Androscoggin River Trail in Lisbon

Other names include the Lisbon River Trail and the southern section of the Papermill Trail.

This is one of our new favorites. This is a linear paved trail that follows along a section of the Androscoggin River and the currently dormant railroad tracks; you will cross the tracks twice. Newly opened in 2014, the trail is beautiful, with many views of the river, especially early on. There are benches for resting, meditation, lunching, etc. The trail crosses beneath Route 196, and continues to Davis Street in Lisbon Falls.

Parking: Sabattus River boat launch and parking area or Davis Street roadside parking with access to a Maine DOT Park and Ride

Nearby refreshment: Big Dipper (ice cream) in season; The Railroad Pub

Facilities: Chemical toilet

Distance: 4 miles. You can extend your walk by continuing on to the Papermill Trail along the Sabattus River for another 3 miles round trip.

L/A Riverwalk

Other names for this trail are L/A Greenway Trail and Great Falls Loop.

The L/A Riverwalk is a paved loop trail that follows along the Androscoggin River, crosses two bridges and gives lovely views of the Great Falls. You will walk along both sides of the river and have the opportunity to enjoy West Pitch Park, Festival Plaza and Bonney Park in Auburn, and Railroad Park and Veteran’s Memorial Park on the Lewiston side.

Parking: Great Falls Plaza, near the new bus station in Auburn

Nearby refreshment: Lots, including Gritty’s Pub, 84 Court Pizza and Restaurant, and Top It Frozen Yogurt Bar, all in Auburn; Pedro O’Hara’s, Fishbones, Lewiston House of Pizza, and Rails, all in Lewiston.

Facilities: Chemical toilets

Distance: 1.6 miles

Riverside Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path in Lewiston

Alternate names for this trail include: Lewiston Greenway; Sunnyside Park/ Riverside Trail; Androscoggin Riverside Trail.

This linear paved trail, improved in 2014, has changed much since my last article when the trail was still gravel! The path travels along the Androscoggin River between Sunnyside Park and Tall Pines Drive. There are three featured scenic spots to get close to the river.

Parking: Whipple Street roadside parking

Nearby refreshment: None

Facilities: None

Distance: 2.5 miles

Bethel Pathway

Otherwise known as the Covered Bridge Trail.

Follow the paved loop path through the picturesque mini covered bridge. You will also cross wide wooden boardwalks. There are benches to soak in the scenery; a quiet oasis just behind busy roads. We loved the tansy blossoms growing along the path.

Parking: Davis Park

Nearby refreshment: Dunkin Donuts on Route 2

Facilities: Chemical toilet

Distance: 1.8 miles. You can extend this walk by continuing to the right of the parking lot; the paved surface will change along this stretch.

Pineland Farms Trails in New Gloucester

These trails are not paved; they are gravel or mown, but are easy walking. We did take along the stroller, which became known as the All-Terrain-Stroller on our travels along the Pineland Farms Disc Golf Course! I recommend checking the walking difficulty level with the staff at the Outdoor Center, where you can also get a trail map, (207) 688-6599. Ours was a loop trail but there are many to choose from.

Be aware that there is road construction on Morse Road; we went in the main entrance and meandered around the parking lots (stay right) to find the market.

Parking: On site

Nearby refreshment: Cafe and foods available at the Pineland Farms Market and Welcome Center, (207) 688-4539

Facilities: In the Market and Welcome Center during business hours

Distance: Varies according to the trail you choose.

Final recommendation: Just Go!

There are so many wonderful trails now in all of our communities. Many are part of the Rails to Trails networks that preserve these amazing routes. We were surprised to find how high some are (like some sections of the Whistle Stop Trail from Farmington to Jay/Livermore Falls! The engineering required to build the rails is mind-boggling! There are also many trails opening up along the East Coast Greenway. Find one near you and go check out that foliage!

Edith Churchill is a teacher, freelance writer and frequent daytripper who previously wrote her “Seasonal Escapes” column for the Sun Journal.

For more information on trails in Maine

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