The East Coast Greenway, conceived in 1991, is the nation’s most ambitious long-distance urban bicycle and walking route. By connecting existing and planned shared-use trails, we are creating a continuous, traffic-free route for self-powered users of all abilities and ages. Stretching 3,000 miles, the Greenway links Calais, Maine, at the Canadian border with Key West, Florida. Complementary routes add another 2,000 scenic miles to the Greenway network.
A linear park, the East Coast Greenway is planned almost entirely on public right-of-ways, incorporating waterfront esplanades, park paths, abandoned railroad corridors, canal towpaths, and pathways along highway corridors. It is designed to accommodate tourists, locals, and users of all abilities. Roughly 30 percent of the route is completed on off-road sections.
Tourists and the East Coast Greenway
As a continuous long-distance route, the Greenway entices domestic and foreign tourists to explore the Eastern Seaboard at a leisurely pace, from the major cities of New York, Boston, and Miami to historic small towns. Bicycle and walking tourists contribute significantly to local economies.
Locally, a linear park open to all
The 64 million people who live within miles of the East Coast Greenway have a safe place to walk, run, bicycle, skate, ski, horseback ride, bird watch, fish, push the baby carriage, or just stroll with friends. Children can use the Greenway to walk to school or get to the park, adults commute to work.
The Greenway is not designed for those seeking a high-speed cycling route. A multitude of on-road routes better serve their needs. But, as a traffic-free, relatively flat route, the Greenway is a safe facility for people of all ages and physical abilities, including children, families, and the elderly.
To find out which sections of the Greenway are currently appropriate for various types of users, visit our Trip Planner.
The East Coast Greenway is the backbone of an emerging network of trails along the eastern seaboard that can contribute, both actually and symbolically, to priorities, including:
- Improving public health by empowering active transportation and safe recreation
- Lowering pollution by substituting car trips with bicycling and walking
- Providing greenway construction & maintenance jobs
- Increasing transportation options
- Giving non-drivers, such as children, the elderly, and people without cars, more independence
- Reducing roadway congestion
- Enhancing local economic development
- Connecting people and communities
- Helping to create new and inviting public spaces for everyone to enjoy
- Raising land and home values within the greenway corridor
The ECG provides a way for non-motorized travelers to move safely from town to town, where they would otherwise have to use a car or travel on an unsafe road. Here, cyclists cross the Calhoun Street Bridge from Trenton, NJ to Morrisville,, PA, safely separated from road traffic.
Multi-use trail development is moving ahead full-tilt all across the United States where opportunities to restore public access to our rivers and waterfronts, to convert abandoned rail lines to new uses, and to make our communities more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly have generated strong public involvement. Citizens recognize that trails can become an integral part of local transportation systems, provide recreational outlets for all age groups, and help promote healthier lifestyles.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance joins local trail to local trail, initially through on-road connections and ultimately through the construction of additional off-road trails. The Greenway serves as a spine route, linking with other long distance trails, like the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail, the Hudson River Greenway, and the C&O Canal National Park, helping to create an interlinked national trail system. It connects city to city, city to suburb, and suburb to rural area. The Greenway links together such key sites as state capitals, college campuses, local, state, and national park systems, and outstanding cultural, historical, and natural landmarks offering themed travel possibilities.
By championing the vision and harnessing the resources to make these connections, the East Coast Greenway Alliance fosters the creation of a national resource which some have referred to as an urbanized version of the Appalachian Trail.
To learn more about the benefits of greenways and trails, please download and read: Local and Tourism Use of the East Coast Greenway.
ECG Informational Kiosks
Informational kiosks such as this one in Brunswick, Maine, display information about the ECG and state Mile Sponsor inscriptions.
ECG Kiosks are located in the following states. Eventually kiosks will provide maps and information in each state along the Greenway.
- ME – South Portland Greenbelt, South Portland
- ME – Androscoggin River Bicycle Path, Brunswick
- ME – Eastern Trail, Scarborough
- RI – Coventry Bike Path, Coventry
- NJ – D&R Canal Towpath, Millstone
- NJ – Merrill Park, Middlesex County
- NJ – Nomahegan Park, Union County
- NJ – Roosevelt Park, Middlesex County
- NJ – Weequahic Park, Essex County
- MD – B&A Trail, Severna Park
- NC – American Tobacco Trail, Durham
- FL – Amelia Island, Nassau County