May 2014

In This Issue...

Greetings from the Director

  • Taking Big Steps Forward

National News

  • Riding the ECG for a Cause
  • Help Us Keep Rolling - Join or Renew Your Membership
  • Welcome to our GIS Summer Intern
  • Kudos to ECG Bicycle Friendly Communities
  • Congratulations Prize Drawing Winners!


  • Introducing the ECG App and Web Maps

ECG In the News

  • Great News Articles and More

Regional News: New England (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT)

  • Androscoggin Land Trust Linking the ECG in Maine
  • Big Things Coming for the CT State Committee
  • Upcoming Events in New England

Regional News: Mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC)

  • Welcome to our Mid-Atlantic Summer Intern
  • Celebrating Rahway Day in New Jersey
  • Upcoming Events in the Region

Regional News: South Atlantic (VA, NC, SC)

  • Ribbon Cuttings on Two Great New Trail Sections
  • Cabot Tour Rolls Through the Region
  • ECG Summer Fellow Joins Durham Office

Regional News: Southeast (GA, FL)

  • Cabot Tour Makes a Splash in Florida and Georgia

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Greetings from ECGA Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano

Taking Big Steps Forward

Dear East Coast Greenway teammates,

As you know, I love celebrating progress big and small. This month, our e-newsletter highlights huge steps forward: from our brand new app and online mapping tools to our Greenway hosting more and more long-distance adventurers with a cause.

After months of hard work by Cartographer Steve Spindler and our Trail Coordinator, Eric Weis, the East Coast Greenway now has an app for turn-by-turn navigation. The app will enhance the ECG experience for walkers and cyclists whether they are exploring a mile or all 2,900 miles. During the app development process, we integrated our online mapping tools into a more efficient system to update as new greenway segments come online. Like anything new, we'll rely on your feedback to make it better and better over time. Thank you to REI and the Helen and William Mazer Foundation for their funding support for the app.

And I'm so excited that our Greenway is becoming a destination of choice for so many people biking and walking for a cause. It's a testament to the strong work everyone has put in to develop our route these past 22 years. We salute each individual and group utilizing the ECG and we salute their cause, whether it is searching for a cure to cancer or diabetes, raising awareness about other key issues our society faces, or celebrating volunteerism.

As our growing team (welcome, fellow Shane and interns Laura and Emily!) works hard to keep progress moving forward, months like this one help us see dramatic progress and keep us optimistic that our dream of a healthy, sustainable future full of safe cycling and walking is just around the corner!

Memberships make this progress possible - it's renewal season, so if you haven't joined or renewed yet, please help us keep rolling!

Thank you for your support of the ECG,

Dennis Markatos-Soriano

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National ECGA News
Riding the ECG for a Cause

We love hearing what people are doing on the East Coast Greenway! In addition to the Cabot Community Tour, which celebrates volunteers and raises awareness for various non-profits throughout our route, this summer there are quite a few individuals doing tours on the ECG to raise funds or awareness for many important causes. These are some of the fine folks touring now or heading out soon on the Greenway:

Green Pix Adventures - two photographers from France are biking the ECG from Miami to Montreal, Canada. They wanted to ride the East Coast Greenway to "cast new light on the natural riches of the American East coast and ...encourage people to abandon their cars in favor of taking their bicycles or some other eco-friendly mode of transportation..." They began in early April, and are currently making their way through New England. See photos of their ride here on their Facebook page.

Riding for Ovarian Cancer Research - two women from Texas are biking the ECG from Maine to Florida to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research. Read more of their inspiring story, follow their trip, and support their cause on their blog.

The Journey to Support Type 1 Diabetes Research - a 16-year-old ECGA member is biking 900 miles on the ECG from the Canadian border in Maine to New Jersey to raise funds for type 1 diabetes research. All net proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Read more and donate if you can. (PS. This is Steven's first long distance bicycle ride! His father is biking with him, but the fundraiser is all his doing.)

We wish everyone great success and hope they have a wonderful experience on the ECG! (Want to host any of these long-distance ECG visitors as they come through your area? Email and I'll get you in touch.)

Your Support is Needed - Please Join or Renew Your Membership!

Thank you to all our wonderful ECG members - your support is vital to our progress in 2014 and beyond! If your membership has lapsed or if you renew in the first half of the year, you should have recently received a membership renewal form in the mail. You can return the form or renew online if it's more convenient! Membership donations directly support our trail program in your region, helping us advocate for new trail development, as well as placing signs and improving wayfinding.

