Ten cyclists rode from Boston to Washington, DC, in 1992 to generate media attention for the East Coast Greenway.

Our History

Since our founding in November 1991, the East Coast Greenway Alliance has made remarkable progress in designing the route, forming partnerships, and spreading the word.

Trailblazers

For our 25th anniversary, we paid tribute in this video to the visionary volunteers whose efforts have powered the East Coast Greenway dream since 1991.

Trailblazers

Paving the Way: History Highlights

first meeting

1991

Eight people meet at a hostel in NYC in November 1991 to establish the East Coast Greenway Alliance. They had met earlier at a bicycling conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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east coast greenway ride in pa

1992

10 cyclists ride month-long tour of proposed route from Boston to Washington, D.C., attracting media attention and endorsements from elected officials.

karenvotava

1996

Cofounder Karen Votava becomes first paid executive director, initially part time. First five segments (56 miles) are designated: Baltimore & Annapolis Trail (MD) Charter Oak Greenway (CT) Coventry Greenway (RI) Delaware & Raritan Canal Trail (NJ) Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (CT)

1998 map at board meeting

1998

At spring meeting, board of trustees discuss route choices, working with room-size paper map.

2001 annual report

2001

10th Anniversary State of the Trail Report, 68 pages of trail updates and descriptions, is published.

2004 sendoff

2004

Seven cyclists ride entire Greenway from Calais, ME, to Key West, FL, in 55 days, becoming our first End-to-Enders. They raise $75,000 for the East Coast Greenway Alliance.

wilhylton2

2006

GQ Magazine publishes feature article by Wil Hylton on his 2005 end-to-end ride with his wife, Jenny.

dennis 2011 nebws

2009

After 18 years of leadership, Karen Votava retires as executive director and hands baton to Dennis Markatos-Soriano.

with paul

2012

Alliance hosts U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin for evening walk on the Greenway in Durham, NC, with a crowd of 200 coming along. A record 42 new Greenway segments are designated in 12 different states for a total of more than 50 miles The nonprofit FreeWalkers hold a Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge, inspiring people to walk 100 miles of the East Coast Greenway during the year.

baxter groundbreaking

2014

We reach the milestone of 30 percent of the route off-road by designating 36 new Greenway segments totaling 40 miles. Groundbreakings continue on still more segments, like this celebration in Philadelphia with Mayor Nutter (center) at Baxter Trail.

east coast greenway 01b

2015

East Coast Greenway reaches 1,000 miles signed and nearly 900 miles on protected, off-road greenway.

screen shot 2017 10 17 at 5 36 12 am

2017

In celebration of our organization's 25th birthday, we hosted our largest program in our history. The East Coast River Relay began in Calais, ME, and headed south to the Florida Keys, with 57 public events held along the way and 200+ partnerships strengthened.

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Join the Greenway!

Your support helps to develop this ambitious, 3,000-mile route, Canada to Key West. Your membership gift builds more protected miles that we can all enjoy, today and for generations to come.