Touring in Maine
I was planning a trip to Acadia this coming August and I was wondering if anyone had any tips for places to hit up along the way. So far I think I'm going to be driving somewhere into New Hamshire and heading to Acadia, then following the coast back down and completing a loop. First trip I'm planning so any tips are much appreciated. Thanks
You need a new bike
If you haven't allready, check out: http://www.exploremaine.org/bike/greenway.html
I rode a good bit of the Maine coast as my first "shakedown" tour a few summers ago (Freeport to Acadia). The cue sheets I printed up from the Maine DOT were pretty good. The coastal towns are kinda nice, but Camden seemed most memorable. There is a state park with camping just north of the center of town. There is a small mountain (in the park) with excellent views of the town&bay. If I recall, there is also camping (commercial), not far from one of the lighthouses near there as well.
There was ample camping available in Acadia when I went (over 4th of July). I "think" they keep a bunch of spots available for walk/bike in folks-not sure though.
If you like to hike, you could hike-a-bike (bike to trails+hide/lock the bike) a bit of the White Mts-and/or bike the Kancamangus hwy as part of your loop. Decent on line resources for hiking the Whites are:
http://appalachia.outdoors.org/bbs/index.cfm (Appalacian Mountain Club BBS)
http://220.127.116.11/ (Views From the Top BBS)
Darrens VFTT is the better of the two.
Wow! They did a nice job on that site!
Originally Posted by supcom
there are a few roads that are really dangerous.
Bring this thread back, or bug me later, and we'll talk.
Been sick, and I don't have the energy right now.
If you like beer, try the Blueberry Ale at Lompochs in Bar Harbor. Trust me, just try it.
The best Mexican in the state is just up the street from Lompochs, and the burrito place just down the street ain't bad either. There is a breakfast called Two Cats that is a tradition with us. I'll have to look at the map, I don't what your plans are, the Camden area
is tricky. Route One north of Camden is deadly for a few miles, and the back road is the local
commuter road (Rte 52) and may be worse. I know, I rode it last summer.
Make sure you do some weekend trips to get used to touring.
I am a little confused, are you riding up from Penn, or driving somewhere and parking? You might want to consider doing this tour as a one way rather than a loop. I used to do loops around here all
the time. I always wind up on some horrendously dangerous road trying to close the loop. We have some great roads for biking, and we also have a few that are nightmarish. Camden has a nice motel with a heated pool. After riding all day it was just awesome soakign and stretching in that pool; my wife will remember the name.
Last edited by late; 01-11-05 at 12:45 PM.
One less car
Camden Hills is the part you're refering to just north of Camden. Mt Battie or Mt Megunticook are the peaks with the good views (Mt Megunticook is the county highpoint for Cook Cty ). And Rt 1 can be very busy north of Camden with narrow shoulders. The town is trying to expand the shoulder but is facing some criticism and obstacles due to the townsfolks. Not sure what the status is.
You can also get a state DOT bikemap of all of Maine, Rt 1 is bikeable except for the part where it becomes a divided highway, between Bath and New Brunswick (I think). But there are also nice spots off the coast that are nice, and if you don't want to deal with the tourist traffic (depending on the time of year too of course).
Nice bike shop in Exeter., NH if you want a good starting point in NH. It's not far from Portsmouth and you can enter Kittery over the Rt 1 bridge there...
isn't that Bath/Brunswick stretch tricky,we had a devil of a time finding our way.We wound up going down Bath Rd, but since I saw a large group of cycling touristas on it, I guess I wasn't the only who couldn't find the bike path...
Doesn't Exeter have a nice little lunch place overlooking the river? Good bread and soup. I have been thinking of advising that he take Rte 25 to get into Maine, strikes me as the safest route around tourist hell. What do you think?
I just got back from doing a tour in Florida with my brother over christmas and Maine just seems like an awesome place to go for a nice tour. I was planning on driving up, but a one way trip would be nice. The only problem is Amtrak doesn't run more than half way up the state, and taking a bus is more of a last resort. I wanted to hit Acadia and the white mountains, I contacted Acada about a bike/hike site but i'm still waiting to hear back on that. Thanks again for all the suggestions.
The Maine sites listed here are great - I've used some of the routes myself - but it looked from your initial post like you will also be passing through New Hampshire. Here's a link to the New Hampshire bike maps. These maps are also available in paper at the New Hampshire visitor centers, and I highly recommend getting a paper copy.
One less car
Hi Late, I had my first flat in Exeter but didn't really stop by. We were really pushing it to get to York that day and the flat kind of delayed my time. We stopped in Exeter to borrow their floor pump so that's how I know. I believe there is a park right on the river that goes through so conceivable, there should be some very nice spots for lunch. That area by the river is very touristy and very trafficky but there are nice looking restaurants. The bike shop I'm referring too is just over the river.
As far as Bath/Brunswick, when I biked to Orient, ME up in "the county" we didn't follow the coastal route too much. My friend has an aunt in Augusta so we did go inland a bit once we go past Wells and Kennebunk. We camped at a campgroun on the west shore of Sebago Lake and then took some state roads past the twin cities of Lewiston/Auburn after a visit to the library to check email. Then we stayed in Augusta, ME for a night. Then we headed back to the coast to Stockton Springs to visit a good friend of mine. We stopped at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport too. Then after a weekend there, we hightailed it 130 miles all the way to Orient, ME which was a killer trip, following the Penobscot all the way to Lincoln, through bangor before heading east to Danforth and then back onto Rt 1 to get to Orient. As far as navigation there, you could use a simple compass and head North That solves a lot of my navigation problems when touring. I use a Etrex Vista on a bikemount and I usually plug in destinations and select "goto". It's very helpful when you are truly lost and need to get somewhere and don't feel like backtracking!!!
I don't recall the routes, but getting to the Rt 1 bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery is very trafficky in tourist season and I'm not familiar with Rt 25, but obviously you'll have to cross the river somewhere!
I have all the NH maps, you can request them to snail mail them to you.. Follow that NH link and email the DOT point of contact, ask them to send them to you and they will. It's easier than to print them all out yourself. the Maine DOT bike map and the ones for the white mtns will give you a great route to bike from midcoast maine to the White Mtns. I was planning on going to Zealand Falls campsite to meet some friends there but I wound up going back to NJ first due to the time constraints and then we drove to the Whites.
One less car
RE: Amtrack and buses...
Yes, Amtrack runs the Downeaster to basically Portland. Concord Trailways is a convienient bus line that runs up and down the east coast. They do have an "express" route and a "local route" the Local route is awesome but of course, slower as it goes up Rt 1 through Bath/Brunswick/Rockland/Belfast/Seasport, etc. etc. And the express route basically goes inland to Bangor/Augusta. Greyhound also runs up and down Maine. Concord I think is convienient cause they have a depot at the train station. Greyhound I'm sure must also go there but I think there is some affiliation between the Amtrak and Concord Trailways as I remember looking at the websites last year about that.
Maybe you could hit a ride on the many RVs that head up the coast??
Taking the local route is really fun. I've taken Concord trailways from Belfast to NYC before and by sitting on the driver side of the bus, I got a complete view of the coastline and saw many places I'd like to kayak!
The bike shop in Exeter, NH that we stopped at is
Exeter Cycles Bike Shop
4 Portsmouth Ave
Exeter, NH 03833-2106
Phone: (603) 778-2331
Nice guys and a nice shop. It's also convienient if you're trying to do a cross-Maine trek because they are not far at all from the NH-ME border. You could ship the bike to them and then pick it up when you get there.
Last edited by Jay H; 01-13-05 at 07:21 AM.