TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN MAINE BY BIKE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN MAINE BY BIKE

Adrian Ciocirlan

Welcome to the northernmost state in the New England! For thousands of years, indigenous peoples were the only inhabitants of the territory that is now Maine. At the time of European arrival in what is now Maine, several Algonquian-speaking peoples inhabited the area.

The first European settlement in the area was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons. The first English settlement was the short-lived Popham Colony, established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. Since, much have changed, but the old charm still prevails in this enchanting part of the US.

Let’s ride together on the most beautiful places you can find here!

 

1. Portland

 

For a two wheeled saga, this is your perfect place!

What gives Portland the right to claim the handle of Bike City, U.S.A.? Well, it could be the 315 miles of bikeways, or the nation’s highest percentage of bike commuters (7%), or the city’s preponderance of bike-themed events.

Here you can find indeed some very colorful events like Pedalpalooza or Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride

If you are here with your kids, or parents…definitely, you should enjoy the first one.  

As for the Naked Bike Ride, we know that every June, thousands of cyclists cruise commando through Portland streets as part of the a global protest against oil dependency. For the undressed masses who streak through Portland each year during the World Naked Bike Ride, accoutrements are largely unnecessary. And besides, it’s much more fun to bike buck naked.

Maybe you’re not in the mood to share your nudity in public, so, we go next to something more classical that you will like it for sure. Hop on your bike and explore Gresham's many businesses and gorgeous viewpoints. One great regional cycling destination is the nearby suburb of Gresham, located 17 miles (27 km) east of downtown Portland. Oregon’s fourth largest city, it’s home to the annual Portland Highland Games and Gresham Arts Festival and charming parks and cafés. Head east to discover all that Gresham has to offer. Beginner cyclists may not want to commit to pedaling over 30 miles round-trip from downtown Portland to Gresham.

Don’t have your bike with you? Not a problem in Portland. The new bike-share program known as Biketown has 1,000 bright orange, eight-speed bicycles, equipped with integrated baskets, front and rear lights and reflective paint jobs.

And, finally, “la piece to resistence” for you! You must take a ride on the Portland's 12 bridges across the Willamette River. They offer stunning views any time of day.

Portland’s “Bridgetown” name is no joke. The Willamette River, which divides the city into east and west sides, features a dozen distinct crossings that hint at the city’s eclectic personality. Locals celebrate them with all kinds of knickknacks and apparel, including T-shirts, coffee mugs and designer jewelry.

Every summer, visitors and locals alike celebrate with the annual Providence Bridge Pedal event. Participants can choose anything between a 5 mile (8 km), two-bridge walk to an epic, 37 mile (60 km) bike ride crossing 11 bridges.

 

2. Bar Harbor

 

Home to nearly 6,000 people, Bar Harbor is a quiet town that got its start as one of the premiere destinations in the East for wealthy Americans.

With 45 miles of carriage roads for you and your family to explore, biking in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is a favorite activity of many visitors. Don't have a bike with you? Don’t you worry. Many area bike shops will rent you a bike. The free, clean propane-powered Island Explorer can take you and your bike into the park to experience all that Acadia National Park has to offer. Here, in Acadia National Park, you will find granite cliffs side by side with sand and cobblestone beaches. Glacier-carved mountains rise from the sea, cupping deep lakes in their valleys. Acadia National Parks's carriage roads, and over 27 miles of paved motor roads, are suitable for bicycle riding within the most spectacular scenery.

 

3. Camden


Dubbed the prettiest place in Maine, Camden has a rich history that stretches back to 1768. 

Cycling in Camden area is a great and exhilarating experience. With its amazing scenery, bike-friendly paths and shared-use roads, this is an ideal place for bike riding. In the hills, through the woods, along the scenic coastal highways and over the quiet back roads of the countryside, bikers of all ages and skill levels find something to enjoy here.

Here they have for your some links for various bike trips ranging from a 3-mile vigorous ride on a local Camden mountain bike path to 15, 20 and 50-miles scenic road trips and more in the area. Try these unique bike routes, but plan your trip ahead and you will have so much fun exploring the Camden Maine region.

