Touring - Touring in Maine
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02-06-11, 10:33 AM
I am planning on a tour/trip across Maine this year. I am limited to when I can do it. I don't think I will be able to do it in June or July like I had originally wanted. Is may to early to take the Atlantic Coast route through Maine?
02-06-11, 12:34 PM
May should be great--as long as it doesn't snow. I went from Auburn to Belfast and out almost to Machias starting May 10, '08--no tourists, traffic much lighter than it is in the summer. State parks were empty. Buggy as all get-out, though. Not really a problem when riding, but if you camp in the woods you'll want to be prepared. Not all campgrounds are open quite that early, some don't open until Memorial Day weekend. Can get chilly, too, in the wee hours. If by Atlantic coast route you mean Route 1, I highly recommend taking a look at the excellent map book by DeLorme and following some roads less traveled. It lists many, if not all, Maine campgrounds, state parks, public beaches, etc etc.
I rode the ACA Atlantic Coast route in September, which won't help with your question, but I did write up a journal with lots of photos about the route. I entered Maine via Conway, NH, rode over to Belfast, joined the ACA route there and then over to Acadia NP and then used the ACA route all the way down to Boston.
Here is my journal (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showJournalPages.php?jid=40). Days 14 to 28 are in Maine.
Maine is a great place to ride.
May can be cold and wet at the same time.
It's a crap shoot, you could have glorious weather, or be riding into a stiff wind
and a cold driving rain.
If you can wait to late May, that would help.
I have bike toured Maine more times than I can remember.
If you want some suggestions, be glad to help.
For example, I think one of Rabo's pictures is of the Lake House Inn in Waterford.
We stayed there and loved it.
I'd also suggest taking a day off in Camden. It's perfect for it.
The town is walkable, there's a cheap motel, good restaurants,
and a market in town center with excellent fruit. There is also a bike shop just south of town.
If you get up early, climb Mt Battie (mountain is not accurate, it's 600 feet and the trail only takes a few minutes)
and watch the morning mist rise up from the bay.
You need to leave Camden using backroads if headed North, that's tricky, so if you wind up doing that, we can go over it.
Last year we cycled down the Schoodic Peninsula, which is just past Acadia, and that was very nice.
From there we took the ferry over to Acadia.
Lots to chose from.
02-06-11, 09:24 PM
I lived in ME for four years and have biked across it once. If you go in May you certainly will need to bring cold weather gear just in case as you could still have frost and 40s or even colder is POSSIBLE in certain areas. If September is an option that is much better as it is likely to be drier and the earth has had a chance to heat up some so you have much less chance of cold wet riding. Early Sept is still good for swimming in some places too if the weather is cooperative and the tourist traffic is much lighter then too. If you do not mind cold and possibility of rain Maine is beautiful most anytime!
02-07-11, 01:51 PM
I grew up in Maine - gorgeous scenery.
I'd second what the one poster said about the bugs - May and June are pretty bad, especially if you go too far from the coast.
Weatherwise, it'll be warm at best, cold and wet at worst.
August/September is probably the golden window. It'll be warm/hot and dry. The bugs will also be much better.
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