Ellsworth’s Riverwalk slated for renovated this summer

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:23 PM EDT
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - People often think of Acadia National Park when they think of nature trails Downeast for getting outside and walking.

But, there’s a trail that’s unique to Ellsworth that’s getting some much needed renovation this summer, and it’s right downtown.

The Union Riverwalk is the latest in a series of revitalization efforts in Ellsworth focused on one of the city’s greatest natural assets.

“The Union River, it’s tucked in behind so many buildings that I think it’s an often forgotten place. But, when you’re out here in the spring, it’s beautiful. The birds are here, the eagles come down and catch alewife, the seals are swimming upstream. This is just kind of a magical place, and we want to help the city unveil this incredible natural asset for the community and invite people out here,” said Aaron Dority, Frenchman Bay Conservancy executive director.

Frenchman Bay Conservancy is working with partners including the Ellsworth Garden Club and Heart of Ellsworth to get the trail ready with construction slated for the end of June.

“The history here is that a troop of Boy Scouts helped rough out this original path, but the tread needs to be improved. It needs to be moved a little further away from the stream, so we’re going to move the trail a little bit uphill, build it to modern standards, and make it accessible to all,” Dority said.

The Riverwalk will begin behind the Ellsworth Public Library and travel up along the Union River to an overlook with views of the dam, but the hope is to incorporate it into other parts of Ellsworth’s preserved natural landscape.

“The vision is to connect different places, to connect open spaces, and to connect trails for people here in Ellsworth and beyond,” Dority said.

Trails that connect people to nature and each other.

“This is a collective community effort, so we’re glad to see the city involved, the county, Brookfield, the dam owner. All of these partners play a role, and I think that’s really what makes this a success is that we have that community buy-in. We have community members who care deeply about this property, so that’s the magic behind this,” Dority said.

Frenchman Bay Conservancy still has about $20,000 to raise for the Union Riverwalk project.

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