on 8/17/2012. Part three, which references the Eastern Trail, is highlighted here. Click here to read the whole article.

By Jen Swetzoff; Published Aug 17, 2012

Maine’s coastal villages offer cabins in the woods, New England comfort food, and a full roster of activities on land and at sea.

Part 1 - Where to Stay Part 2 - Where to Eat

Part 3 - What to Do

Hike through the 24-acre Marx Preserve (look for the sign off Route 9, opposite a utilities pump station) and explore an ecosystem that’s relatively rare in southern Maine: salt marshes. Bring binoculars to spot birds like great blue herons and goldeneyes among the pines and hemlocks. For more hiking opportunities, follow the adjoining three-mile Bridle Path (access at 71 Sea Road), which goes inland and toward the sea, or check out the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, home to many species including bald eagles and moose.

Get your sea legs at Goose Rocks Beach, one of the most popular places in town for stand-up paddle boarding. The relatively gentle waves are ideal for beginners and the long stretch of white sand, often rippled with tide pools, is a fine place to relax afterwards. You can book a one-hour private lesson with Aquaholics Surf Shop ($75), but if you prefer more traditional paddling, call up Coastal Maine Kayak (half-day rentals from $35), and they’ll deliver a single or tandem boat to you.

Bike a tranquil stretch of the 65-mile, ten-foot-wide Eastern Trail, which runs from South Portland to Kittery. The six-mile section between Kennebunk (access at the Kennebunk Elementary School, 177 Alewive Road) and Biddeford opened to the public in 2010, and has since become one of the area’s most popular biking routes because it’s shady and relatively easy. Take a break at the pond on the way back and spot deer and wild turkeys through the conifer trees.

Part 4 - Insider's Tip Part 5 - An Oddball Day

Scenic trails built for two-wheeling

ETA Webmaster note: This 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 England.Click here to go directly to the ET description in their list below.

By Juliet Pennington

Eastern Trail, York and Cumberland counties in southern Maine. “The path flies by as you and I ride a bicycle built for two.”

So go the lyrics from one version of the popular song, “Daisy Bell,” commonly known as “Bicycle Built for Two,” a ditty written in the late 1800s by English songwriter Harry Dacre while on a visit to America.

And while most prefer bicycles built for one to those of the tandem variety, cycling enthusiasts share a love of this healthy, outdoor activity that is often accompanied by a picturesque backdrop best viewed while two-wheeling.

There are many scenic bike paths within a day’s drive, and more are in the planning, design and/or construction phase. Most have shops in close proximity that rent and sell bicycles.

Here are some of our favorites:

Read more...

Triathlon draws thousands

ETA Webmaster Note: The running portion of this triathalon was done on the Eastern trail. This article makes several references to the Eastern Trail.

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 12:16 pm | Updated: 11:30 am, Wed Aug 29, 2012.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Swim 1.2 miles. Bike 56 miles. Then run 13.1 miles.

And do it starting at 6 a.m.

Sounds crazy, but that’s what nearly 1,200 triathletes from all over the country and around the world did Sunday in the inaugural Revolution3 Triathlon in Old Orchard Beach. Revolution3 Triathlon, a group that organizes professional events nationally, put on the race, and its $25,000 purse drew 33 professionals from the upper echelons of the triathlon world, as well as scores of amateur competitors.

Putting on such a large event in a small seaside town presented a logistical challenge for Old Orchard Beach, Assistant Town Manager Louise Reid said, but in the end the event went off without a hitch.

“The comments that have been made to me by volunteers and department heads who were involved was that it was one of the most organized events that they’d been a part of,” Reid said. “It was smooth, it was well attended, and the comments that were made to our police officers and our volunteers were thank you from the company and all the participants.”

Read more...

Wheeling into the future; Kid mob kicks off campaign to buy 25 bikes

Kids Mopb on the ET John Andrews bridgeSACO - More than 300 kids in bright yellow T-shirts “mobbed” the pedestrian bridge over Route 1 in Saco Tuesday morning, July 24, to kick-off a fundraising campaign to buy 25 bikes for the Saco Parks & Recreation program.

The goal is to raise $7,500 in order to buy the bicycles and related safety equipment, such as helmets, according to Justin Chenette a member of the Saco Bikes for Kids committee. Chenette is also running for the House District 134 seat this fall.

He said the bikes initiative is a collaboration between the Eastern Trail Alliance and the city of Saco with the goal of getting kids interested in using the trail and “putting those electronic devices down.”

Read more...

Tracks on the Trail

Saco youth campers use Eastern Trail to kick off bicycle fundraiser

By LIZ GOTTHELF, Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:06 PM EDT

Kids on the ET John Andrews Bridge!SACO — On Tuesday morning, about 300 children in the city’s summer park and recreation camps, along with 90 staff members, all in bright yellow and pink shirts, crowded onto the John R. Andrews Eastern Trail pedestrian bridge. Cars honked as they passed below on Route 1.

The “kid mob” was a kick-off for the Saco Bikes for Kids campaign, a local effort to raise money for 25 bicycles and helmets for the city’s recreation program in its summer camps and after-school programs.

The effort is a way to promote the Eastern Trail, particularly among youth, and create enthusiasm for healthy lifestyles, said campaign organizers.

