In the News

August 8
Kid Tracks: Bonus for trail riders: easy access to river

The Paper Mill Trail at Miller Park in Lisbon is a great place for families with young bike riders.

The Paper Mill Trail in Lisbon runs along the Sabattus River, offering young bikers the chance to dip their toes in the water if they like.
Wendy Almeida/Staff Writer
click image to enlarge
The paved trail, about 4 miles round-trip, is fairly level with a couple of small hills.
Wendy Almeida/Staff Writer
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WHERE: Lisbon
LENGTH: 2 miles, one-way
TRAIL TYPE: Paved multi-use, non-motorized
BATHROOM: Yes, portable at Miller Park
GPS COORDINATES: 44.0115, -70.0861
12-YEAR-OLD’S REVIEW: “I liked this trail and going in the river. I liked going down the hills, too. If you haven’t biked in a while and your leg muscles have weakened, it will be hard to get up the hills. It’s not hard, but you just have to use your leg muscles a lot. I think it’s a good trail for kids.”
INTERACTIVE MAP: Check out the Kid Tracks blog for an interactive map of the trail as we biked it, at
Parents will like its off-the-road paved trail and the kids will feel a sense of accomplishment if they make it to the end and back — about 4 miles, round-trip, of smooth riding.

The Paper Mill Trail is off Frost Hill Avenue in Lisbon, just off Route 196 at the Sabattus River boat launch. The paved trail runs along part of the river.

There are several short dirt paths that lead to the river and my 12-year-old was eager to stop and check things out after only two minutes of riding.

She had her shoes and socks off in no time to do some wading and jumping from rock to rock on the riverbank.

There is also a nice little history lesson along the way, thanks to an informational kiosk about 3/4 of a mile down the trail that explains the early history of the mills in Lisbon.

Remnants of the Paper Mill dam, bridge and road, originally constructed in 1865, can still be seen on the river. There is a large stone support for the old bridge in the middle of the river that my 12-year-old thought looked like the hull of a ship.

The large set stones that served as a sluice for the water wheel can also be seen nearby.

My daughter and I welcomed these stops on the river. We haven’t done much riding lately, since we’ve opted for water activities during this hot summer, so our biking legs are a bit out of shape.

This trail is fairly level, but for young, less-experienced riders, little legs will have to do some pumping on a couple of the small hills.

For those familiar with the Androscoggin River Bike Path in Brunswick/Topsham, it’s not as flat as that trail, but there are not any big hills either. And as my daughter will tell you, going up hills one way means having fun going down them on the way back.

The trail passes through the Lisbon Community School parking area, then veers off the river for a view of pretty farm country on Mill Street and over to Upland Road. This portion is called the Ricker Farm Trail.

“This trail will tie in to the sidewalk network we have in town by the end of the summer,” said Ryan Leighton, Lisbon’s town engineer.

This trail is not an off-road loop, so my daughter and I turned around at the trail’s end just past Ricker Farm to make our way back to Miller Park.

The school, about a mile from the trailhead, has a very nice playground that younger kids will likely want to stop to explore.

It’s a good middle point on this trail system and can be a good incentive for young riders to bike the distance to get there.

This trail does not cover a lot of mileage for older kids used to biking, but for those parents comfortable with on-street riding, the Big Dipper ice cream shop is less than a quarter of a mile from the trailhead on Route 196.

Plans are in the works to expand the trail another 2 miles from Miller Park to the Maine Department of Transportation’s Park & Ride lot in Lisbon Falls.

The new segment will be called the Androscoggin River Trail and construction will begin next year.

Even though the full trail isn’t complete yet, the Paper Mill and Ricker Farm trails are very nice, family-friendly and well worth a two-wheel visit with young riders.

