Dan Ostrye is a trailblazer.


The retired environmental engineer has led the effort to build Yarmouth’s West Side Trail, a nearly 8-mile-long path that meanders along the power line corridor between Route 1 and the huge oil-fired power plant on Cousins Island.

Volunteers are now working to complete the last few hundred feet of the trail on Cousins Island, but Ostrye is already planning the next phase – a 1.75-mile extension that would start at the park-and-ride lot at exit 15 on Interstate 295 and connect to the trail network at the Applewoods subdivision.

Ostrye, 63, does the legal and permitting work, designs the trail, accommodates anxious abutters, orders supplies, raises money, secures donations of supplies and organizes volunteers. He even bakes cookies for volunteers when they show up to work.

“Without his diligence and direction and perseverance, this trail would not have gone a mile,” said Doug Hermann, a retired contractor who heads the construction brigades.


Volunteers have donated 3,000 to 3,500 hours of labor to build the trail. Ostrye’s exuberance about the project makes it fun to get involved, said Karyn Garofoli, director of Yarmouth Community Services.

“He does it because he loves it,” she said. “You can see he lives through it, and it is part of him as a person.”

The town offers no financial support, so Ostrye continues to look for donations to buy supplies.

He said it’s been a challenge to design the trail so it can withstand washouts during heavy rainfalls and the puddles that emerge in low-lying areas.

During big storms, he often hikes the trail to see how it’s holding up.

“It’s the only way to know whether things are working,” he said.

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