Read more...

Trail work earns Hamblen honor

by Kate Irish Collins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bob Hamblen recognitionSACO - Bob Hamblen, Saco’s city planner and president of the Eastern Trail Alliance, recently received the Community Celebrity Award from Cabot Creamery, which has honored 40 people across the country with this special recognition.

As part of the award, Hamblen received a seven-day Alaskan cruise, which leaves from Seattle in early September. The other community celebrities will also be on board for what Hamblen referred to as an opportunity to “mix and mingle and swap ideas.”

He’s “pleased as punch” with the award, as well as “absolutely flattered and honored.”

Read more...

Transportation bill presents potential 'triple whammy'

By Kevin Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Washington bureau chief

Advocates for making Maine friendlier for cyclists and walkers are expressing concerns about federal funding cuts to programs that communities often use to pay for bike lanes, crosswalks and road safety programs aimed at schoolchildren.

But the Maine Department of Transportation is dismissing some of the worst-case scenarios being discussed, saying it's too early to tell precisely how the federal cuts could affect the state's bicycle and pedestrian safety programs.

President Obama is expected to sign the first multi-year transportation funding bill since 2009 in a ceremony today, roughly one week after Congress approved the $120 billion spending plan.

The bill maintains overall funding levels for the next 27 months, but cuts funding for bike and pedestrian safety programs by about 30 percent.

The bill maintains overall funding levels for the next 27 months, but cuts funding for bike and pedestrian safety programs by about 30 percent.

Dan Stewart, right, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, leads cyclists over the Eastern Trail bridge at Scarborough Marsh last summer.

Dan Stewart, right, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, leads cyclists over the Eastern Trail bridge at Scarborough Marsh last summer.
Stewart said it is premature to say how state programs will be affected by cuts proposed in a new $120 billion federal transportation plan.

Read more...

Heading home

By RACHEL LOVEJOY, Columnist
Published:Tuesday, June 5, 2012 1:24 PM EDT

Last weekend, I took a walk along the portion of the Eastern Trail that connects Biddeford with Kennebunk. Wide, flat and very well maintained, the trail moves in a pretty straight line, its end disappearing into infinity in the distance, and it offers quite a few spiritually restful stops along the way. Of course, I never visit such places without my trusty camera in hand, and this walk was no different.

I started out fairly early and met few others on the way. As the morning wore on, however, the trail became quite populated with other walkers, cyclists, runners and dogs. Small children zoomed by on their tiny bicycles, and one little girl had to stop at one point so her mother could reattach the chain that had fallen off its gears. Off she went again, her handlebar streamers flying out straight on either side of her.

Read more...

Eastern Trail parking debated

By Samantha Stephens, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , SeaCoastonline.com
May 31, 2012 2:00 AM

ARUNDEL — There was much debate regarding potentially allowing parking on Limerick Road for the Eastern Trail at the Board of Selectmen meeting held on Tuesday, May 29.

Catherine Rush, an Arundel resident, was first to voice her concerns, questioning whether any measures have been made to make sure children and families parking on Limerick Road, and inevitably stepping onto the road, will be protected.

Sam Rush, Catherine's husband, also voiced his concerns about the parking proposal and called it a "poor idea."

"I don't think there is safe access for parking on Limerick Road," Rush explained.

Resident John Bell disagreed, saying he doesn't see the harm in allowing at least a temporary parking option for residents who want to use the trail.

Dan Dubois, Arundel resident and member of the Planning Board, agreed with Bell and said it's safer to park at the trail than have people park at M.L. Day School or the Town Hall and walk down the busy road.

Tad Redway, Arundel Town Planner, proposed the idea of increased signage to warn drivers of bikers and pedestrians.

"We wouldn't just do parallel parking without looking into options," Redway assured the Board of Selectmen and residents.

It was also explained that, with the exception of four or five spaces at the end of Mountain Road, this would be the first example of parallel parking in Arundel.

Selectman Dana Peck voiced his concerns with making this the "town's issue" because ultimately it will be decided by the Board of Selectmen, rather than Arundel voters, whether parking will be permitted on Limerick Road.

Peck said this issue has become a "thorn in our side" and he was concerned about making the right decision for the safety and benefit of all residents, both users and non-users of the trail.

Selectman Phil Labbe, owner of Labbe Excavating, said this issue is one that's very important to him because of the often dangerous situations in that area.

Labbe said just this past week one of his trucks weighing 50-60,000 pounds was driving down Limerick Road and a woman with two children came off the trail and began to walk across the road without looking.

Labbe said the driver slammed on his horn and they backed up but it was a dangerous situation and those who use the trail need to "look and respect traffic," even at crosswalks.

Vice Chairman Mark Paulin said he wanted to wait on a vote to make sure allowing parking on Limerick Road wouldn't interfere with abutting properties such as Rush's home.

"He's owed that," Paulin said, agreeing that drafting a plan might be in everyone's best interest before moving forward.

Selectman Tom Danylik agreed.

"We're premature with this," he said. "I don't know what I'm looking at. I don't know what space is available. I think we're jumping the gun a little."

The board voted 3-1 to table the discussion until further research can be presented at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.

Read the full article online here

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