Here there some of them you can try: Around Megunticook Lake (11.8 miles, moderate), Camden Hills & MidCoastal Maine Bike Ride (51.1 miles, moderate), Camden Hills State Park Shared-Use Trails (10.6 miles, moderate to advanced), Camden Hills State Park Trail (10.5 miles, moderate), Camden Rockport Bike Ride (10.2 miles, moderate), Camden Snow Bowl Mountain Bike Trail (3 miles, moderate to advanced), Camden to Megunticook Loop (15.5 miles, moderate), Isle au Haut (12 miles, beginner to moderate), Rockport to Camden Scenic Ride (10.2 miles, beginner to moderate), Rockport, Camden, Lincolnville Area Ride (24.2 miles, moderate).

 

4. Bangor

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Located along the edge of the Penobscot River, Bangor is a lively city that began as a hub for the lumber and shipbuilding industries. Get spooked on a Stephen King-Themed Tour, that pays homage to the grand horror novelists, Stephen King.

To add some even more fun, catch a show at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion! You might also set alongside the waterfront, Darling's Waterfront Pavilion is a scenic spot to catch a concert or settle in to watch a music festival. For a more relaxing break, join Orono Bog Boardwalk, which  is a 1-mile-long boardwalk that winds through the bog, allowing visitors to admire the setting while keeping an eye out for wildlife and plant species. For anything in the world don’t miss Bangor City Forest!

Explore the great outdoors in Bangor City Forest, a 650-acre spread that includes nearly 10 miles of trails ideal for cross-country skiing, running, snowshoeing, cycling and hiking.

 

5. Bay of Fundy

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The Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 wonders of North America.

The highest tides on earth, the rarest whales in the world, semi-precious minerals and dinosaur fossils, all this convinced an international panel of experts in 2014 to choose the Bay of Fundy as one of the natural wonders of the world.

Located halfway between the equator and the north-pole on Canada’s stunning east coast, Fundy is a unique coastal environment. The Bay of Fundy is renowned not only for its tides but also for geological discoveries (dinosaur fossils) and marine life (whales). There are breathtaking hiking trails, sea kayaking tours along sculpted coastline, cliffs and islands, boat tours and tidal rafting expeditions on the tidal rivers.

For once in life, you can park your bike and change it for another thrilling experience on water this time.

 

6. Rockland

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Celebrated for its delectable lobster, Rockland is a classic example of a coastal town in Maine. The Rockland Bicycling Club found here offers something for every rider.  They welcome everyone from the beginner to the seasoned cyclist. They offer recreational rides around the county as well as challenging and scenic rides that span the beautiful Hudson Valley.

If you prefer to explore the area by yourself, take the Rockland—Port Clyde tour 29.

You will be delighted by beaches, swimming holes, festivals, galleries, historical landmarks, islands, lighthouses, museums, ocean views, state/national park.

You can choose from 3 tour loops.

First is the 17-mile loop that includes Owls Head Light. From Ash Point, you will enjoy a memorable view of the islands and Penobscot Bay. The terrain is gentle, there are some hills, but it works for almost all cyclists. The second one, 31-mile loop provides some outstanding views of Penobscot Bay. The terrain is moderate, hilly, well suited for intermediate cyclists.

The third one, the enjoyable 47-mile loop takes in the best of the region, from the bustling town of Rockland to the tiny, picturesque fishing village of Port Clyde. Be sure to leave plenty of time for exploration. There are museums, state parks, lighthouses, and other sites of great interest on this ride.

 

7. Augusta

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Here we are in the capital of Maine and the ninth-largest city in the state. 

