Robinson Woods Universal Access Trail - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust


Robinson Woods Universal Access Trail

This initial proposal is dated September 9, 2021, and is subject to revision. See below for various ways to submit your feedback.


The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust (CELT) is developing a plan to build a Universal Access (UA) trail at Robinson Woods Preserve. The trail would be constructed using a combination of grant funding and private contributions. The total proposed trail will cover a half-mile out-and-back from Shore Road to Robinson Pond. Future extensions could continue beyond the pond around the Olde Colony neighborhood to reconnect with Shore Road. Dedicated parking would be available at the Shore Road trailhead. If successfully funded, the trail will be routed to maximize durability while accessing many of the exemplary natural features in Robinson Woods Preserve.

Projected Timeline

Please Note: This project is contingent on funding. The below timeline could change significantly.

  • Fall 2021: Initial proposal released for public comment
  • Winter 2021-2022: Trail plan developed in conjunction with contractors and permitting agencies
  • Spring 2022: Designs submitted to Maine DEP and Town of Cape Elizabeth for permitting review; opportunity for public comment through the planning board
  • Summer 2022: Conversations with prospective trail constructors; grant writing
  • Fall 2022: Permits in hand; community fundraising for remaining cost of the project
  • Winter 2022-2023: Finalize construction schedule; coordinate with local suppliers; final opportunity to donate to project
  • 2023: Trail construction and opening (exact timing dependent on weather and contractor availability)

Project Goals

1.     Contingent on funding, we will construct a trail that facilitates use by people with all levels of physical ability. This shared-use path would help CELT better meet the needs of Cape Elizabeth’s aging population. We would expect to see a lot of traffic on this trail, ranging from older hikers with hip replacements to parents with small children and babies in strollers to casual users who prefer a wide, flat trail surface.

2.    If funded, we would expand our educational offerings to include programs specifically designed for trail users with lower mobility, including residents of nearby assisted living centers. While we have offered indoor lectures and “bus tour” programs for this demographic before, we will now have the option to get out of the van and walk to the pond to hear the spring peepers.

3.     When more people are able to observe and experience nature first-hand, they have more opportunities to deeply care for it. Adding features that welcome people to the land would showcase the value of land conservation to the broader community. This would enable CELT to more completely fulfill its mission of providing natural lands for the use, enjoyment, and education of all people.


The trail would begin at the existing Shore Road trailhead, where two dedicated accessible parking spaces would be created. The trail would pass through a short stand of the mixed forest before arriving at a large meadow managed for grassland bird habitat. The trail would continue along the edge of the field for nearly half a mile before arriving at the downstream end of Robinson Pond. There, trail users would be able to appreciate scenic views of the wetland, and perhaps lay eyes on a beaver, painted turtle, or great blue heron.

Why Here, Why Now?

Robinson Woods Preserve is one of the most utilized natural areas in Cape Elizabeth. Through a network of roughly 3 miles of trails, preserve visitors can explore a range of ecosystems, from mixed forests to freshwater wetlands to a rocky ocean beach. This combination of factors makes Robinson Woods the clear choice when it comes to maximizing the recreational value and potential user base of a new trail. Additionally, the proximity of Robinson Pond to Shore Road reduces the amount of trail necessary to reach a range of scenic and natural features, making this an efficient funding opportunity in terms of cost for recreational value.

How to Get Involved

Apply to Join the Advisory Team

If you are interested in contributing volunteer time to helping with this project, please complete the interest form below. We are particularly seeking trail users with varying levels of physical mobility and others that would directly benefit from this project. Trail building experience is not required!

Provide Feedback

Lastly, comments can be submitted at any time by emailing CELT at You can also leave us a message at (207) 767-6054 and a staff member will get back to you.

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