When most people think of Maine, they usually picture the rugged coastline, quaint harbor towns, and Acadia National Park. What you may not know is that Vacationland is home to a growing number of mountain bike trails designed to give you and your bike a wicked-fun singletrack experience. The lobster roll will be waiting for you after your ride.
In the middle of the State’s Capital, Augusta, lies Bond Brook trails: a 172-acre parcel which boasts more than 12 miles of trails, both singletrack and doubletrack. You’ll find plenty of technical challenges and some fast, flowy trails as well. Check out the half pipe on Wannabe, and the sweet switchbacks on Six Back. Your legs are going to burn from the climbs, but the descents are worth it.
Bonus: If you still want to ride more when you’re done at Bond Brook, hop over to The Res in Hallowell–just a 10-minute drive away. The trails at the Res are a little more beginner-friendly, but will be a great ending to your ride. The Res is short for the Reservoir, which the trails surround. The scenery is worth the trip.
2. Bangor Area
If you want to work on your technical skills, the Bangor area, just an hour and a half north of Augusta, provides plenty of opportunities. Trail systems in Bangor, as well as Orono, Old Town, and Dedham, feature rocks, roots, tight turns, and plenty of wildlife sightings. Overall, these trails feature less climbing than others in Maine (though the Overlook trails in Dedham will have you huffing and puffing).
The Bangor City Forest (also known as The Bog) features numerous short sections of technical singletrack alongside the 4-mile family-friendly doubletrack loop. From here, you can connect to the Walden-Parke Preserve by way of the Veazie railroad bed. Walden-Parke features a variety of singletrack, including technical trails and a few beginner-friendly sections. On this trip, you will likely be rewarded with seeing rabbit, porcupine, and deer.
Nearly 100 miles of mountain bike trails border Sugarloaf Mountain and ski resort and surround Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Center–sure to satisfy any level of rider. Maps are available at the Outdoor Center. After checking out these trails, cross Route 27 and enjoy the scenic trails along the Carrabassett River. If your legs need a good workout, Maine Huts and Trails offers many more miles of trail with plenty of steep climbs. Check out Newton’s Revenge and Oak Knoll for their thrilling descents.
In July, the Outdoor Center hosts the Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge, a 25k, 50k, and 100k race, which is part of the National Ultra Endurance Series. Several other mountain biking events are held here each year.
4. Presque Isle
If you’re headed to the pristine wilderness of northern Maine, bring your bike and stop in at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. The 20+ miles of hand- and machine-built mountain bike trails include a little of everything. A terrain park is available for skills practice. The lodge is open to the public.
Titcomb Mountain may be a small trail system, but it’s a personal favorite of mine and worth checking out. Titcomb is a very small, traditional New England community ski area with an approximately 6.5-mile singletrack loop around and up to the summit. This beautifully-built loop will give your legs and lungs a good workout. The trail has lots of smooth, flowy sections, with some rocks and logs thrown in. The descent crisscrosses down the ski slope with rewarding views along the way. 6.5 miles may not be far, but you will want to ride this loop at least twice. The trails are open for fat biking in the winter.
Located near Freeport, Bradbury Mountain offers about 20 miles of challenging, purpose-built singletrack. The western half of the park features steep, technical trails, while the eastern half is considered to be more rideable. The view from the top of the mountain is worth the climb. Maps are available online, and there are a number of signposts with maps out on the trails.
Because this is a state park, there is an entrance fee. Park staff can inform you of current trail conditions. Bradbury Mountain also hosts the Bradbury 12, a 12-hour mountain bike race held each September.
Also known as Aggie or Mount A, Mount Agamenticus will test both your aerobic and technical skills. Located at the southern tip of the state just an hour north of Boston, Mount Agamenticus is a perfect first stop on your tour or a great way to close out your trip. Rocks, roots, and more rocks will force you to maintain a slow pace. Expect the descents to be technical and slippery when conditions are wet. Trail maps will show you an 8-mile loop, but there are other side trails worth exploring. Be sure to take a break and enjoy the scenery.