Timeline of the Merrymeeting Trail

2008 – Representatives from Topsham, Bowdoinham, Richmond, and Gardner sign a memo of agreement supporting a regional trail system

2008 – Work plan is developed and trail corridor planning begins

2009 – First round of funding: received approx. $45,000 in funding from municipalities and state & regional grants

2009 – Granted planning and organizational assistance from NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program

2010 – Development of website and Merrymeeting Trail logo

2011 – Completion of a feasibility and planning study

2013 – Capital to Coast exploratory bike ride held from Bath to Gardiner, traveling along on-road interim Merrymeeting Trail route

2014 – Capital to Coast trail, of which Merrymeeting Trail is a central piece, is declared a “trail of statewide significance”

2014 – Maine DOT approves interim on-road route, trail brochure developed

2015 – Merrymeeting Trailblazers established — a supporting friends group of citizens, nonprofits, and town staff

2015 – On-road bike signs put up and another Capital to Coast bike ride is held

2016 – Board of Supervisors is created via interlocal agreement between four towns along the trail, bylaws written and adopted

2016 – Bowdoinham and Topsham expand stretches of roads and add trails, increasing accessibility and safety for bikers and pedestrians

2017 – 2nd annual Merrymeeting Bay Bike Tour is held during Bowdoinham’s Farm Day

2018 – Merrymeeting Trail convenes statewide trail gathering that becomes Maine Trails Coalition

2019LD 1141, a Resolve Directing the Maine Department of Transportation to Construct the Merrymeeting Trail, is introduced and discussed in the Legislature

2020 – MaineDOT allocates $25,000 in its Work Plan for a public advisory process on the Merrymeeting Trail

2021 – Several new laws advance the Merrymeeting Trail, including the adoption of a Rail Corridor Use Advisory Council process and a directive to MaineDOT to create a statewide Active Transportation Plan that considers repurposing unused rail corridors as trails.

2022 – Merrymeeting Trail Board of Supervisors and all four towns along the corridor formally request MaineDOT launch a Rail Corridor Use Advisory Council for the Lower Road; it first convenes in November.

2023 – The Lower Road advisory council is meeting monthly and gathering information so it can make an informed recommendation to the Commissioner of Transportation by the end of the summer.