Eastern Trail in Portland, Maine

Photo essay by Cindy Barks

Head Lighthouse is located about 3.2 miles from the Eastern Trail’s northern terminus. | Photo by Cindy Barks

From quiet pine forests to a bustling working waterfront, and from wide sandy beaches to rocky shores, the 65-mile Eastern Trail—currently 30 percent complete—offers a vivid snapshot of Maine’s many charms. The multiuse trail, which follows the corridor of the historic Eastern Railroad, packs plenty of variety into its north-south route from South Portland to Kittery.

Along the way, trail users can take in lobster boats skirting the picturesque Bug Light lighthouse in South Portland, watch snowy egrets wading in the ponds of the Scarborough Marsh, or detour a few blocks to dip their toes into the Atlantic Ocean at Old Orchard Beach. The trail also passes through dense pine forests and quaint coastal towns.

Within the next year or two, organizers say a 1.6-mile gap will be closed, allowing trail users to travel off-road for more than 16 miles from Bug Light to Saco. The Eastern Trail is also a part of the much larger 3,000-mile developing East Coast Greenway.

The Eastern Trail is managed by the Eastern Trail Management District and the Eastern Trail Alliance.

View full photo essay with captions by clicking on the first photo. Scroll through the slideshow using the right and left arrows.