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Town officials pitch Freeport as a mountain biking destination

Town officials pitch Freeport as a mountain biking destination

Freeport mountain bikers have mostly had to look to neighboring towns to enjoy their fast-growing hobby, but their hometown could soon become a new cycling…

Tuesday, Jun 14

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Freeport mountain bikers have mostly had to look to neighboring towns to enjoy their fast-growing hobby, but their hometown could soon become a new cycling hotspot, according to local officials.

A forum is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on plans for a new system of bike trails on the town-owned Hedgehog Mountain, according to Tawni Whitney, executive director of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce.

If approved, the trails could begin drawing cyclists from around the region as early as next year.

“It would be the best 6.3 miles of mountain biking territory in the state,” said Whitney. “The goal is to make Freeport a destination.”

The proposal, which grew out of recent efforts to develop a new vision for Freeport’s future, would supplement Hedgehog Mountain’s popular hikes with an array of beginner, intermediate and expert biking trails, according to Whitney. She added taxpayers won’t cover any of the projected $250,000 cost, thanks to fundraising efforts from the Chamber of Commerce and the New England Mountain Bike Association.

Mountain biking has surged in popularity in recent years, said Rob Lavoie of the New England Mountain Bike Association, a non-profit advocacy group that has helped Freeport develop its Hedgehog Mountain plans. Cyclists seeking fresh air during the pandemic flocked to trails in towns like Falmouth, Pownal and Gorham, which Lavoie said saw a 366% increase in ridership from 2019 to 2021.

“I see it as a public health benefit,” said Lavoie, who will join Whitney in sharing Freeport’s proposal Tuesday evening. “We need to get more […]

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