The Paper Mill Trail at Miller Park in Lisbon is a great place for families with young bike riders.

Parents will like its off-the-road paved trail and the kids will feel a sense of accomplishment if they make it to the end and back — about 4 miles, round-trip, of smooth riding.

The Paper Mill Trail is off Frost Hill Avenue in Lisbon, just off Route 196 at the Sabattus River boat launch. The paved trail runs along part of the river.

There are several short dirt paths that lead to the river and my 12-year-old was eager to stop and check things out after only two minutes of riding.

She had her shoes and socks off in no time to do some wading and jumping from rock to rock on the riverbank.

There is also a nice little history lesson along the way, thanks to an informational kiosk about 3/4 of a mile down the trail that explains the early history of the mills in Lisbon.

Remnants of the Paper Mill dam, bridge and road, originally constructed in 1865, can still be seen on the river. There is a large stone support for the old bridge in the middle of the river that my 12-year-old thought looked like the hull of a ship.

The large set stones that served as a sluice for the water wheel can also be seen nearby.

My daughter and I welcomed these stops on the river. We haven’t done much riding lately, since we’ve opted for water activities during this hot summer, so our biking legs are a bit out of shape.

This trail is fairly level, but for young, less-experienced riders, little legs will have to do some pumping on a couple of the small hills.

For those familiar with the Androscoggin River Bike Path in Brunswick/Topsham, it’s not as flat as that trail, but there are not any big hills either. And as my daughter will tell you, going up hills one way means having fun going down them on the way back.

The trail passes through the Lisbon Community School parking area, then veers off the river for a view of pretty farm country on Mill Street and over to Upland Road. This portion is called the Ricker Farm Trail.

“This trail will tie in to the sidewalk network we have in town by the end of the summer,” said Ryan Leighton, Lisbon’s town engineer.

This trail is not an off-road loop, so my daughter and I turned around at the trail’s end just past Ricker Farm to make our way back to Miller Park.

The school, about a mile from the trailhead, has a very nice playground that younger kids will likely want to stop to explore.

It’s a good middle point on this trail system and can be a good incentive for young riders to bike the distance to get there.

This trail does not cover a lot of mileage for older kids used to biking, but for those parents comfortable with on-street riding, the Big Dipper ice cream shop is less than a quarter of a mile from the trailhead on Route 196.

Plans are in the works to expand the trail another 2 miles from Miller Park to the Maine Department of Transportation’s Park & Ride lot in Lisbon Falls.

The new segment will be called the Androscoggin River Trail and construction will begin next year.

Even though the full trail isn’t complete yet, the Paper Mill and Ricker Farm trails are very nice, family-friendly and well worth a two-wheel visit with young riders.

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be reached at 791-6334 or at:

[email protected]