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be reached at 791-6334 or at:

Expansion of Lisbon Trail System in Hands of Voters

On September 22, 2009 the Lisbon Town Council voted to seek permission from the Citizens of Lisbon to issue a bond in order to receive $1,280,000 in funding from the Maine Department of Transportation for the purpose of completing the Lisbon Trail System. (See Attached Map) In order to receive this funding the Town is required to raise $320,000 in matching funds which is reflected in Question #1 of the local ballot. This request is the culmination of 10 years of work by the Lisbon Trails Commission whose successes are evident considering the huge popularity of the Paper Mill and Ricker Farm trails.

Maine DOT received requests for funding totaling approximately $27 Million with less than $8 Million dollars available in funding for the entire State over the next 2 years. The fact Lisbon was selected to receive nearly a quarter of the funding available during this two year period and is one of the larger project awards in the program’s history speaks volumes of the efforts of the Lisbon Trails Commission as they work to improve the community they serve.

A YES vote ensures a total of $1,600,000 will be invested in the Town of Lisbon providing work for LOCAL contractors as well as providing safe routes to school and educational opportunities not currently available to the high and middle schools.

Absentee Ballots are currently available at the Town Clerks office and the Lisbon Trails Commission is available to answer any questions and provide details on this important vote. Their contact information is listed at, feel free to connect with them directly. Commission members will also be found at area events such as the Harvest Festival, Concerts in the Park as well as Lisbon committee meetings. Volunteers will be needed Oct. 28th to create signs supporting this important vote for investment in Lisbon.

Pending approval from Turner Publishing for October issue Lisbon Ledger 2009

Lisbon Unveils New Trails Logo

Untitled-1 copy

The Lisbon Trails Commission recently unveiled its new logo courtesy of Lisbon High School sophomore Sarah Giraldo. Sarah along with 30 other Lisbon students provided their interpretation of how to enjoy the Lisbon trail. Sarah’s logo included a river and trail scene with bikers and hikers and a greyhound in honor of the high school mascot. Sarah, an aspiring art student said, “It was fun to imagine how the trail is used and I wanted to include a greyhound for the school.”

The trails commission needed a new logo and thought the creativity of local students would be the way to go. “It is great that the trail is here and that the community could be involved in the logo development,” said Mary Giraldo, Sarah’s mom. “I think it is really cool that you included the kids.” Noyes Lawrence of the Lisbon Trails commission asked Elaine Cyr, Lisbon High School art teacher, to help the commission with the logo development and it resulted in a great fit. “We think the artwork is great. All the kids did an excellent job and it was a tough choice, but Sarah’s was just perfect” said Noyes. “She even did a couple of different versions for us.”

The town was recently awarded a grant from the Maine Department of Transportation to complete the Lisbon Trail into Lisbon Falls. The final segment of trail will connect the three villages of Lisbon and will provide access to and beautiful views of the Androscoggin River. The logo will be used on t-shirts and in other ways to continue to remind people of the importance of community walkways. The current section of trail receives about a 100 visitors a day in the summer months and is popular with local residents. The Trails Commission is responsible for bicycle and pedestrian trail planning in the community, federal and state funding acquisition, and advice to the Town Council regarding bicycle and pedestrian trail development.

July 2009 edition of Greater Lisbon Ledger

Androscoggin Source to Sea Trekkers to Make Trail Stop in Lisbon

The Lisbon Trails Commission and the Androscoggin River Source to the Sea Trek participants will walk on Lisbon trails
after the Durham to Lisbon paddle. On August 23rd, the Androscoggin River Watershed Council sponsored Androscoggin River Source to the Sea Trek will be paddling from Durham Riverside Park at 10 am to the Sabattus River boat launch at approximately 12pm. After the paddle, the Lisbon Trails Commission will be hosting a walk on the Papermill Trail and a discussion of the proposed completion of the Lisbon Community Trail. The public is invited to join with organizers from both the Androscoggin River Watershed Council and the Androscoggin Land Trust for this “walk and talk.” You will have a chance to ask any one of these organizers about the future Androscoggin River Canoe Trail and the completion of the Lisbon Trail System from the current Sabattus River Boat launch into downtown Lisbon Falls
along the Androscoggin River. “I Love Lisbon Trails” tee shirts will be available and brochures about the next section of the Lisbon Community Trail Shirts made possible from a grant from the Alfred M. Senter Fund. A donation of $6 dollars
will be accepted for the shirts.

