Yarmouth’s West Side Trail is an expanding network of walking and biking trails connected to Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Sandy Point Beach, and various Yarmouth neighborhoods. The Royal River Conservation Trust is a strong supporter of this community-driven Town of Yarmouth project, along with the Rotary Club of Yarmouth, the National Park Service, Central Maine Power Company, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and the Greater Portland chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association. Significant funding has come from the Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands, Recreational Trail Program.
Scroll below for information on the Summer 2017 expansion of the trail to additional neighborhoods (the beginning of Phase II).
PHASE 1: COMPLETED TRAIL
AUGUST 2017 UPDATE: The new trailhead at Tyler Technologies is now open and marked with a kiosk, in the back right corner of the new parking lot. The maps have not yet been updated to reflect new office buildings and relocated trailheads.
The currently-built section (east of I-295) has slopes and terrain designed for technical mountain biking, walking, and trail running. More than six miles of trail make possible off-road round trips of more than ten miles. While the trail follows powerlines, most of the trail is in the woods on the edge of the cleared areas. The trail includes ravines, rocky bluffs, and vistas to Casco Bay and the Royal River estuary with an unexpected sense of remoteness, even while crossing ten neighborhood streets. The map illustrates almost a dozen places to park and access the trail.
The trail is managed by the Town of Yarmouth, with funding and support from the Royal River Conservation Trust and many others. A remarkable amount of volunteer work is necessary to maintain the trail after storms, prepping for mud season, or responding to constant goals of improvement with signs, kiosks, benches, and more. Please be especially attentive to trail closures during wet periods, and to trail postings regarding dog leashes and hunting.
Phase 2 will be “universally accessible,” with five-foot-wide gravel base, bumpouts to allow passing, and easy grades that will allow tandem walking, family biking, better access for the elderly and folks with mobility challenges. For some, Phase 2 will be more about transportation — an off-road respite or short-cut for folks commuting on a bicycle — rather than recreation. For others the trail will present better alternatives to get to the three nearby schools.
Funding, volunteer work, staff work, permissions, and other efforts for Phase 2 are being coordinated between the Town of Yarmouth, CMP, Maine DOT, Rotary Club of Yarmouth, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, New England Mountain Bike Association (Greater Portland Chapter), Royal River Conservation Trust, and scores of local volunteers led by volunteer project manager and Yarmouth resident Dan Ostrye.