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Portland Trails

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Parks & Playgrounds, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: Portland Trails transforms Greater Portland into a healthier community for people-powered transportation, conservation, and recreation, by creating a network of trails and green spaces that connects people with places.

Results: Since 1991, Portland Trails has built and maintained a network of 70 miles of trails and green space throughout Greater Portland. The trail network reaches within a half mile of every resident of Portland. It spans four different communities, and over one million people use the trails each year. From someone’s morning jog, to a student’s safe walk to school, we are a part of people’s lives every day. With over 1000 members and countless more volunteers, we are able to transform Portland’s streets and the community for visitors and locals alike.

Target demographics: the Environment, Land Conservation, Community Placemaking, Active Transportation

Geographic areas served: Greater Portland, Maine including Portland, South Portland, Westbrook, and Falmouth

Programs: Group volunteering on trails, School Ground Greening, Pop-up parks, Placemaking opportunities, Active Transportation

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 4

Portland Trails has shown a wonderful commitment to the ecosystems in the Portland area despite the challenges of being in an urban environment. They have frequented public schools and not only been productive this way, but sparked awareness and interest.

Jack A Rozelle


Rating: 5

Volunteering for Portland Trails gives one a wonderful opportunity to experience a variety of outreach venues. I was able to help with 16 of the 30-some events. Meeting new people, seeing workplace settings, learning about what the Portland area has to offer, allows one to see how Portland Trails benefits all who live and visit the area. Our new map shows 31 trails that provide healthy experiences for young and old, able and handicapped, walkers/runners/cyclists. 2011 provided a dozen Discovery Trek guided walks; I throughly enjoyed the four I went on. Even through staff changes, Portland Trails didn't skip a beat.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

I moved from PA to ME 19 months ago. One of my first tasks was to get a map of trails where I could ride my bicycle and walk. I've been on 16 of the trails and love the Discovery Treks. Wellness Fairs have been my volunteer focus. They are a wonderful way to learn more about the community and share about Portland Trails at the same time. The staff are wonderful at encouraging me. I feel that I get more than I give. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering. It is a great way to support Portland Trails.

Patrick L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I moved to downtown Portland about two years ago and one of the first things I looked into was what, if any, urban trail(s) existed. Since then I have been checking both urban and rural trails off my list (and the official Portland Trails map that can be picked up for just a few dollars) - walking some almost daily - and volunteering when possible. It's always a pleasure to see Portland Trails staff at events around town, and they're as receptive as can be when contacted via phone or email. They seem, no, they *are* genuinely happy to hear from the public... after all, they love the trails as much as we do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the woods, hiking, nature etc., but live and work in Portland, not in the remote area I dream of. I'm also 57 and can't always hike and climb the way I used to. But every single day I go out for an hour or two and walk on Portland Trails with my dog. I've seen turkey and deer, snakes and frogs (no bear, yet). There are waterfalls and wildflowers. I'm not sure, but I think you can walk to a trail from any place in the city. If I had a million dollars, I'd buy up every scrap of open land in Portland and give it to Portland Trails.

7 birth-roots

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has set a goal of hiking every one of the Portland Trails this summer, we're off to a good start, it an important part of our family time, time out in nature and time to exercise!


Board Member

Rating: 5

This is one of the best nonprofits I've ever come across, and I say that from the perspective of a former consultant to nonprofits, foundations, and associations, as well as former senior staff at the national Land Trust Alliance. I chose to be on the board of Portland Trails because it is an amazingly efficient organization, and yet is also warm, friendly, inclusive, engaging. It is super effective in creating trails for all to access and enjoy, promotes healthy lifestyles and alternatives to over-reliance on cars, and initiates and convenes partnerships and cross-sectoral collaborations with other nonprofits, neighborhood groups, local and area businesses, schools, colleges, and universities, and government -- with the net result being enhancing the quality of life for all Portlanders. I volunteer for Portland Trails because my efforts are never wasted--this is not an organization that exists to perpetuate itself; it's a community of people working toward tangible goals, showing real results, literally "on the ground." If I sound passionate about this organization, it's because I am: and with many good reasons!