Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT), and the Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (6R-NEMBA) are excited to announce the creation of four miles of mountain bike trails on newly conserved property at Brunswick Landing, the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB).
Neptune Woods is a 64-acre parcel that was deeded to MRRA by the Navy and is home to a section of the former Navy Fit trail. Because of its proximity to the Recreation Center and the existing trails, this parcel had been identified by several mountain bike enthusiasts in the Brunswick community as a good location for beginner-friendly mountain bike trails. The region has a lack of beginner trails, and with a need for trails to support the highly successful new Youth Mountain Bike Program being offered by Brunswick Rec Department, the project seemed like a great opportunity. Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust worked closely with community partners to develop the most effective way to proceed.
MRRA generously donated the land to BTLT to hold for recreation and conservation in perpetuity, while the fledgling 6R-NEMBA designed and built the trails. Mid Coast Hospital’s Access Health group provided funding for materials needed to build bridges, while dozens of community members (as young as 5 years old) volunteered to build the trials.
“We’re delighted to have been able to help the land trust and support more recreational activities at Brunswick Landing and in the Midcoast region,” MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said. “These trails will provide our business workforce and residents with a great opportunity to exercise and enjoy this beautiful property.”
On October 21, more than 200 community members came out to celebrate the new trails. Center Street Cycles partnered with Specialized Bikes to bring over a dozen brand new mountain bikes for attendees to try – and many did, including a number of older visitors that had never tried mountain biking before.
Nikkilee (Lee) Cataldo, Director of Programs at the Land Trust and secretary of the 6R-NEMBA Board, welcomed visitors on a chilly Sunday morning. “The trails at Neptune Woods are just a first step in what we hope is a much larger inter-connected trail system that allows our community to have fun, stay healthy, and enjoy the outdoors,” Cataldo said.
This was an idea the crowd seemed to appreciate. Lawrence Kovaks, president of the 6R-NEMBA board noted the value of partnerships like the ones that created the trails at Neptune – no one of the groups could have done it alone, but it was clear from the crowd that working together met a community need.
The Land Trust is very excited to offer its first mountain bike trails on BTLT lands, and very much look forward to working more with these partners and others to further develop mixed-use trails and trail corridors to support our community’s wellness!
To support the needs of this new property, BTLT is devoting Giving Tuesday to Neptune Woods. If you enjoy these trails and want to support their maintenance and creation of more like them, please visit www.btlt.org/giving-tuesday-neptune.
A huge thank you to everyone involved!