Frommer's Cites Trails as Reason to Visit Portland, Maine

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When renowned travel guide "Frommer's" placed Portland, Maine, on its list of top travel destinations for 2007 this week, it cited the city's walkability and trail network as a primary reason to visit. Now, Portland's non-profit trail building organization, Portland Trails, is announcing two major milestones.

Portland Trails is an urban land trust and trail building organization founded in Portland, Maine, in 1991. The organization is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. In that time, it has preserved more than 90 acres of open space in this rapidly developing community. Of special note is Portland Trails' success in saving land along the Presumpscot River and Casco Bay, locations where undeveloped property is becoming exceedingly rare and expensive.

Portland Mayor Jim Cohen praised the group's accomplishments:

"When I think of the Presumpscot River Preserve, the Stroudwater Trail, the Fore River Trail, and all of the other great trails Portland Trails has helped build for this community, it's hard to believe that it's been only 15 years! In no small part because of Portland Trails, Portland is a livable, walkable community that is attracting new residents and visitors. I'm proud to have been part of Portland Trails, and offer my congratulations."

Portland Trails is also pleased to announce the completion of its goal to build a 30-mile network of trails in greater Portland. That 30-mile goal has been part of the group's mission since its founding. But it won't stop building trails or preserving land any time soon. "Now that we've met that goal, we'll just keep on going," said executive director Nan Cumming, "we have many more trails we want to build for this community -- 50 miles more at least!"

With such a large number of trails in its growing network, Portland Trails has engaged the business community in helping fund trail maintenance through its popular "Adopt-a-Trail" program. Companies like L.L. Bean and UnumProvident Corporation have support their adopted trail through a yearly gift.

Portland Trails' work received similar accolades in 2006. "Vegetarian Times" cited Portland as one of its top 10 "green towns" in the United States, praising Portland Trails' work in particular. In August, "Outside" magazine rated U.S. towns in its "Where to Live Now: 18 Perfect Towns that Have it All." Portland was included there, too -- and again, the magazine credited Portland Trails work with making the city such a great place to live and play.

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