The goal is to track all existing and/or potential trails throughout the Topsham area in order to develop a public trail system, as well as to conduct trail maintenance and protection. Having the trail system available will not only provide public access for suitable pursuits, but also promote a public appreciation for the conservation and preservation of the town’s vital natural resources.
The first part of the project consisted of a study of existing trail maps and guides from other locations. As a result, a set of standards for Topsham trail maps and guides were designed and developed; various designs of trail maps were considered to accommodate personal preferences.
After locating all potential public trails throughout Topsham, Van, along with the members of the Conservation Commission and Rod Melanson, the Natural Resource Assistant Planner, walked and surveyed these trails using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. Data were then converted into GIS (Geographic Information Systems) map layers—trails were edited and created based on analyses of geography and conditions of trail locations as shown on map.