Renew or join by June 15th, and you'll be entered in a drawing to win one of two $200 gift certificates from Performance Bicycle, and great ECG gear!

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Thank you for your support - together we are transforming the Eastern Seaboard through increased biking and walking for travel, commuting, and recreation!


Welcome to Emily Webb, our GIS Summer Intern

A big welcome to Emily Webb, our GIS (Geographic Information Systems) intern this summer! A rising junior at Vassar College majoring in Geography - Anthropology, Emily will generate valuable reports for us on population and demographics of the areas through which the Greenway travels, among other things.

Data like this is critical to the ECGA as we approach elected officials, agency leaders, and potential donors. Emily will also play a role in improving the data behind the smartphone app, making it a more useful tool for ECG users. We're very glad to have you on the team, Emily!

E. Webb
Kudos to ECG Bicycle Friendly Communities

We are very proud of those ECG trail towns which have achieved bicycle-friendly status from the League of American Bicyclists! Congratulations to Cambridge, MA, which is a gold level city! Kudos also to a new ECG town added to the list: Farmington, CT, bronze level.

This year's silver level ECG cities include: Boston, MA; Somerville, MA; Philadelphia, PA; New York City; Washington, DC; Arlington, VA and Alexandria, VA. There are over 15 bronze-level ECG cities on the list as well - you can see the full list here. High five to everyone who's making these cities and towns a better place to be by improving biking and walking infrastructure!

The ECG also runs through or near the campuses of Bicycle-Friendly Universities including Bowdoin in Brunswick, ME; Harvard in Cambridge, MA; Yale in New Haven, CT; Princeton in Princeton, NJ; University of Maryland in College Park, MD; Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond, VA; Duke in Durham, NC; NC State in Raleigh, NC; and the University of Miami in FL.

The League runs the Bicycle Friendly America program to reward those entities which have displayed leadership, and provides tips for all applicants (whether they win recognition or not) on how to continue moving in the right direction.  Learn more at the Bicycle-Friendly America website.

Congratulations to our May Prize Drawing Winners!

Congratulations to our May winners - Ed S. from SC won the $200 Performance Bicycle gift Certificate! Deb B. won an ECG t-shirt, Beth W. and new ECG member Tracey P. won ECG vests!

Thank you to Performance Bicycle, and to everyone who signed up for our drawing! We'll draw for TWO $200 gift certificates in June - join or renew your membership and you'll be automatically entered!

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ECG Spotlight - New ECG App
ECG Navigation Just Got Easier

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is extremely proud to unveil the "beta" versions of two new tools which will revolutionize how people travel the East Coast Greenway: the ECG smartphone app, and our new mapping and cue sheet web page, .

The smartphone app is a gps-based tool which serves users in a few different ways: it displays a map on your phone, noting your current position with an arrowhead icon, and shows the East Coast Greenway route as a green (trail) and blue (road) line overlay. The user can simply follow the colored line, as the user's location is always in the center of the screen, updating every 65 feet or so.

This app can also be used to generate cue sheets (below left). The app will display the turn directions one at a time at the bottom of the map (below right). The phone will speak the directions as well - useful for walkers, who can safely travel with an earbud in one ear. The audio function will also give an alert if the user is off-route: "Did you miss your turn?"

ecg app

ecg app ecg app

This "beta" version of the app is not perfect...yet. Some testers have encountered trouble generating directions if the phone's GPS doesn't think the user is within 50 feet of the ECG - windy conditions can have an effect. We will refine the route generating portion of the tool as we move forward. (If the phone doesn't know that you're on the ECG, it will provide you with Mapquest bike route directions instead.) We receive automatic emails if the app fails to generate directions for a user, so we can determine the cause of the error. And your feedback is key to us making the app as useful as possible - you can submit questions and comments to us via the app.

The web page is the other great new tool newly available to ECG users. For the first time, anyone with an internet connection can use their browser to create custom cue sheets, between any two points on the ECG. Those cue sheets can be printed to bring along with you on your ride, or you can use this tool with your smartphone's browser to generate a cue sheet to display on the screen as you travel. Like the app, this tool can also be used to show a map of the ECG, with your location always centered. People with Windows phones, rather than iPhones or Android phones, will want to use this in lieu of the app. A future update of this tool will allow users to easily turn these custom cues into PDF files to transfer onto their phones, instead of using the app if they wish.

The ECG Web Map can generate custom cue sheets.

A fun feature of the app is that it also allows users to take photos of the route as they travel, and add captions, and those photos are automatically tagged to locations on the map. When a user taps the small camera icon which they see on the map, the photos which they - or someone else - took will be displayed. (Not interested in seeing photos other people took? It's simple to turn that function on and off), as well as any other icon on the map, such as public rest rooms or bike shops. We will add those one by one during the summer and fall.

The smartphone app is available today in the App Store (for iPhone) and at Google Play (for Android phones). Please note that Google Play and the app store are currently approving version 1.2, which has significant advances on version 1.1.5, and should be available in June. We hope you enjoy using these great new tools!

These apps were created by cartographer Steve Spindler of, with generous funding support from REI and the Helen and William Mazer Foundation. Trail Coordinator Eric Weis also worked extremely hard to make this happen. Thank you so much to everyone who supported or worked on the app - you are making the ECG easier to navigate!

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ECG In the News

Recent News Articles about the ECG!

We're featured in REI's cool new interactive map - check out the ECG in Geostories here!

Seacoast Online, ME: Memorial Bridge Helps Fuel Bicycling Boom

Providence Journal, VT: Cabot Community Tour Kicks off in Florida, May 17th

Providence Phoenix, RI: Best 2014 - Best Bike Route - East Bay Bike Path

Norwich Bulletin, CT: East Coast Greenway is a Very Big Deal

New Canaan News, CT: Summary of Merritt Parkway Trail Study Presentation in New Canaan, CT Group Seeks Input on Middlesex Greenway

Central On the Trail, Then and Now Improvements Planned for Philadelphia Link to ECG

Delaware County Times, PA: At Bike To Work Day, Riders Laud Transportation Bill

Movoto: 21 Things You Need to Know about Durham, NC, Before Moving There (check out #21, y'all!)

Coastal Observer, SC: Cabot Tour Rides Pawleys Island, Community Supports Trail Construction

Myrtle Beach Online: City Committee Recommends Ways to Make City More Bike and Ped Friendly

Savannah Morning News: Unique Event Celebrates Bikes, Trees, and Cheese

Rails to Trails Blog: First Georgia Trail Summit in 15 Years Strong on Vision and Can Do

Fernandina Observer, FL: Cabot Tour Kicks Off in Florida

News Journal, Daytona Beach, FL: Trails - Where We Need to Go

The Florida Times Union, Jacksonville, FL: Cyclists Promote Expansion of the East Coast Greenway

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Regional News: New England
Androscoggin Land Trust Linking the ECG in Lisbon & Lewiston, Maine

- by Jonathan LaBonte, Executive Director of Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) and Mayor of Auburn, ME

The development of a major portion of the off-road section of Inland Route of the East Coast Greenway gained policy support from three Maine communities over the last few months. The Town of Lisbon, along with the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, have passed a shared resolve endorsing the public acquisition of the Lewiston Lower Rail line. The nearly 13 mile segment targeted for acquisition would be converted to a trail that links the historic mill district in downtown Lewiston to Lisbon Falls Village along the Androscoggin River.

On the northern end, the two cities were supported by the Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) and its recently completed Androscoggin Greenway Land and Water Trail Feasibility Study, which assessed priority segments for new trails to connect existing riverfront parks and trails. The East Coast Greenway and the Androscoggin Greenway overlap in Lisbon and Lewiston. While the Androscoggin Greenway continues north, including Auburn and approaching the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, the East Coast Greenway turns east after passing through downtown Lewiston.

Androscoggin trail

At the southern end of the proposed new section, the Town of Lisbon has been diligently implementing their riverfront trail plan, including a new section under construction now to link their Papermill Trail along the Sabattus River south to Lisbon Falls Village along the Androscoggin.

A workgroup staffed by ALT was established in 2013 to work on this project with representatives from recreational user groups, a local Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee, and city and town staff.

Big Things to Come for the CT State Committee

This winter, former state committee chair, Mark Paquette, announced his retirement for summer 2014. Mark has been a longtime ally and respected greenway advocate in Connecticut. While we are sad to be losing him, Mark can rest assured that the state committee is in good hands, as this spring Bruce Donald stepped up as Connecticut State Committee Chair for the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

Bruce is no stranger to Connecticut’s greenway system. He has been President of the Farmington Valley Trails Council for the last nine years and was appointed by the Governor to chair DEEP’s Connecticut Greenways Council. Bruce has the knowledge, energy and passion needed to put Connecticut at the forefront of greenway development. He will be hosting his first Connecticut State Committee meeting on Thursday, June 12th at the Sterling House Community Center in Stratford, 4-6 PM. (If you are interested in attending, please email Bruce at .)

Upcoming Events in New England

Sunday, June 1st - Annual Bike to the Sea Day Ride – annual ride from Everett, through Malden, Saugus, Revere and Lynn to Nahant Beach is designed to bring attention and support to efforts to complete the trail. To register visit,

Thursday, June 12th - Connecticut State Committee Meeting on June 12th at the Sterling House Community Center in Stratford , 4pm-6pm. If you are interested in attending please email Bruce at

Thursday, June 12th - Merritt Parkway Trail Alliance dinner meeting at the Acapulcos Family Restaurant in Stratford, CT, 6-7:30 PM. For more information please contact

Saturday, June 14th - The Freewalkers Connecticut Coast Walk #1, A one-day 20 mile walk along the ECG and Long Island Sound from Port Chester to Norwalk. Free and open to the public (8am-4pm).

Saturday June 14, 2014 - New Haven, CT Festival of Arts & Ideas -- Bike the ECG north from New Haven to Cheshire and learn about plans to connect the former rail trail to Northampton, MA. Visit historic lock 12 in Cheshire before returning to New Haven. Approx. 25 miles. Starts at 9 AM on the New Haven Green.

Saturday June 21, 2014 - New Haven, CT Festival of Arts & Ideas -- Bike the ECG south from New Haven and ride the Vision Trail to New Haven Harbor, Harborside Trail, ending at Silver Sands State Park in Milford before returning to the start at New Haven. Approx. 30 miles. Starts at 9 AM on the New Haven Green.

Tuesday, June 24th - Connecticut DOT presentation on the Merritt Parkway Trail Feasibility Study - Public Meeting # 6 of 8. Meeting is scheduled for 7pm at the Norwalk Community Room in Town Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851. To learn more visit DOT's public outreach website.

Saturday, June 28th - The Freewalkers Connecticut Coast Walk #2, A one-day 16 mile walk along the ECG and Long Island Sound from South Norwalk to Bridgeport following the ECG and coastal trails. Free and open to the public (8am-4pm).

Friday & Saturday, July 25th and 26th - Maine's first overnight trail relay on the Down East Sunrise Trail from Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine. Click here to learn more & register.

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Regional News: Mid Atlantic
Welcome to Mid-Atlantic Intern Laura Bader!

Welcome to Laura Bader, who we are very excited to have working with us this summer. She is working on an important project to amend the master list of trail portions in the Mid-Atlantic region, and will also be doing trail research and providing social media outreach.

Laura will be with us until mid-August when she returns to George Washington University in Washington, DC. There, she is pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies and Geography. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing field hockey, and generally enjoying the outdoors. We are glad to have you, Laura!

Laura Bader
Celebrating a Great ECG Town - Rahway Day, NJ

The ECGA was honored to participate in Rahway Day on May 3rd, in the historic town of Rahway, New Jersey. The event was well attended, and we had some very well-known visitors to our booth! The ECG goes into Rahway on the Rahway River Parkway Path.

rahway day

US Congressman David Payne, Rahway Mayor Samson Steinman, US Senator Cory Booker, ECGA Trustee Robert Russo, and ECGA Mid-Atlantic Coordinator Andy Hamilton at Rahway Day in Rahway, New Jersey.

Upcoming Events in the Mid-Atlantic

Bike Rides:

June 1: Bronxville to Battery Park, a 25-mile ride with the Bronx River Alliance.
July 13: Van Cortland to Kensico Dam, 25 miles, with the Bronx River Alliance.
August 3: Circle Manhattan by Bike, a 32-mile loop, with Common Ground-NYC.

For information and to register:


May 31: NY Greenways Walk #1, a 19-mile walk from the Bronx to Port Chester, N.Y.
June 7: Hudson Loop Walk, a 30-mile walk along both sides of the Hudson River, with
stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
June 22: NY Greenways Walk #2, 18 miles, from the Bronx to World Trade Center.
For information and to register: All walks sponsored by partner FreeWalkers,

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Regional News: South Atlantic
New South Atlantic Fellow, Shane Feyers, Joins Durham Office

We are really excited to have Shane Feyers in the East Coast Greenway office in Durham, NC, as a Summer Fellow. Shane is currently a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, pursuing a Master's degree in the human dimensions of environmental management.

Shane will be working with ECGA for 10 weeks this summer to help advance trails in the South Atlantic. He holds a BS in Natural Resources from the University of Connecticut, and also earned a wildlife track and sign field certification while in South Africa. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and bicycling and a variety of other outdoor activities that immerse him into the green- (and blue) spaces around the East Coast. Welcome, Shane, and thank you for helping the ECG this Summer!

Shane Feyers
Recent Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies in the South Atlantic

Tobacco Heritage Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - A new phase "III" of the Tobacco Heritage Trail in Southern Virginia opened on Earth Day connecting the communities of Lawrenceville and Brodnax. The ribbon cutting was followed by a reception in Lawrenceville at Elm Acres where delicious Brunswick Stew was served!

Tobacco Hertiage Trail
Celebrating the Newest Section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail. Photo by Justin Kerns.

Walnut Creek Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Raleigh, NC - The City of Raleigh recently dedicated the Walnut Creek Trail extension which now connects to the Neuse River Trail. This new segment helps bring the Triangle region of NC to 90% greenway completion for 75 miles!

Walnut Creek
Walnut Creek Ribbon Cutting, Raleigh, NC. Photo by Dave Connelly.

The Cabot Community Tour has entered the South Atlantic!

After rolling through Florida and Georgia (see article below), the Cabot Community Tour had great events in both South and North Carolina, including a stop at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. (See more photos on our Facebook page!)

Volunteer Jenna Barnes, Basil Campbell, Tour Rider Myron Skott, and ECGA staff Niles Barnes at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. Photo courtesy of Cabot Creamery.

spoleto booth

Over 15 events including rides are planned in the South Atlantic region. A full listing and schedule of events can be found on the Tour Website.

We hope to see you at an event and ride in your area!

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Regional News: Southeast
Cabot Tour Makes a Spash in Florida and Georgia

The North Florida Bicycle Club shone during the kickoff of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative Tour when during the tour’s first two days, its members joined long-distance cyclists Cathy and Myron Skott for a 22-mile tour of downtown Jacksonville and again for the ride's first northbound leg. That first day's event paid respect to Habijax, the Jacksonville affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.

Cabot Tour ride Jax

Myron and Amy

Above - Myron Skott and Amy Levin of the N. Florida Bicycle Club. .

Left - getting ready to ride! Photos by Martha Marshall

(See more photos here on our Facebook page!)

For the second day, another 15 NFBC members cycled down from Fernandina Beach to Mayport, crossing the St. Johns River on its namesake ferry, and participating in lunch hosted by Cabot's Gratitude Grill. This event saluted Jacksonville's Ferry Ambassadors, before the NFBC cyclists re-crossed the St. Johns --  president Dr. Mark Atkins among them – accompanying Cathy and Myron to their overnight in Fernandina. Read more about the tour kickoff in Florida!

After leaving Florida, our friends from the Camden Bicycle Center in St. Marys, Georgia, escorted the tour through-riders, Myron and Cathy Skott, to their next stop in Woodbine, Georgia.

Myron and Cathy hail from Georgia, and are doing their ride as a fundraiser for the ECG. They will match all donations given in honor of their tour, up to $1000. To donate, click here, and enter "The Skotts" in the "in honor of" field. All donations will go to support our trail program in the Georgia/Florida region. Thank you, Skotts and supporters!

Camden Bicycle Center

Cabot tour in Georgia. Photo courtesy of Camden Bicycle Center.

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ECG News Online is a publication of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, a national not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting the establishment, preservation, sound management, and safe use and enjoyment of the East Coast Greenway, a 2,900-mile, continuous route linking seaboard cities and towns from Maine to Florida. It aims to be 100% traffic-free.

Support the Greenway by becoming a member of the ECGA or donating today.

Comments? Suggestions? News? Contact the ECGA at

Learn more about the East Coast Greenway by visiting our website, or call us at (919) 797-0619.

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