In addition to being the capital city of Maine, there is much to see and do within your reach. Many lakes and streams, the great Kennebec River, and beautiful forested hills offer a unique natural environment. The Pine Tree State Arboretum, for example, is a gift of nature.  This 200-acre tract of land, where trees, shrubs and plants are cultivated, offers opportunities for bird-watching, picnicking, hiking on beautiful wooded trails for nature lovers, biking, and cross-country skiing.  The six-mile Kennebec River Trail offers scenic views for walkers and bikers. The Shakespearean Theatre at nearby Monmouth, is a treasure that attracts visitors from around the world to high quality performances. Don’t miss also the 180-foot dome of the State House, constructed of Maine granite, which is one of the most distinguishing architectural features of the capital city of Augusta.  

 

8. York

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In York, you can visit one of several sandy beaches and take wonderful photos of the Nubble Lighthouse—one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The Nubble's Park, which features benches for relaxing and reading and picnicking and it is a favorite of residents and visitors alike.

You can also visit several historic buildings maintained by the Old York Historical Society, including Jefferds’ Tavern, the John Hancock Wharf, the Old Gaol jail (one of the oldest British buildings in America), and the Emerson Wilcox house. In York Harbor, you will find seaside inns and resorts, plus York Harbor Beach with a gentle surf and views of the Atlantic along with the comings and goings of the boats out of the York River.

 

9. Camden Hills State Park - Mount Battie

 

Camden Hills State Park is home to Mount Battie, a peak that offers incredible views of the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the town of Camden, Penobscot Bay, Acadia National Park, and Mount Megunticook from the top of Mount Battie. On a clear day, visitors can see Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park .Mt. Megunticook, the highest of the Camden Hills - and highest peak on the mainland – which is a moderate climb by foot trail.

As for biking, don’t you worry, lots of options are waiting for you! Let’s see what they are!

Cameron Mtn. Trail - (1.9 miles, moderate): Heading west from the Multi-use Trail at the intersection of Bald Rock Trail, this delightful trail gradually ascends through old farmland and past blueberry fields. Cameron intersects with Zeke's Trail offering access to the interior of the park and back to the Multi-use Trail. Alternatively, hikers may utilize the Sky Blue Trail as a return route.

Frohock Mtn. Trail - (1.9 miles, moderate): Accessed a short distance south of the Multi-use parking lot on ME Route 173. The natural surface of rocks and roots makes for a challenging, but highly rewarding ride. Hikers and bikers alike will transverse several steep slopes through mixed oak and spruce forests, over three small mountain summits. For a longer ride, Frohock Mountain Trail may be accessed via the Multi-use Trail from the park's campground.

Mount Battie Trail - (0.5 mile, moderate): Offers a relatively short, but very rewarding hike up the south-facing side of the mountain. Although there are some steep pitches, and a bit of scrambling through rock and ledge areas is required, the view over Camden and the islands dotting Penobscot Bay makes this climb well worth the effort. Ascending the stone tower on Mount Battie's 780' summit further enhances the opportunity to soak in the 360-degree panorama.

 

 10. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a stunning national treasure on the coast of Maine in the USA. This “insider's” vacation guide covers all of the best places to see and the towns and villages in the Acadia Region from Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island to Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula. Wherever you choose, the views are spectacular and nature abounds. No wonder this is one of the most visited parks in the United States and in all of North America.

The place and surroundings  offer a truly spectacular setting for the bicycling enthusiast or professional alike. The Park has approximately 45 miles of suitable road surfaces comprised of the famous Carriage Roads (financed and directed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., between 1913 and 1940) and portions of paved motor vehicle roadways. Carriage Roads wind through the heart of the park and have crushed rock surfaces. Some of the Carriage Roads are on private land and are posted as closed to bicycles.

The 27 mile long Park Loop Road is the primary road connecting Park locations with the surrounding villages of Mount Desert Island. A large section of this road, beginning near the Route 233 entrance point to Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, is one-way. This goes all the way along the east coast of Acadia National Park where it connects the Precipice, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Gorham Mountain, Otter Cliff, etc., and ends on the southeastern side next to Wildwood Stables. The remainder of the road system is two-way.

Though, guys, Segways, Hoverboards, and eBikes are considered motorized vehicles and their use is prohibited on carriage roads.

After what you read, would you plan a trip to Main? Write us anything that goes through your mind! Places, tips, questions or whatever you feel to share about our common passion!