The West Side Trail is a multi-use singletrack trail that connects neighborhoods, office parks, preserves, and public beaches. Much of the trail is under the cover of the tree canopy adjacent to the CMP power line corridor that the route follows. The route includes ravines, rocky bluffs, and vistas to Casco Bay and the Royal River estuary. There are a few steep, rocky sections, but for the most part it is a well-groomed, meandering trail that feels isolated even though it is cutting through neighborhoods.
FKT route is a simple out-and-back. It begins at the trailhead billboard at Tyler Technologies. Simply follow the main trail, marked with blue blazes. No cutting the switchbacks. After the bridge to Cousins Island, the trail continues from the parking lot on the left. At the end of the trail on Cousins Island there is a small loop, return along the same trail.
Submitter: Nico Cornell
|Daniel Jackson||1h 6m 46s|
|Matthew Walker||1h 7m 9s|
|Xander Keiter, Josh Lombardo||1h 13m 38s|
|Daniel Bannon||1h 14m 4s|
|Thomas Harvey||1h 18m 16s|
|Ryan Moody||1h 46m 36s|
|Cade Brown||1h 53m 14s|
From recent running of the trail, GPS tracks of current and previous FKT holders, and discussion with Grady Jackson, I think the GPS route on this website should be updated to go to the real end of the trail which is further south than Wharf Road (where the GPS route turns around).
In addition, we think there are two valid options for the turnaround:
The route description already mentions the small loop at the end but it is not reflected in the GPS route. The sign at the end of the trail also mentioned the loop turnaround option. I believe allowing both as options is the most flexible, since they are nearly identical in distance and each have pros and cons.