The BIG news is that the Sebago to the Sea Trail is complete! Since 2007, members of the Sebago to the Sea Trail Coalition have been working hard to create one contiguous trail from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay. The trail complete, there is still more work to be done.
The Sebago to the Sea Trail project was first developed in mid-2007 with a projected timeline for completion of about 3-5 years. The success of PHASE ONE exceeded expectations. PHASE ONE goals included the successful mapping of the area including identifying existing, pending and needed trails for connectivity; establishment of a Coalition through regular meetings and partnerships, and engagement of Advisors to the project; the production of marketing materials to conduct public outreach; and fundraising for the project.
In PHASE TWO of the project, we strengthened our Coalition's efforts and established working Regional Committees; agreed by consensus on the logo and tagline; established detailed maps of each town including trails in existence and those in the vision corridor; conducted site walks and developed trail plans for connectivity; developed outreach materials including a vision map and project summary; and began work with landowners; and acquired further funding for PHASE 3 of the project. In the fall, we facilitated public meetings in each region, gathering public input and comment on the vision corridor.
PHASE THREE included continued collaboration of the Coalition and regional committees through regular meetings; an increase in members of regional committees to strengthen regional work and public support; the continued work with corridor landowners to create trail linkage; the development and implementation of signs for the trail system; the development and public outreach of trail maps for trail sections; trail work where needed; further fundraising for PHASES 4-5; further public outreach to garner public support; and and the designation of the first segment- 8.5 miles from Sebago Lake in Standish to South Windham!
PHASE FOUR included completing the trail from Route 202 in South Windham to the Maine Turnpike in Falmouth. On October 29th, 2011, the Sebago to the Sea Trail Coalition celebrated this designated section—13 miles from South Windham to Falmouth.
In the future, the Sebago to the Sea Trail will likely follow the Mountain Division corridor from Route 202 in South Windham to Bridge Street in Westbrook. For now, while this trail segment undergoes engineering and than construction, the Sebago to the Sea Trail will follow the Presumpscot River via a 5 mile Sebago to the Sea Trail Paddling Route as an alternative option to get to downtown Westbrook.
From downtown Westbrook, follow the Sebago to the Sea Trail Downtown Westbrook Connector Loop featuring the Westbrook River Walk. Thanks to Portland Trails, the City of Westbrook and the City of Portland's trail network, the remaining 8 mile trail segment follows both an on and off-road trail along the Presumpscot River, through Riverton Trolley Park, past the Riverside Recycling Facility and Riverside Golf Course, and on to the Maine Turnpike in Falmouth.
The Interim Trail End sign is now at the Maine Turnpike in Falmouth while the pedestrian underpass is under construction.
PHASE FIVE- Trail designation of the final section of the Sebago to the Sea Trail from the Maine Turnpike pedestrian underpass in Falmouth to Portland's East End Beach took place this past October 2012. Celebrate Our Collaborative Success By Getting Out On The Trail!