UPM Madison land donation connects future trails with East Coast Greenway trail system
UPM Madison is donating 45 acres of property along the Kennebec River to Kennebec Messalonskee Trails (KMTrails) serving the Greater Waterville community. KMTrails will use these lands to extend the existing Rotary Centennial Trail south along the east shoreline of the Kennebec River into downtown Winslow.
“We have been hoping to include this trail route in our network for several years,” said Peter Garrett, KMTrails President. “We couldn’t be more pleased to receive this generous gift from UPM Madison. It will enable us to provide access to the Kennebec River for many residents who have never seen, let alone walked along, this section. It will also enable visitors travelling the East Coast Greenway to pass through a really beautiful part of our community on their way. It’s all coming together.”
The Winslow Evergreen Sanctuaries land will allow a continuous path from Benton to Winslow, ME along the Kennebec, with the possibility for crossing the river at some time in the future. The donation of land includes 42 acres in Winslow, ME above the Brookfield LLC Hydro dam, 2.3 acres in Benton, ME immediately upstream from the Winslow sector, 0.71 acres in two lots next to the River in Fairfield, ME and 3 former railroad bridge piers in the River.
“Integrating this acreage into their trail system has been KMTrails’ vision for a long time,” said Russ Drechsel, UPM Madison General Manager. “This donation improves the quality of life in our communities and enhances the environment we all value and enjoy, demonstrating UPM’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”
This parcel of land also connects with local sections of the East Coast Greenway, the nation's ambitious long-distance trail project that will link major cities and many smaller communities between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida. This trail segment will add to the 34% of the Maine Greenway that is off-road.
The Winslow Evergreen Sanctuaries land donation will provide a key link in eight miles of continuous trails from Benton through Winslow, across the historic 2-Cent Bridge through Waterville to the Quarry Road Recreational Area. “This link offers people an opportunity for walking, running and cycling, and an off-road recreation venue for those in wheelchairs. It will be especially valuable as a cross country running route for Winslow High School students,” stated Garrett.