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East Coast Greenway


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Trail Description

East Coast Greenway

The East Coast Greenway, or ECG, is a project to create a nearly 3,000-mile (4,800 km) urban path linking the major cities along the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida for non-motorized human transportation. It is similar, both in length and conception, to the twelve routes of the EuroVelo project throughout Europe.

Work on ECG began in 1991. As of 2009, 24% of the trail is complete (off-road).

History

In 1991 a group of cyclists and long-distance trail enthusiasts met in New York City and formed a national non-profit organization, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, or ECGA, to plan and promote a greenway linking existing and planned trails into a contiguous "spine route" between Atlantic coast cities.

In the summer of 1992 the ECGA sent nine cyclists from Boston, New York, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. on a 30-day "exploratory" cycle tour. In June 1999 the ECG was selected by the White House for designation as a National Millennium Trail.

Between February and June 2000, the ECG Wave relay transported a bottle of sea water from Key West, Florida up the eastern seaboard to Canada along the route of the ECG. Transportation was entirely non-motorized to celebrate the ECG's selection as a National Millennium Trail and to promote human-powered transportation.

Route

Major cities connected by the spine route are:

  • Calais, Maine
  • Bangor, Maine
  • Portland, Maine
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Newburyport, Massachusetts
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • New York City, New York
  • Trenton, New Jersey
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Wilmington, Delaware
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Annapolis, Maryland
  • Washington, DC
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Key West, Florida

There is also a planned coastal route that provides an alternative to the Richmond-Wilmington leg of the journey by way of the Tidewater region of Virginia, passing through Virginia Beach and continuing on through the Outer Banks of North Carolina before rejoining the mainland near the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Wilmington. Other "alternate" routes are planned for Maine, Massachusetts, and Florida as well.

Active Segments

A sampling of segments of the East Coast Greenway that are currently accessible:

Maine

  • Calais Waterfront Walkway
  • Downeast Sunrise Trail
  • Kennebec River Rail Trail
  • Lisbon Trail
  • Androscoggin River Bicycle Path
  • South Portland Green Belt
  • Eastern Trail

Massachusetts

  • The Blackstone River Bikeway between Millbury and south Worcester
  • The Charles River Bike Path
  • Newburyport Rail Trail
  • Salem Rail Trail
  • Everett Bike Path
  • Blackstone Canal Towpath

Rhode Island

  • The Blackstone River Bikeway between the Massachusetts line and Providence
  • The Washington Secondary Rail Trail between Cranston and Coventry
  • The East Bay Bike Path (spur trail) between East Providence and Bristol
  • Providence Riverwalk

Connecticut

  • The Moosup Valley State Park Trail from the Rhode Island line to Plainfield
  • The Airline State Park Trail from Putnam to Windham
  • The Veteran's Greenway through the borough of Willimantic
  • The Hop River State Park Trail from Columbia to Bolton
  • The Charter Oak Greenway from Bolton to East Hartford
  • The Farmington Canal Trail from New Haven to Plainville
    (the majority of sections in New Haven, Hamden and Cheshire are complete as of 2007, with a few gaps)

New Jersey

  • The D&R Canal Trail between New Brunswick and Trenton
  • Middlesex County Greenway from Fords to Metuchen
  • Rahway River Parkway through Rahway, Clark, Cranford and Kenilworth in Union County
  • Elizabeth River Park in Elizabeth
  • Hudson Waterfront in Jersey City

Pennsylvania

Maryland

  • The Gwynns Falls Trail in Baltimore
  • The Baltimore & Annapolis Trail from Glen Burnie to Annapolis
  • Lake Artemesia at Berwyn Heights, Maryland

North Carolina

Florida

  • The River to Sea Trail (Flagler County)
  • The Overseas Heritage Trail (partially complete, from Key Largo to Key West)

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