Education and Communication


Giant's Stairs Trail Project - Maine

Gravel base on the Giant's Stairs Trail

The new trail will provide sustainable access for the 10-15,000 people who visit Bailey Island each year to walk one of Maine's greatest sections of coastline.

The project was designed to rehabilitate and stabilize the Giant’s Stairs Trail, located on town-owned property on the southeastern shore of Bailey Island. Many challenges presented themselves in the design of this project. This 2.5 acre parcel had very tight corridor boundaries, ledge cliffs and ocean, and property boundaries with abutting house owners. Many times the trail had less than a ten-foot corridor to run through to fulfill staying on town-owned property.

It was a difficult project and the community’s opinions of “management” for the trail varied greatly. The crew was placed in the forefront of this discussion and took a lot of time to give good information and explain the important focus of this construction process to community members, who were not necessarily in favor of any improvements to the trail or wanted a “less intrusive” approach. The crew performed this task flawlessly.

This project was completed by a Maine Conservation Corps Mini-Team, or three-person crew, working in conjunction with local volunteers from Bowdoin College, the Boy Scouts, and community members. Because of the great support from local individuals, the crew was able to complete the entire project in one season instead of the original two-phase plan. RTP funding of $20,000 allowed the Town of Harpswell to contract with an experienced Maine Conservation Corps crew and provide excellent materials and volunteers.

Rock work on the down-slope side before adding base

Rock work on the down-slope side before adding base

Completed trail with crusher fines surface

Completed trail with crusher fines surface

More winners of this award

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2023: Sensible, Courteous, Off-Road, Enthusiasts / SCORE

2021: Sign Language Saturday

2020: Nevada’s Outdoor School’s Outdoor Ethics Program

2019: Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center (GNFAC) – Montana

2018: Spearhead Trails - Virginia

2017: Woodruff Greenway Trail - South Carolina

2016: Great Trails: Providing Quality OHV Trails and Experiences Guidebook (Nationwide)

2015: Blue Tree Trail System - Nevada

2014: Missouri State Parks Trail Book

2013: School Messaging Program - Minnesota

2012: Intertwine Alliance Bi-State Regional Trails Website - Oregon and Washingston

2011: Shadow Mountain Trail System - Wyoming

2010: Coalition of Recreational Trail Users Educational Trailer - Minnesota

2008: Recreation Maps and Educational Materials - Wyoming

2007: Trail Planning, Design & Development Guidelines Book - Minnesota

2006: Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park - Virginia

2005: North Slope Trailer Project - Wyoming

2004: Western Wyoming Avalanche Education - Wyoming

2004: Sensible, Courteous Off Road Enthusiasts (SCORE) - Pennsylvania

2003: Green Ridge State Forest & Rocky Gap State Park Trail - Maryland