Sunrise Trail Coalition Purpose and Priorities
Establish a four-season, multipurpose, recreation/transportation trail between
Ellsworth and Calais to serve as the northern gateway to the East Coast Greenway,
thus promoting economic development in Penobscot, Hancock, and Washington County
by providing a recreational facility that will entice people to visit and spend
vacation time in the under-utilized Downeast region.
- To join the multiuse trails of the United States with those of Canada and
ensure that Maine reaps the benefits of being the northern gateway to the
East Coast Greenway.
- To provide a multiuse trail connection between Acadia National Park and
the Public Lands of Downeast Maine in order to relieve pressure on the MDI
- To provide an off-road transportation/recreation trail providing access
to scenic beauty and a quiet and safe transportation alternative for wheelchair
users, bicycling families, youth groups and bicyclists of all ages who prefer
not to ride on the roads.
- To provide an appropriate and safe route for snowmobiles and ATVs connecting
the dead ends of ITS 84 and 81.
- To provide safe transportation corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists
through congested areas in towns.
- To form connections between towns as a thread to promote regional cooperation
in tourism development plans.
- To carry users into the centers of the towns along the trail in order that
users and local businesses can both benefit from the availability of services
and accommodations. Provide appropriate direct connections into towns for
snowmobiles and ATVs when possible.
- To utilize the railroad right-of-way and other public lands and easements
in such a way as to minimize the cost of the trail.
- Incorporate the trail into the MDOT vision of a continuous multimodal route
from Boston to Portland, Brunswick, Rockland, Mt. Desert, and the Downeast
- Begin with a trail segment at least 50 miles long to make it worthwhile
for people to come from substantial distances and stay in the area for several
days to use it.
- Integrate the trail with on-road shoulder bike facilities to provide loops
that would include as many towns and special attractions as possible to expand
the greater trail network.
- Integrate the multi-use trail with existing and peripheral single-use trails
(snowmobile, ATV, hiking, cross-country skiing, equestrian).
- Be equestrian-friendly to expand user base.
- Incorporate short, paved sections in towns to accommodate urban use.