Did you know..? The Town of Lisbon was recently awarded a grant from the Maine Department of Transportation to complete the Lisbon Trail into Lisbon Falls. The final segment of trail will connect the three villages of Lisbon and will provide access to and beautiful views of the Androscoggin River. The Trails Commission is responsible for bicycle and
pedestrian trail planning in the community, federal and state funding acquisition, and advice to the Town Council regarding bicycle and pedestrian trail development.

August 2009 edition of Greater Lisbon Ledger

Trails committee asking for bond to finish project

By Connie Footman, Special to the Sun Journal
Published: Aug 26, 2009 12:00 am

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Paul and Hope Chamberlain of Paris check out the Sabattus River along the Paper Mill/Ricker Farm Trails in Lisbon after dropping off a travel bag from Grafton Notch at a geocache along the trail Monday. “We’ve been a lot of places we never knew about,” Hope said, of the geocaching competition. Participants use a GPS receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches” or “caches” anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook.,

LISBON — The trails commission will go to the Town Council next week to ask members to include a $320,000 bond on the November ballot to complete the Lisbon Community Trail. The money would be the local contribution required under a $1.28 million grant awarded recently by the Maine Department of Transportation.

The same bond request was rejected by voters in a referendum in May. The vote was 746-644. There is some concern that the economic outlook makes it doubtful the town will get a second chance for another grant for some time, if the matching funds are not approved.

To date, nearly $750,000 in grants and local funds has been invested in local projects.

The final phase of the project will complete the four-mile trail connecting the villages of Lisbon, Lisbon Center and Lisbon Falls. The trail will provide access from community neighborhoods to all three public schools in town and provide outstanding views of the Androscoggin and Sabattus rivers.

The completed portion of the trail runs from the Smith-McCarthy Park parking lot in Lisbon Village through to the Sabattus river boat launch at the intersection of Frost Hill Avenue and Route 196 in Lisbon Falls. Completion of the last section will bring the trail under the Sabattus River Bridge to the park and ride lot next to the Rail Road diner, a renovated railroad depot on Route 196 in downtown Lisbon Falls.

According to town engineer Ryan Leighton, the trail is about 14 feet wide, with a 9-foot wide paved lane and a four foot wide gravel shoulder on one side.

It is a multipurpose trail for pedestrians and bicyclist, and portions can accommodate snowmobiles in certain areas during the winter. On any given day, dozens of outdoor enthusiasts of all ages take advantage of the scenic trail. There is ample parking space to leave cars at the boat launch, picnic tables for lunch and usually a mobile food vendor is there to provide snacks and soft drinks.

Town Manager Stephen Eldridge said, “The completed trail will not only be used for recreation and wellness but be a catalyst for connection between the villages of Lisbon and improve walkability within our community. As we focus on the river as an asset for economic development, the trail system becomes an integral component to provide access and forward that endeavor. Lisbon is very fortunate to receive $1.28 million to complete the entire project. This project will be a true asset and improve the quality of life for the citizens and visitors of Lisbon alike,” he said.

Jonathan LaBonte, executive director of the Androscoggin Land Trust is equally as enthusiastic. “The Androscoggin Land Trust is excited that the efforts to enhance access to the Androscoggin river by the town of Lisbon has been recognized by this significant grant from MDOT for the final section of the Lisbon community trail. As regional efforts to get people reconnected to the river advance we know that the positive economic impacts are not far behind,” he said.

Dan Stewart, bicycle and pedestrian program manager of MDOT said, ” The continuation of the Community Trail form Lisbon into Lisbon Falls is an exciting opportunity to connect the village areas, schools, riverfront and downtown areas and has the potential to be one of the most important bicycle connections. The trail when completed will improve safety quality of life and serve to attract economic development. It is very important to MDOT to assist in the completion of this trail in order to provide safe bicycle and pedestrian connectivity for the Lisbon Villages.”


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