TOPSHAM — A group of mountain bikers have revived the push to add a series of mountain bike trails in town.

The Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, a group of bikers from Topsham, Bath and Brunswick, is working with the town to develop the trail system behind the transfer station at Townsend Way.

Another group of bikers first proposed the idea in 2012, but the effort petered out after town officials questioned liability and trail maintenance. A resurgence of interest and a freshly organized group have renewed the talks.

The Six Rivers chapter has already presented town officials with a liability insurance certificate. Creation and maintenance of the trails will by a volunteer group of club members. It will be similar to how the town’s ATV and snowmobile club operates.

“There’s informal trails there now,” Town Planner Rod Melanson said. “In that area there’s approximately 100 or so usable acres for trails.”

Melanson didn’t want to commit to an exact length for trails at this point in the process, but said there’s a large swath of land for club members and town staff to work with.


The project won’t cost the town in terms of planning or building the trails, a piece that was important to the town’s selectmen. The only potential work coming from town staff would be to help the mountain bike group seek possible outside grants and help map out the trails.

Melanson said he doesn’t anticipate any immediate impact or trails impacting neighboring properties.

The New England Mountain Bike Association has 27 chapters throughout the region. It works to preserve trails and open spaces, while promoting the sport through public recreational rides.

“It’s not just for bikers, people will be able to run or walk on the trails,” said Melanson. “This is an opportunity to become a more popular spot for recreation.”

The Select Board may approve use of the land at Thursday night’s meeting at 7 p.m.

Six Rivers also is working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to develop trails at Brunswick Landing.

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