Bath Trails is a partnership of Bath City government, local schools, non-profits, individual hikers and bicycle riders, and private trailbusinesses, with a mission set on the creation, connection, and maintenance of a network of multi-use trails for recreation, transportation, and a healthier community.
Today there are a number of formal and informal trails, sidewalks, walkways, and other bicycle and pedestrian pathways located in Bath. These pathways connect the south end of the city to the north, weaving through the downtown, neighborhoods, historic districts, and to schools and recreational facilities. There are also trails winding through many undeveloped parcels, both publicly and privately owned. Among them are trails to and within Bath’s highly important natural areas such as Thorne Head, Sewall Woods, and Butler Head. Plans have existed for a number of years to connect the Androscoggin River Multi-use trail in Brunswick to Bath and the Kennebec River. A variety of groups have created, maintained, and promoted various parts of what could ultimately become an extensive Bath trails system. Bath Trails’ hope is to connect and formalize many of these trails to ultimately create an accessible network of trails to be celebrated by citizens and visitors alike.
Within the 9.2 square miles of the City of Bath we are hoping to create/inventory/promote/maintain 20-30 miles of multi-use trails through the city connecting LKRLT properties, YMCA, Southend Park (11 acre park which will include a 1/3 of a mile walking path and fishing pier on the Kennebec River, property donated by BIW), a new park located under the Sagadahoc Bridge (planning stages, also a new home for the Farmers Market), Waterfront Park, Riverwalk (future), Library Park, McMann Athletic Complex (playing fields and walking track), Androscoggin Bike Path (future), schools, elderly housing and the many highlights of the city including museums and the downtown.
Bath Trails Goals:
Bath Trails’ 501(c)3 sponsor, The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust has as its mission the conservation of the natural, historic, scenic and recreational resources of the Kennebec Estuary. Two of its preserves form the core of the natural areas to be incorporated into the Thorne Head to Bath YMCA trail. The proposed trail crosses over 170 acres of LKRLT holdings, 450 acres of city property, and 80 acres in private or other non-profit ownership. These parcels have approximately 3 miles of tidal frontage on the Kennebec River and its Whiskeag Creek tributary highly valuable tidal wetlands habitat for wildlife. Thorne Head is protected by a conservation easement held by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Sewall Woods is destined to become a demonstration forest for multi-use including forest harvesting, recreation, and wildlife habitat protection. Much of the proposed trail across city and private land is adjacent to tidal and fresh water portions of Whiskeag Creek, home of several threatened species of plants and fish, so integrating protection for these resources is essential to the trails.