QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: N/A
- Trail Mileage: ~.9 mile long
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: wheelchair accessible path, Kennebec River, city sights, historical sites
Blue trails represent the Kennebec Rail Trail; green trails are the Greenway Trail
This is a wonderful extension of sorts to the fabulous Kennebec Rail Trail, which is across the river. Except in this case, the trail is not paved (but still wheelchair accessible) and passes by interesting historical sites. It’s also slightly more pastoral than the trail on the other side.
The one-way trail begins (or ends) at Fort Western, the oldest surviving wooden fort in the U.S. It was built by the British in 1754 and served as a storehouse that could hold goods destined for Fort Halifax, 17 miles north. Benedict Arnold used the fort as a staging point in 1775 during the American Revolution. Adjacent to the site is the Cushnoc Archeological Site.
The other interesting part of the trail is at the other end, closer to the trail head across Independence Drive. After descending down a steep path (which is not wheelchair accessible), you’ll come to the Greenway trail and pass the former Kennebec Arsenal, an imposing series of stone buildings with lawns sloping down to a riverside patio. The arsenal was built between 1828 and 1838. In the early 20th century, it was converted into a hospital for the mentally ill before the hospital closed in 2004.
The main portion of the trail runs between Independence Drive to the Old Fort Western. There is additional track running south through the AMHI woods that ends at a sand pit-like area.
Directions: The best place to park is at the Old Fort Western, which can be accessed from Cony Street, right before (or after) the bridge.