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Starting in Portland, Maine's largest city, we'll follow the beautiful Atlantic Coast to Maine's Crown Jewel, Acadia National Park. We'll experience quintessential New England: from the busy town of Freeport — home of L.L. Bean — to historic Boothbay and working fishing village of Belfast. Our journey climaxes with three days of cycling, hiking or kayaking to experience the incredible beauty of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.
Our trip begins in Portland — Maine's largest city. Hopefully you will arrive early enough to take a tour with us in the historic city center. Not only is Portland one of the few working waterfronts still left in the U.S., but a vibrant city filled with galleries, funky shops, and incredible restaurants.
We'll enjoy accommodations at the lovely Hampton Inn located near Portland's airport. They provide bike box receipt and storage and car parking for our trip week. We can arrange a walking tour in town and then welcome dinner at DiMillos Floating Restaurant before heading back for a good night rest in preparation for our first day on the bicycle.
Labor Day Monday morning we rise for a hearty breakfast and set off for a quiet cycle out of the Portland city area by way of the beautiful water views of Portland's Back Cove. Following some country back roads we reach the town of Yarmouth and stop for a pastry at the Rosemont Bakery.
Just outside of Yarmouth we'll visit the famous Delorme Map Headquarters. Skirting the byways of the Harraseeket River we enter Freeport. Made famous by Leon Leonwood Bean, creator of the famous Maine Hunting Shoe, Freeport's charming town city has won an allure quite separate from the renown L.L. Bean world headquarters.
Our shoppers will have an opportunity to spend some money while others will partake of the town's wonderful cafes for lunch. We'll leave Freeport with a visit to beautiful Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park and follow some of Maine's gorgeous rocky coastline along the Maqoit Bay into Brunswick, home of pretty Bowdoin College. We'll dine with the town historian who gives a fascinating account of the Brunswick past.
We leave Brunswick following the bike path along the Androscoggin River. Soon we arrive in the lovely town of Bath set on the Kennebec River with a charming town centre that we'll take time to explore. Following some lovely wooded areas we find the tiny town of Wiscasset — known as Maine's Prettiest Village — and take a break here to enjoy lunch on the town's waterfront.
After crossing the Back River bridge we enter the Boothbay Region and stop at the famous botanical garden before heading for the town Harbor. A harbor cruise awaits us this afternoon —then it's waterfront lodging and terrific meals at the family owned Fishermans Wharf Inn.
We take leave of Boothbay following its River Road. Just a few pedaling miles away lies Damariscotta, a region with an historical background dating back to Weymouth's first visit to the Maine coast in 1605. We'll ride along beautiful wooded roads of Pemaquid and stop in the tiny town of Waldoboro for lunch at popular Moody's Diner — a local tradition for 80 years known for its typical Maine fare.
By way of the lightly rolling hills of Warren, we reach Rockport and pedal along it's Bayview Road into famous Camden and the lovely Cedar Crest Inn- our stop for the night. Made famous from the popular filming of Peyton Place, Camden boasts a lively old downtown surrounding a sheltered harbor and looking out onto the gently sloping mountains of Mt. Battie.
Hi, Suzie and Roger, Tom and I just wanted to thank you for a trip filled with great scenery, delicious food, wonderful people and good memories. I don't think we would have enjoyed Maine and all the little towns you took us through quite as much if it hadn't been for your trip.
~ Tom and Chickee Taylor — 5th time Bike and the Likers!
From Camden we'll bicycle west into Camden Hills State Park- a special area of beauty skirting the Megunticook Lake. At Ducktrap Harbor we rejoin the Atlantic Road for a short while until Northport- a community dating back to the 1600s where we'll enjoy a final meditation of the bay before heading into the lovely town of Belfast for a visit and lunch.
Known as the "coolest small town," Belfast embraces the typical New England character — from lobstermen hauling their traps right up from the harbor to the warm character of Main St. where family members still operate stores from as far back as the 1600s. We take leave of Belfast following the Bay through the small towns of Searsport and Stockton Springs.
We'll enjoy a visit to impressive Fort Knox — one of the best preserved fortifications on the New England seacoast built in 1844. The newly constructed Penobscot Narrows Bridge boasts an observation tower, rising 420ft above sea level, providing a breathtaking view of the Penobscot River Valley, and is the only observatory like it in the Western Hemisphere! In the town of Bucksport we'll stop for lunch then shuttle to Bar Harbor to start our 3 day stay at enchanting Acadia National Park.
Every day in Bar Harbor starts with a hearty buffet breakfast to get us ready for exploring in Acadia National Park. Known as the "Crown Jewel of Maine," Acadia is blessed with rocky coastlines, granite mountains, lakes and ponds, moss and evergreen, crashing waves and abundant wildlife that mixes with local character and seafood to make this a truly magical place to enjoy.
Today's adventure cycles through the heart of the park with a stop at the lovely Jordan Pond House for lunch and one of their famous popovers. Then we head south to visit quaint Northeast Harbor and the lovely Thuya Gardens, before heading back for an optional winding and scenic 3.5 mile climb up Cadillac Mountain — offering spectacular views of Mt Desert Island. Our group celebrates the evening with a yummy LOBSTER DINNER!
Our final day in Acadia allows everyone to have a day "on your own". Those wishing to join Suzie and Roger will enjoy an adventurous 28 mile loop of spectacular carriage roads that weave their way through Acadia.
Uncompromisingly engineered and constructed by the Rockefeller family between 1913 and 1940, the web of crush stone roads (doable by road bike) provide a relaxing respite from the car traffic of Park Loop Road. Or take a day off from cycling and experience Acadia "off the beaten path" kayaking with one of Acadia's many outfitters who will show you the wondrous beauty and wildlife of the Porcupine Islands.
Did we mention that Acadia National Park contains over 120 miles of the most varied and beautiful hiking trails in the eastern United States? And you can get to any of the hiking areas via the Island Explorer Buses that service the park and Bar Harbor. We finish our day in Acadia at 3 p.m. when we board our charter bus for the 3 hour ride back to Portland where we say our goodbyes to a wonderful trip.
This trip is best suited for an intermediate or above cyclist who enjoys cycling on varied terrain.
Most days will experience from gently to moderately rolling terrain on coastal roads to gentle hills and a few moderate climbs on those days that we venture into peninsulas like Boothbay, lake areas like Camden State Park as well as some park roads of Acadia.
We have kept our daily routes to average 40 miles and offer longer options for those that want to extend their cycling day.
We advocate social touring and a "smell the roses" philosophy to bike travel. Ride leaders will be on route for assistance and we have a vehicle riding the route to Acadia for cyclist support and weary legs. Acadia National Park has its own excellent transportation system available free to the public.
Portland is easily accessible by AMTRAK, car and plane-landing in Portland's International Airport with a courtesy bus shuttle to our stay at the Hampton Inn.
We offer free parking at our host hotel for those driving to Portland. And, we are glad to receive your bikes if you ship them to the ride start and will store boxes until the end of the trip. We also can arrange for hybrid or road bicycle rentals upon request.
Please contact us for general trip information and registration information.
Upon registration we will send you a Welcome Letter full of pre-trip details including how to get you and bike to the trip start, bike rentals, suggestions on packing, trip area and contact information, cycling and travel websites to enhance your trip experience, etc.