I am thrilled the Merrymeeting Trail project has significant momentum once again (“Community Compass: Exciting steps forward on Merrymeeting Trail,” Aug. 28). These longer-distance trails have been developed all over New England and the states building them have drawn visitors and the subsequent revenue that comes with them. It will be a boon to the Kennebec Valley to build the Merrymeeting Trail (and quickly). There is an excellent foundation already in place with the Kennebec River Rail Trail. Extending a trail south to other communities would help to re-connect them just like commerce on the Kennebec used to.

And the idea that central Maine doesn’t have to give up the possibility of passenger rail at the expense of recreation trails is just icing on the cake. As a child, one of my fondest memories was taking an overnight Amtrak ride. I still love the idea of being able to get on a passenger train near my home and take it to some destination several days away while watching the landscapes roll by. If we use an active rail line for passenger rail (the “back road” through Winthrop) and an inactive line for alternative transportation, we can have both.

I hope that all the communities already connected by the Kennebec River Rail Trail and those along the proposed route of the Merrymeeting Trail throw their weight behind this effort. I believe it could be a huge asset to our region and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of other modes of transportation.

Scott Moucka

Augusta

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