-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: July 13, 2020
Length: Eastern Trail (Northern Section); 5.4 miles
Eastern Trail (Central Section); 8.5 miles
Eastern Trail (Southern Section); 6.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat, paved & crushed gravel rail trail.
To Start from Bug Light Park in South Portland (Northern End); From the junction of Route 77 (Casco Bay Bridge) and Broadway in South Portland follow Broadway east all the way to Breakwater Dr and turn left. Turn right on Madison St and follow to Bug Light Park.
To Start from the Eastern Road parking lot in Scarborough (Central Section); From the junction of Routes 1 & 207 in Scarborough, follow Route 207 south quickly to Eastern Rd. Turn right and travel 0.3 miles to the parking lot on your left.
To Start from Kennebunk Elementary School parking lot in Kennebunk (Southern End); From I-95 take exit 25. Northbound; Turn left on Route 35 and travel 1 mile to the school on your right. The trail connector is located at the south end of the parking lot.
See; EASTERN TRAIL PARKING for more parking locations.
The Eastern Trail is a proposed 65 mile trail running south from Bug Light Park (where Liberty Ships were constructed during WWII) in South Portland to Kittery, ME. The trail follows the rail bed of the former Eastern Railroad, which was the first railroad to connect Boston to Portland, operating from 1842 until 1945. In 1872 the Eastern Railroad bought out the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth RR. Currently, as of July 2020, the trail travels south from South Portland to Kennebunk. There are currently two on-road detours along this route. In South Portland this section is also referred to as the South Portland Greenbelt Walkway. For more information visit; EASTERN TRAIL , GREENBELT WALKWAY & MAINE TRAIL FINDER .
The Eastern Trail i is part of the EAST COAST GREENWAY , a planned biking & hiking route stretching 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. When complete it will traverse 15 states with a mostly off-road path.
Starting from Bug Light Park in South Portland (Northern End); From the parking lot the paved trail heads left to Bug Light Lighthouse where the Eastern Trail begins. This section in South Portland is also known as the South Portland Greenbelt Walkway.
From Bug Light; The paved Eastern Trail/Greenbelt Walkway starts from the lighthouse which overlooks Portland Harbor and where the Fore River discharges into Casco Bay. Across the channel sits Fort Gorges on Hog Island Ledge. Picnic tables/benches.
Note; A narrow paved trail travels down along the harbor to a boat ramp and more parking.
The wide trail travels alongside the bay and past the Bug Light Park parking lot to the Liberty Ship Memorial (Liberty Ships were built here during World War II). Informational signs along the trail. Exit the park where the trail travels alongside Madison St. Come to Breakwater Dr at 0.6 miles.
Note; Left on-road along Breakwater Dr brings you to the Spring Point Shoreway Trail .
Continue straight along the paved trail as it travels along open fields. Pass a spur trail left out to Preble St before following a residential corridor with multiple street crossings. Pass by some old RR tracks before coming alongside a cove for Fore River at 1.4 miles. Cross Cottage Rd and follow Trout Brook before crossing it. Cross Ocean St and enter a commercial corridor before coming to Broadway & Route 77 at 2.2 miles.
Note; Right a paved path takes you over the Casco Bay Bridge to Portland and more bike trails.
A series of cross lights gets you over Broadway to a Map board where the trail continues alongside another cove for Fore River. Come to Chestnut St at 2.8 miles and travel left on-road (residential) to the end of Chestnut St where you'll pick up the paved trail again on your right at 3 miles. This is as far as I traveled. The trail now follows alongside some RR tracks crossing Broadway again and following a residential corridor briefly before all woodlands at 3.9 miles. Pass by some solar panels in an open field before coming to Wainwright Sports Complex. Travel past the ball fields to Gary L Maietta Way at 5.4 miles and the current end of the trail. Wainwright Sports Complex parking lot here.
Note; As of July 2020 a gap exists between the next section in Scarborough. This 1.6 miles of trail between the Nonesuch River in Scarborough and the Wainwright Field Complex in South Portland is scheduled for construction in 2021. Close the Gap project connecting Scarborough and South Portland will be ready to go out to construction bidding by January 30, 2023.
Click here for on-road route around this gap.
Starting from Black Point Rd in Scarborough (Central Section); Heading south on-road along Eastern Rd (low traffic) you'll pass by the Eastern Road parking lot at 0.4 miles before rejoining the Eastern Trail. The open crushed gravel trail passes fields and marshlands from the Nonesuch River. Pass by the Willowdale Golf Club before a causeway through Mill Brook which brings you to a spur trail on your right out to Washington Ave at 1.2 miles. You now travel a causeway through the Scarborough Marsh, the largest saltwater marsh in Maine. Informational signs. A highlight of the trail. Cross a bridge over the Nonesuch River before passing by the Pine Point Road parking lot and crossing Pine Point Rd at 2.6 miles. Map board. This was as far as I traveled. The crushed gravel & grass trail continues into the woods crossing Old Blue Point Rd and Milliken Mills Rd at 4.2 miles. Cross a bridge over Mill River before crossing Cascade Rd. Pass by a spur trail out to Mill Brook Rd at 5.6 miles. At 6.5 miles the trail travels up to and over Portland Rd. You then cross Moody St (I've checked out this section) where the paved trail turns left off the rail bed to Route 1. Here the paved trail follows alongside Route 1 traveling underneath I-195 and across the off ramp to a Map board where at 7.5 miles the crushed gravel turns right back to the rail trail. You follow alongside active RR tracks on your right before the trail turns left off the rail bed again. Come to Thorton Academy Middle School where the trail is paved at 8.2 miles. You travel around the sports fields and out to Clark St in Saco after 8.5 miles.
Note; As of July 2020 a gap exists between the next section in Biddeford. Future plans seek to improve the Saco/Biddeford on-road section of trail by exploring potential off-road sections, improving existing on-road areas for pedestrians and bikers, and seeking an alternate method of getting over the Saco River. Click here for on-road route around this gap. Also you can check out the Biddeford-Saco Riverwalk in town.
Starting from W Cole Rd in Biddeford (Southern Section); I haven't checked out this section. The crushed gravel Eastern Trail continues south through the woods. Isolated and straight as an arrow. Active RR tracks parallel the trail to your left. Travel underneath the Biddeford Connector at 0.5 miles. Cross a couple of bridges over a creek before crossing Bass Lane at 1.7 miles. Cross Limerick Rd at 3.9 miles where you'll find a Map board. Cross a bridge over Kennebunk River at 4.7 miles before crossing a bridge over I-95 at 5.6 miles. You'll pass by a spur trail on your right leading up to the Kennebunk Elementary School parking lot before coming to Alewive Rd in Kennebunk after 6.1 miles and the current end of the trail, as of 2022.
Note; Funds have been secured in 2022 that will go toward the engineering of an 11-mile, off-road expansion of the Eastern Trail from Kennebunk south to North Berwick. Construction will be several years down the pike.
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT