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Planning your route

  • In addition to ECG maps, guides and cue sheets, bring local street maps in case you get off course.
  • To learn which trails are best suited to your abilities, check out each state’s trip planners.

    Trip Planners

  • If you are going on a multi-day trip, plan in advance where you will stay the night. The ECG goes through rural areas, so plan on stopping where there are lodging options available. You may want to book your stays ahead of time.
  • Check our Trail Alerts for information on trail conditions or construction.
  • Visit our Community Room to ask questions on the message board or read about other people’s trips and advice.

Physical Conditioning

  • The ECG is fairly flat as it primarily runs along or near the coast, but there are some areas with hills. People of most ages and physical conditions can travel on the completed trail sections. However, consider your own physical condition when deciding on the length of your trip. Walkers usually average two to three miles per hour, bicyclists average about ten miles per hour.
  • When planning a long trip, be sure to walk or bicycle some longer practice trips in advance. Try going for long distances for two or three days in a row, so your body gets used to the work. If you don’t do any advance training, plan short days to ease your way into more exercise than you’re used to.

Weather

  • Be sure to check the weather for the area and time of year you plan to travel. Be prepared for unexpected bad weather. Being wet and cold or hot and thirsty will ruin your trip.

Recommended Equipment List

Basic needs

  • Food/Water – Plan to carry sufficient food and water if you are traveling in rural areas where the trail might not go through any towns for a long period of time
  • Sunscreen
  • Panniers or backpack
  • First Aid Kit
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Maps and cue sheets
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Cell phone
  • Camera

For the end of the day on a multi-day trip:

  • Comfy shoes
  • Comfy clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Camping gear if you plan to camp

Bicycles and gear

  • Most of the ECG is either paved or surfaced with finely crushed stone, making it suitable for road bike tires. However, there are some dirt sections, and many road cyclists find these and the stone dust sections uncomfortable. In this case, plan to take alternate roads around these sections of trail. Many bicyclists prefer a touring or hybrid tire that can better handle uneven trail surfaces.
  • For long distance trips, make sure your bike fits you well and that you have a comfortable saddle
  • Unless you do your own maintenance, take your bike to a local shop for a safety check and tune-up before you go
  • Gear:
    • Spare tubes
    • Patch kit
    • Tools
    • Duct tape (always helpful!)
    • Bike lock
    • Headlight
    • Bell or whistle

Clothing

  • Helmet (for bikes/skates/equestrians) or hat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Extra clothes for cold weather
  • Rain gear
  • Sunglasses

Safety tips

Visit our Rules, Etiquette. & Safety page for safety tips along the route.

When planning your trip, be sure that you know how to perform basic gear repairs, especially if you’ll be traveling outside of urban areas.

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Fay, Spofford & Thorndike is an established regional leader in the development of shared use paths/trails. To date, we have completed or have underway more than 500 miles of recreational trails in various stages of planning, design, and/or construction throughout New England and New York. FST's bike team has a unique understanding of the path/trail development process from the initial study phase through design, permitting and construction.


FST's Bike Team

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