Multi-use Rail Trails
On Maine's 10 multi-use rail trails, you can explore 310 miles of forests, farms and fields. You can use the trails for mountain biking, hiking, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing. You can also go horseback riding or ATV riding as long as the trails are not covered in snow. Some trails are also closed during the springtime because of mud and be sure to familiarize yourself with the maps and nearby towns as many are quite remote.
This 28.8-mile crushed stone trail winds through the backcountry of northern Maine on the old Aroostook Valley Railroad bed that lies between Presque Isle and New Sweden. You can see farms, woods, streams and the Aroostook River as you pass through the towns of Caribou, Washburn and Woodland. If you'd like to extend your trek, you can connect in nearby Stockholm to the Bangor and Aroostook Trail—a 37-mile-long route that is among the longest multi-use trails in Maine.
This magnificent rural 14.5-mile-long trail cuts straight up through the Kennebec Valley, curving back and forth with the mighty river while overlooking woods and mountains. It runs from Embden to Bingham and makes for very comfortable travel. The surface of the trail is crushed gravel, and it's ideal for bikers, walkers, skiers, snowmobilers - just about anyone.
The tiny towns of Lagrange and Medford mark the beginning and end of this 12-mile trail through Piscataquis County in central Maine. This dirt and gravel trail threads through forests, fields and the center of Medford. You may be able to spot a moose as you pass the marshlands about halfway along the route. In the winter, a portion of the trail is maintained by local ATV and snowmobile clubs.
Threading through the countryside between Houlton and Phair Junction in northern Maine, this 37-mile route is among the longest multi-use trails in Maine. Largely gravel—and in some places wide enough to accommodate logging trucks, so use caution—it connects the small communities of Monticello, Bridgewater and Mars Hill to bigger towns like Presque Isle and Houlton. Paralleling Route 1, this trail runs along an old train corridor that was once used to transport timber and potatoes. You can wend your way past farmlands, woods and wetlands as you watch for wildlife such as moose, muskrats and beavers. The trail is fairly level, so you can easily walk, bike or cross-country ski along it—just be sure to watch out for motorized vehicles. You should also pack plenty of water and supplies as this is remote country.
An old Maine Central Railroad line is the foundation of this 14-mile trail that runs between Farmington and Jay. The route takes you through the foothills of the western mountains and rises and falls gradually with the contours of the land. For a time, you'll travel close to Route 2/4, which is a busy thoroughfare, and you'll skirt the backyards of some homes. But you'll also spend several miles under a forest canopy and you'll get many opportunities to view farmlands and mountains. The gravel surface is relatively flat and welcoming to most uses, but some of the trail near Jay is on a soft sandy bed, which can be difficult for bikes. Farmington is a great town to enjoy a meal after enjoying the trail or find a cozy place stay.