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December 28, 2011 | last updated January 3, 2012 7:40 am

Recreation corridors touted for Maine

The National Park Service is exploring the creation of recreation corridors in the Northeast that would expand multi-use trails and canoe trails to lure tourists and benefit residents.

The park service recently commissioned a report on the corridors following a New England Governor's Conference on initiating more regional recreation opportunities, according to the Bangor Daily News. The report focuses on enhancing or extending seven interstate trails, with a mix of public and private funding, in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Quebec.

Three of the corridors are in Maine, including one on the Androscoggin River. Another is the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which stretches 740 miles from New York state to Fort Kent, and a third, the East Coast Greenway, is being developed between Maine and Florida.

The project's lead investigator, Richard Barringer, a University of Southern Maine professor and former state conservation commissioner, said he's hopeful the project will get federal funding because the report's focus on public health and economic opportunities meets the goals of President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" initiative, which encourages outdoor recreation to help combat obesity.

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