AFTER THREE YEARS of planning and fundraising, Clay Brook bridge connects two trail networks and creates seven miles of linked trails in Topsham. It will link the established trail network at Cathance River Nature Preserve to new trails.

AFTER THREE YEARS of planning and fundraising, Clay Brook bridge connects two trail networks and creates seven miles of linked trails in Topsham. It will link the established trail network at Cathance River Nature Preserve to new trails.

TOPSHAM

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is celebrating installation of a new 60-foot pedestrian bridge on its Cathance River trail system.

After three years of planning and fundraising, Clay Brook bridge, as it has come to be known, connects two trail networks and creates seven miles of linked trails in Topsham, land trust officials said in a statement. It will link the established trail network at Cathance River Nature Preserve to new trails that traverse several parcels of privately-owned land protected by easement and eventually connect to Head of Tide Park.

The group has been working for more than a decade to conserve lands along the Cathance River, which officials say is “a natural gem that feels remote despite its proximity to community centers.”

The installation of Clay Brook bridge connects multiple conservation lands and expands the public’s opportunity to experience different sections of the river. The trail system will take hikers from fast moving, Class 4 rapids along the Cathance River Nature Preserve to slower moving sections above Head of Tide, culminating in the spectacular 15-foot waterfall at Head of Tide Park.

The bridge was designed through the generosity of Stantec and engineer Rick Shultz; the aluminum bridge was fabricated by metal worker Dennis Weeks, of Bowdoinham; the site work, bridge abutments and bridge installation were completed by local Topsham business Linkel Construction which has significant experience constructing seawalls, abutments and supports for coastal piers and docks, fish ladders, retaining walls, and other projects.

The bridge location and material were researched by the land trust’s stewardship committee in an effort being led by land trust volunteer trail supervisor Gary Fogg of Topsham.

The support of landowners Jim Howard of Priority Group of Topsham and Seacoast Management, owners of Highland Green, made the Cathance River Preserve and Cathance River Trail possible.

The Clay Brook bridge project, which connects the preserve with the Cathance River Trail, was funded through the generous support of the Merrymeeting Bay Trust, L.L. Bean’s Maine Land Trust Grant Program, Fields Pond Foundation, Jim Howard, and the land trust’s more than 1,000 members.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 54 Beechwood Drive, Topsham.

For more information, visit www.btlt.org/news.

THE BRUNSWICK-TOPSHAM Land Trust has been working for more than a decade to conserve lands along the Cathance River, which officials say is “a natural gem that feels remote despite its proximity to community centers.”


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