TOPSHAM — A group of mountain bikers has revived an effort to add a series of mountain bike trails in Topsham.

The Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association – a group of riders from Topsham, Bath and Brunswick – is working with the town to develop the trail system behind the transfer station at Townsend Way.

Another group of mountain bikers first proposed the idea in 2012, but the effort petered out after town officials questioned liability and trail maintenance. A resurgence of interest and a freshly organized group have renewed the talks.

The Six Rivers chapter already has presented town officials with a liability insurance certificate. Creation and maintenance of the trails will done by club members. It will be similar to how the town’s ATV and snowmobile club operates.

“There’s informal trails there now,” Town Planner Rod Melanson said. “In that area there’s approximately 100 or so usable acres for trails.”

Melanson didn’t want to commit to an exact length for trails at this point, but said there’s a large swath of land for club members and town staff to work with.

The project won’t cost the town in terms of planning or building the trails, which was important to the town’s Select Board. The only potential work coming from town staff would be to help the mountain bike group seek possible outside grant funding and help map out the trails.

Melanson doesn’t anticipate any immediate impact or trails impacting neighboring properties.

The New England Mountain Bike Association has 27 chapters throughout the region. It works to preserve trails and open spaces, while promoting the sport through public recreational rides.

“It’s not just for bikers, people will be able to run or walk on the trails,” Melanson said. “This is an opportunity to become a more popular spot for recreation.”

The Select Board can give official approval for use of the land at Thursday night’s meeting at 7 p.m.

Six Rivers also is working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to develop trails at Brunswick Landing.

Chris Quattrucci can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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