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Bethel Area Mt. Bike Trails

Location: In and around Bethel
Region: Maine's Lakes and Mountains
Activity: Mountain Biking

The Bethel area, long a headquarters for skiers and snowboarders, has something else to brag about: its mountain biking.

Miles of great trails—some old, many brand-new—are webbed through the forests and foothills. Almost any rider, from wobbly beginner to full-on crazy, will find something to like.

A number of the area’s mountain-biking trails were built or are overseen by Mahoosuc Pathways, a local non-profit. It’s probably best known for the popular Bethel Village Trails, a year-round network in the heart of downtown. The trails start at the Bethel Inn Resort and are free to use during the summer. Mahoosuc Pathways accepts donations and sell memberships on-line. Most of the 5.6 miles of the Bethel Village Trails are good for beginning and intermediate riders. Those wanting a bit more action can take a connecting route to the eight miles of Gould Academy's Pine Hill trails, which are more technical.

Just south of Bethel in Albany Township, Mahoosuc Pathways constructed another mountain-biking spot at Bacon Hill. It sports four miles of mostly intermediate-level loops and a multi-feature playground for riders wanting to work on their skills.

Tired of riding uphill? Mt. Abram has just the thing. Located in nearby Greenwood, this ski and snowboard resort is opening its new lift-serviced, mountain-biking park June 20.

Downhill mountain biking is the wheeled equivalent of Alpine skiing. You and your bike hop a chairlift, glide to the top, pick a specially designed trail and bomb back downhill. No more sweating back up. For those who insist on suffering—er, challenging themselves—Mt. Abram has one up-the-mountain trail and plans another.

Unlike some ski areas—whose downhill trails peg high on the OMG meter—Mt. Abram created four approachable downhill trails with easy and intermediate ratings. They’re open to new riders like kids and disabled riders using off-road trikes and quad bikes, as well as experienced riders looking to stack up the miles. The mountain plans to continue trail building this summer.

Due to the virus, Mt. Abram wants to control numbers on the hill. It prefers riders go on-line and reserve a session (morning or afternoon) in advance. Check the Mt. Abram website for more details.

Driving Distance to Bethel:

From Portland: 70 miles
From Bangor: 135 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 45 miles

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