Bikers gather at the trailhead at the Neptune Woods Trails Celebration on October 21. Photo credit to Jym St. Pierre.

Neptune Woods is a 64-acre parcel on Brunswick Landing (the former Naval Air Station) that was deeded to Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), by the Navy. The parcel is home to a section of the former Navy Fit trail. Because of its nearness to the Recreation Center and 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 the highly successful new Youth Mountain Bike Program being offered by Brunswick Rec Department looking for trails, the project seemed like a great opportunity.

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust worked closely with community partners to develop the most effective way to proceed. In the end, MRRA generously donated the land to the Land Trust to hold for recreation and conservation in perpetuity, while the fledgling Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (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. No one of the groups could have done it alone!

Bikers through the trees at the Neptune Woods Trails Celebration on October 21. Photo credit to Jym St. Pierre.

The Land Trust is very excited to offer their 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.

But the work is not done! We still have a lot to do out there. We’d love to replace the jersey barriers, install a kiosk and permanent signage, take down at least some of the fence along the back section, continue to build relationships to get more people engaged on the property, and of course, conservation means forever, so there are long term costs to monitor and maintain a property like this. We have created a giving Tuesday campaign where you can give to support these needs – Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and is the holiday where you can step back from Black Friday and Cyber Monday and think about how your dollars can support something you really believe in. So if you enjoy these trails, want to see more kids out there riding their bikes, and want to help us care for the land and be able to do more projects like this, please consider making a donation.