Gov. John Baldacci joined a large turnout Sunday, as South Portland Land Trust opened the Clark’s Pond Trail.

After an official opening ceremony, five groups formed to hike the 1.2-mile trail. Baldacci complimented the business community and citizens for the effort in making the trail a reality.

“Thanks for doing what you’re doing,” said Baldacci. “We need to focus on our health.”

Speakers at the ceremony included South Portland City Councilor James Hughes, Mayor Claude Morgan and Tom Blake, president of the South Portland Land Trust.

The trail begins in the Home Depot parking lot and extends to Westbrook Street. “It’s a tough 1.2 miles,” Blake said.

By utilizing sidewalks on Westbrook Street and Gorham Road, hikers could loop back rather than re-hiking the trail. Creating a loop minimizing use of sidewalks is a future goal.

Blake hoped that the trail would eventually link up with those in surrounding communities. “We want to take this trail all the way to Key West, Fla.,” Blake said with a laugh.

Those walking the trail Sunday received green shirts. Baldacci, who had another commitment, promised to return some day but was presented a shirt in advance along with a trail map.

The first Long Creek Family Day held in conjunction with the trail opening featured a cookout. The trail opened the day after National Public Lands Day on Saturday.

Cutline (ribbon cutting 1) (ribbon cutting 2) (ribbon cutting 3) (ribbon cutting 4) – Many in a large turnout on a sunny fall day Sunday wait to take a hike on the Clark’s Pond Trail.

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