Maineiacs are a tough and independent breed. They live in a harsh, unforgiving environment, and daily deal with environmental extremes and for most, significant isolation. But most of the locals wouldn’t have it any other way. Maine is positively beautiful! From the rocky coastline to the wooded interior, from the Atlantic Ocean to the high peaks, from its tip near southern New England to its top on the Canadian border, Maine is a veritable feast for the outdoor enthusiast. Some of Maine’s trails are as rugged as the landscape itself while others embrace modern trail building techniques. But whether flowing down to the sea or rock hopping the interior, Maine’s trails will delight the adventurous rider. Here are five of the best from our northeastern corner.
Bradbury Mountain State Park (Pownal)
Bradbury Mountain State Park is truly a trail system with something for everyone. The prospective rider will find relatively-smooth trails for those wishing to avoid the usual New England roots and rocks, and there are trails that are a series of constant obstacles. Fortunately, bridges cross over the perpetually muddy spots. All that, combined with proximity to Maine’s largest city, Portland, makes this a Maine favorite.
“$4 per person for entry. Very large parking lot, trailhead is easy to find, and all trails are extremely well-marked. [There is a] fun variety of trail types and [the] trails are well-maintained. Wonderful experience all around!!” -hvanwetter
Camden Snow Bowl (Camden)
From the rocks up high with a view of the sea, to the pumptrack down low, this modest ski area serves up plenty of summer fun as well. The Camden Snow Bowl lifts only run occasionally outside of winter, so the emphasis here is on earning your turns. But with the Midcoast Maine Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (McNEMBA) taking care of the trails, it’s well-worth the effort. With the proximity to the coast, this is the ultimate place to follow up a hearty ride with the fresh catch of the day, a big ol’ Maine Lobstah!
“This is a great Maine trail. If you have a fatty or full suspension, bring it. The trail is very rocky and rooty but I think that’s just how things are when you’re under snow a good portion of the year. The number of trails is great, they are well-identified, and the community has done a great job of making maps available. Grab a bike and head on out–you’ll enjoy the day and be glad you went.” -gmccully
Carrabassett Valley Trail System (Carrabassett Valley)
One of the largest trail networks you may ever encounter, the Carrabassett Valley Trail System has plenty to keep you coming back time after time, thanks to NEMBA’s Carrabassett Region chapter. Moreover, the singletrack here also drains better than the typical Maine trail, meaning not only is there more to love, it’s ready to ride more often.
“These trails continue to improve and impress. [Carrabassett Valley is] quickly becoming [an] MTB destination with 100 miles of trails. [These are] very well [built] trails with lots of flow in a remote setting. [The] Town of Carrabassett continues to dump [money] into trail building, creating [a] world class trail network. Couple that with lots of blood, sweat, and tears from local CRNEMBA… EPIC !!” -sssirois
Get more information about the trails in Carrabassett Valley and learn how you can get involved.
Mt. Agamenticus (York)
Mt. Agamenticus consistently serves up Maine’s infamous rocky, rooty terrain up high, and wetter trails down low, offering continuous challenge over most of its terrain. Big air is rare, but frequent water bars do allow some lofting. This is a great place to go if you’re more interested in quantity of challenge than quantity of mileage covered in a day.
“The trailheads indicate there are no “easy trails” at Aggie. This is a steep singletrack [mountain] with lots of varying trails, from wide open granite faces to singletrack just narrow enough for your bike. The bottom is flatter, but wetter and still lots of fun. People get hurt–badly–every year, so respect the area and don’t underestimate the rocks.” -Doomed
Nordic Heritage Center (Presque Isle)
Maine itself is a long ways north, and in the remote northern reaches of the state is Singletracks readers’ favorite trail system: the Nordic Heritage Center. While many cross country ski centers are content to let summer riders amble along on their wide, mowed paths through the trees, the Nordic Heritage Center actually has over 20 miles of machine- and hand-built singletrack designed specifically with mountain bikes in mind. The trails also offer manmade features, along with expertly-incorporated natural rock features suitable for dropping or rolling.
“[This is a] great place to ride. [It] has a little bit of everything. It even has some dirt jumps near the parking lot. I had the most fun the Goat Trail. It was a blast. The West trail and Quoggy Jo Trail were really fun too. Vacationland was a nice technical challenge.” -afullsodacan