East Coast Greenway

East Coast Greenway

East Coast Greenway
The American Tobacco Trail, which will form a section of the East Coast Greenway
Length 3000 mi (proposed)
Trailheads Maine/Canada-U.S. border-Florida (under construction)
Use Multi-use, non-motorized
Highest point West Boylston, Massachusetts, 680 ft (210 m)
Lowest point Many locations within 10 feet (3.0 m) or less of sea level.
Hiking details
Season Variable, depending on latitude
Hazards weather, Tick-borne diseases

The East Coast Greenway (ECG) is a project to create a nearly 3,000-mile (4,800 km) urban greenway/rail trail linking the major cities of the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, for non-motorized human transportation. It is similar in length and conception to the 12 routes of the EuroVelo project throughout Europe, and the Trans Canada Trail project in Canada.

Work on ECG began in 1991. As of 2014, 30 percent of the trail is complete (off-road).[1]


  • History 1
  • Route 2
  • Active segments 3
    • Maine 3.1
    • Massachusetts 3.2
    • Rhode Island 3.3
    • Connecticut 3.4
    • New York 3.5
    • New Jersey 3.6
    • Pennsylvania 3.7
    • Delaware 3.8
    • Maryland 3.9
    • District of Columbia 3.10
    • Virginia 3.11
    • North Carolina 3.12
    • South Carolina 3.13
    • Florida 3.14
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1991, a group of cyclists and

In summer 1992, the ECGA sent nine cyclists from Boston, New York , Vermont, and Washington, D.C. on a 30-day "exploratory" cycle tour. In June 1999, the ECG was selected by the White House for designation as a National Millennium Trail.

Between February and June 2000, the ECG Wave non-motorized relay transported a bottle of sea water from Key West, Florida, up the eastern seaboard to Canada along the route of the ECG.


Major cities connected by the spine route are:

A planned alternative to the Richmond-Wilmington leg of the journey hews closer to the coast, passing through Virginia Beach in the Tidewater region and continuing on through the Elizabeth City, Greenville, New Bern and Jacksonville in North Carolina before rejoining the main line near the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Wilmington. Other alternate routes are planned for Maine, Massachusetts, and Florida.

Active segments

As of 2014, a sampling of segments of the East Coast Greenway that are accessible include:



Rhode Island


New York

New Jersey

Near Lincoln Park, Jersey City

New Jersey's spine route is 93 miles (150 km) long, running between the Hudson River and the Delaware River.[3][4] It passes through bustling urban areas — Jersey City, Newark, New Brunswick, Princeton, and Trenton — as well as quiet suburban settings and more rural landscapes. As of 2011, it had the second highest percentage of completed trail of any East Coast state. 48 percent of the greenway in the state was along traffic-free paths, including the longest completed trail in the system – the D&R Canal Towpath, which is 34.3 miles (55.2 km) long. North of the Raritan River, travelers alternate between park paths and interim on-road sections to Newark.[5] There are calls for replacement of the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River to provide for pedestrians/cyclists crossing the New Jersey Meadowlands.[6] In Hudson County parts of the greenway use Lincoln Park, Liberty State Park, and the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Plans to use the Harsimus Stem Embankment are mired in controversy.[7]




One of the mile markers on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, showing its designation as part of the East Coast Greenway.

Maryland's 164-mile (264 km) spine route of the East Coast Greenway takes a jagged S-shaped course across urbanized Central Maryland. It travels from Delaware due west to the Northern Central Rail Trail, turns south to pass through Baltimore and then southeast to Annapolis, and then turns west and winds toward Washington, D.C. There is also a branch of the East Coast Greenway across the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore: it starts just past the Delaware state line and travels south across the Delmarva Peninsula to reach the Cross Island Trail, then crosses the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to rejoin the spine route in Annapolis.

Maryland is the only state on the East Coast Greenway where motorist assistance is required on the spine route: the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge over the Susquehanna River has no bicycle or pedestrian accommodations. A crossing service was once provided by Biller's Bikes in Havre de Grace. In 2012, Harford Transit began regular bus service across the bridge with buses equipped with two-bike racks. On the Eastern Shore Route, bicycles are prohibited on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and there is no crossing service there at all.

Two future trails are expected to become parts of the East Coast Greenway: the South Shore Trail between Odenton and Annapolis and the connection of the two pieces of the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (WB&A). The WB&A's segments are separated by the Patuxent River and a property dispute.

District of Columbia


North Carolina

South Carolina


See also


  1. ^ Markatos-Soriano, Dennis. "East Coast Greenway E-News". Greenway.org. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Downtown New Haven Greenway gets rolling Archived August 20, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "New Jersey East Coast Greenway" (PDF). Map. East Coast Greenway. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b c "East Coast Greenway Trail Guide" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to the East Coast Greenway in New Jersey". East Coast Greenway. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  6. ^ Whiten, Jon (Feb 8, 2010). "Advocates Want Bike/Ped Path as Part of Portal Bridge Project". Jersey City Independent. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  7. ^ "main welcome". Embankment.org. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  8. ^ http://www.theobserver.com/?p=10159
  9. ^ "Edison Greenways". East Coast Greenway. Middlesex Greenway Group. Retrieved 2011-06-25. 
  10. ^ "Gwynns Falls Trail". Gwynns Falls Trail. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  11. ^ "Baltimore & Annapolis Trail - D.C. Rail Trail". Bikewashington.org. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  12. ^ "Harnett County: Physical Activity: Dunn Erwin Trail". Harnett.org. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ Cape Fear River Trail Archived February 12, 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • East Coast Greenway