Beach to Beech 5K is October 14

Posted October 04, 2017

Late last winter, an idea germinated in Ron Howard’s mind as he walked around the newly acquired 70 acres that lies between Route 90 and Beech Hill in Rockport, and abuts Erickson Field. The parcel stretches up a hill, passing alongside an old farmstead and into woods that haven’t been harvest in more than a century.

More walking and running trails, Howard thought. More trails for the public to explore, and enjoy a piece of the Rockport landscape.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, which oversees Erickson Field, endorsed Howard’s idea, and he turned to two local organizations for collaborative help: The Camden-Rockport Pathways Committee, whose mission it is to create connecting pedestrian and bicycle pathways through both towns, and Legacy Rockport, a nonprofit founded on the recommendation of the 2004 Comprehensive Plan to build an endowment for projects that benefit all Rockport citizens.

Meeting with a few others from those organizations, they began to raise funds so that Howard and work crews could begin building the Connector Trail.

The $16,000 fundraising campaign was successful, thanks to many citizens, and on Oct. 14, at 8:00 a.m. there will be a grand celebration to inaugurate the new trails with a Beach to Beech Hill 5K footrace hosted by Stone Coast Wellness. Rain date Oct. 15.

The race will begin at 8 a.m., at Goodie’s Beach, on Rockport Harbor, and end at the top of Beech Hill. The route will extend through the new trails at Erickson Field.

Walkers are also encouraged to explore the trails, which are 6 to 8 feet wide, and are hardened gravel. Folks are invited to hike through all the trails, that offer an easy incline and pleasant conditions.

Spectators may park at Erickson Fields Preserve or Beech Hill Preserve and cheer on the runners. There will be an awards ceremony for race finalists, a raffle drawing and refreshments at the top of Beech Hill. Visit with friends and neighbors, and get to know others in the community. Dig your toes and help strengthen roots for Rockport!

The Connector Trail helps build a larger infrastructure of trails through town, and is the result of generosity from Maine Coast Heritage Trust and local citizens.

The goal? For health, wellness, to recreate, to explore, to meditate. And most of all, to enjoy Rockport’s natural landscape and historic legacy.

To help build the Connector Trail endowment, donate online at Aldermere.org, or by dropping a check off at the Rockport Town Office, made out to Legacy Rockport. To participate in the Beach to Beech 5K, register online at Active.com or the day of the race between 7:00 to 7:45 a.m. For more race info, visit Stone Coast Wellness on Facebook or call 207-236-2739.