Maine’s mountain biking trails range from civilized and sedate meanders by the sea to ripping, root-studded screamers twisting down the slopes of the state’s western mountains.
The most famous, and most urbane, routes are Acadia National Park’s historic carriage roads. A gift of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the beautifully sculpted, “broken-stone” roads wind through 45 miles of scenic sections of the park. All those miles are car-free.
Maine’s state parks and public reserved lands offer some rowdier fare. The Bigelow Preserve in the western Maine village of Stratton covers a vast area including a mountain range, trails, ponds and streams. Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal is a long-time rider favorite close to Freeport and Portland. Camden Hills State Park offers lofty views of the Maine’s MidCoast.
Local ski areas offer both thundering downhills and technical cross-country sections. The Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry offers 20 miles of lift-serviced terrain perfect for intermediate and advanced riders. Mountain bikers can start at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center in Carrabassett Valley and link to a broad network of trails including those of the Maine Huts & Trails. Other ski centers open to mountain bikers include Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, the Fort Kent Outdoor Center and the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.
Trails.com offers a list of the most popular mountain bike trails in the state. The New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) also provides detailed information about Maine mountain biking routes.
Want to extend your biking season? Find yourself a fat bike and a snow-covered trail. These new cycles, with their huge tires, have brought biking into the winter and onto routes once reserved for skis and snowshoes. Some places to try it include the Bethel Inn and Resort; Pineland Farms; The Sugarloaf Outdoor Center and its neighbor, Maine Huts & Trails; and Carter’s Cross Country Ski Centers.