QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: NA
- Trail Mileage: ~20 miles off-road (as of spring 2017)
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: marsh, woods
It’s an incredible idea, a 3,000-mile “green trail” from Maine to Florida. While some of the 62-mile Eastern Trail is off road in Maine (from South Portland to Kittery), the majority is (right now) along roads, some of them busy roads. Nonetheless, you can have an enjoyable outing on an off-road, flat, easy, well-maintained gravel or paved trail that passes through South Portland, Scarborough, Saco, Biddeford and Kennebunk. It is wheelchair accessible. Go here for more information.
New sections of the trail are being constructed. The one I know about is a link-in-progress between the South Portland section (the excellent Greenbelt Walkway) and Scarborough segment.
The section of the trail that cross the Scarborough Marsh is beautiful, and so quite popular, and also great for bird watching. The portions between Kennebunk and Saco are bucolic and peaceful. I was really impressed with this trail, how nice, quiet, and pretty it is.
A few distances: From Scarborough’s Eastern Road trailhead, it is 8.4 miles one way to Thornton Academy. The off-road Kennebunk to Biddeford section is 6.1 miles. The Greenbelt section in South Portland is 5.6 miles.
Clark Preserve: I have also included on my map, marked in red, the paths on the 90-acre Clark Preserve in Kennebunk, close to the southern end of the Eastern Trail in my map. The best place to access Clark is near the end of Emmons Road, where there are two spots in front of a gate. Walk the straight, wide path to the Eastern Trail and directly across from you will be the start of the red trail (Emmons Road Trail), which connects to the green Center Trail (blazes colored accordingly). This semi-circle trail is about 0.6 miles (and can be noisy from the adjacent highway). The preserve also has a River Trail, blazed in blue, about 0.2 miles farther east down the Eastern Trail, which brings you to a bench overlooking a graceful bend in the Kennebunk River. The blue trail is roughly 0.35 miles from Eastern Trail to bench, and you can also make a little loop on your way back on the River Trail Extension. (In the future, the Kennebunk Land Trust means to connect the green and blue trails.)
Directions: You can pick up the trail anytime it crosses a road. But there are biggish lots at the Wainwright Sports Complex and Bug Light Park in South Portland, and on Eastern Road (off Black Point Road) in Scarborough. Also there’s a small parking lot on Pine Point Road. You can also park at Thornton Academy and Kennebunk Elementary School.