When rails and ties were pulled up along the old Maine Central Railroad line between Newport and Dover-Foxcroft in 1993, area residents began to claim this rail trail (Four Seasons Adventure Trail) for their own. There are no other public lands in the area and people were eager to have a convenient site for outdoor recreation. Hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders took to the gravel/dirt trail, enjoying the near-level terrain of the former railroad bed. Four area snowmobile clubs worked to maintain the bridges and groom the trail each winter. The trail has become extremely popular, and trail use is likely to increase further with the number of registered snowmobiles in Maine growing at a rate of roughly 10,000 per year.
Recognizing the need for this kind of multi-use trail, the State began negotiating with the landowners to secure its purchase. During the prolonged acquisition process the State made many improvements along the trail and the landowner graciously allowed continued public use. Finally, a grant from the Land for Maine’s Future program, coupled with community contributions, secured the trail’s future–ensuring that it would remain a public resource for generations to come.
Most of the 27-mile trail goes past farms and forests, skirting the shorelines of Sebasticook, Corundel, and Wassookeag lakes. The corridor also passes through or near the center of four towns, giving trail users a chance to frequent local businesses and a safe path to use en route to work, school, shopping or other destinations. Because the trail attracts weekend visitors as well as local residents, it may help to support area shops and service providers.
Maine Highlands – Piscataquis, Penobscot
Directions from nearest town
DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 22, A-1 and Map 32 B-1, C-2, D-1 and E-1. The trail begins off Route 7 in Newport and ends at Fairview Street in Dover-Foxcroft.