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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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Not So Wild a Dream: Connecting for Shore for Bikes with Owen Bailey

Recently, ESLC’s Owen Bailey sat down with the Talbot Spy to discuss the importance of trails and our work in developing a vision for a regional trail network. The video from this discussion can be viewed below.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we must remember how so many people sought trails for exercise and outdoor reaction. As each county concludes and publishes their Land Preservation Parks and Restoration Plan (LPPRP), we must recognize the collective support for more trails, longer trails, and trails that connect to more places. And with the release of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s map of off road protected trails, we have to grapple with the fact that the Eastern Shore has fallen far behind many of its neighbors in regards to trail planning and development. From these three forces, now is the time for a broader discussion on an Eastern Shore Trail Network.
In April 2022, ESLC hosted a workshop with the goal of building support for a Vision of a Regional Trail network across all 9 counties of the Eastern Shore. The event was well-attended by representatives from all 9 counties and many of our municipalities. At the workshop, the energy and desire to get to work and to make this vision a reality was palpable. Many neighboring regions have successfully created visions, coalitions, and trails like the Capital Trails Coalition, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Great Allegany Passage, the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, the Virginia Creeper, and even larger trail networks like the East Coast Greenway, the American Discovery, and the September 11th National Memorial Trail. The Eastern Shore should be included on this list and should one day connect to all of them as part of a much greater trail network.
This October, ESLC will host a follow up meeting with staff and elected officials from all 9 counties and many municipalities to expand support and build a coalition. But this effort will take more than planning from the county and municipal level. Success relies on support and voices from residents, their neighborhoods and communities.

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