Both the town of Arundel and the Arundel Conservation Trust held official opening ceremonies on their properties on Limerick Road on the morning of Oct. 17. The town opened the new and impressive municipal building and the trust opened its Arundel Community Trails.

Tanja Schoenbrod, Arundel Conservation Trust vice president, and Matt Cooper chair of the Bike Trail Committee, cut the ribbon to the trails on Oct. 17. Courtesy photo

“Both organizations worked closely together to buy the 47-acre property and a beautiful building and community trail system was the result,” said Arundel Conservation Trust President Joan Hull in a written statement.

A chilly and steady autumn rain did not dampen the spirts of the gathered supporters, but COVID-19 social gathering guidelines limited the crowd to about 45 people.

The conservation trust ribbon cutting group included all five selectmen, the trust’s board of directors, Bike Trail sponsors and the trust’s trail-building volunteers and families. The ribbon cutting ceremony was facilitated by the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce. Board members Tanja Schoenbrod, vice president and chair of the Trailblazers and Matt Cooper, chair of the trust’s Bike Trail Project, did the honors of cutting the ribbon to the new trail system.

“Together, with the board and our many volunteers, they have worked countless hours to make Arundel Community Trails a reality, bringing amazing energy, passion, and vision to the effort,” Hull said.

The newly-opened trail system included a first of its kind in southern Maine, mountain bike flow trail. The bike trail, built by Portland’s Maine Trail Builders, is over 1,500-feet long running through the forest, has more than 60 features such as rollers, berms and switchbacks turns. It is part of a multi-phase mountain bike trail project that, when completed next year by Arundel Conservation Trust, will include multi-use biking and walking flow trail, connecting to the Eastern Trail where it crosses the Kennebunk River.”

Children waiting to ride the new trail, from left, are Sam, Lila and Molly Rush, and Eva and Graham Sanborn. Courtesy photo

“We are still actively fundraising for next phases,” Hull said, “so please consider a donation towards our flow trail project.” For more information or to donate, visit  www.arundel.org/actmtb.

In the short time since its opening, Hull said, the “Roll Um Easy” bike trail (so named by the Gordon Foundation, the trust’s top “Carbon” sponsor) has been an immediate success. Children of all ages have tried their skill, ranging from Arundel sSelectmen Dan Dubois, who took a ride with his GoPro helmet camera, and stated that he “can’t wait ‘til ACT builds more” to 7-year-old Luke Wasson, who, when asked by his mother to rate the trial on a 1 to 10 scale, declared the trail a “300.”

In addition to the Bike Trail, the trust officially opened its four-season multi-use, dog-friendly trail for walkers, skiers, bikers, and snowshoe enthusiasts. The trail meanders through the trust parcel from the trailhead behind the town municipal building to the Eastern Trail, with a spur trail to the Kennebunk River, “Thanks to the generous donation of an easement,” Hull said.

The trail, hand-built by volunteers, includes several bridges over streams and stretches of boardwalks crossing over boggy patches. The trail also boasts two Eagle Scout projects, one being a 40-foot bridge built by Jacob Pisani of Troop 330 as his project and four 8-foot benches along the trail built as part of Robin Gorham’s project for Troop 304.

“The Arundel Conservation Trust trail system on Limerick Road and the new town municipal building are a cooperative venture to help our town build community amongst residents of all ages,” Hull said. “It’s a special place where “Arundelites” and people from our greater three-town community can gather as neighbors and friends to enjoy what is special about Arundel. Safe parking for the trail system is available behind the municipal nuilding and access to restrooms will soon be available during daylight hours at the community room entrance.

The audience at the Arundel Conservation Trust ribbon cutting for the its Community Trails grand opening held Oct. 17. Courtesy photo

To learn more about Arundel Conservation Trust, become a volunteer, access trail maps and donate to help build the next phase of the Bike Trail system plus complete our network of multi-use and walking trails, visit www.arundeltrust.org and follow on Facebook and Instagram.