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Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Maine

Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Maine

Maine's vast and varied landscape offers motorcycle enthusiasts an array of scenic routes that traverse its iconic coastline, dense forests, and charming New England towns. From the stunning views in Acadia National Park to the tranquil beauty of the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway, riders can expect an unforgettable experience on the open road. The top 10 motorcycle rides in Maine provide a perfect blend of natural splendor, historic landmarks, and quintessential northeastern charm, making every journey not just a ride, but an adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Maine's diverse terrain offers a range of rides from coastal views to forested paths.
  • The riding season typically spans from May to October, with peak foliage in September.
  • Riders should be prepared for encounters with wildlife, such as deer and moose.
  • Each route offers unique attractions, from lighthouses to New England establishments.
  • Safety is paramount; riders are encouraged to check local motorcycle laws and wear helmets.

1. Acadia National Park

1. Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, established in 1919 and renamed in 1929, is a testament to the dedication of private citizens who sought to preserve the natural beauty of Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Peninsula. This 47,000-acre park is a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in Maine's picturesque landscapes.

As you ride through the park, you will encounter 27 miles of historic motor roads that offer a unique way to experience the park's diverse ecosystems and stunning headlands. A trip to Mount Desert Island is incomplete without a visit to Cadillac Mountain, where riders can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic.

The park's loop road is a highlight, starting southward from Bar Harbor and taking you along the coast near Mt. Desert Narrows. Notable stops include the Wild Gardens of Acadia, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole, before looping back towards Bar Harbor and passing by Cadillac Mountain and Eagle Lake.

Acadia National Park is not only a place of natural splendor but also a journey through the history and community spirit that led to its preservation.

2. Madrid to Upton

2. Madrid to Upton

The Madrid to Upton route offers a scenic 96-mile journey that takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Starting near the Maine-New Hampshire border, riders are greeted by the natural beauty of the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge.

As you proceed southeast on Route 26, the Mahoosuc Public Reserve Land unfolds, featuring landmarks such as Old Speck Mountain and Grafton Notch State Park. This area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and provides a picturesque backdrop for your ride.

The route's proximity to various natural reserves and state parks presents an opportunity for riders to immerse themselves in Maine's wilderness and enjoy the serene landscapes.

Continuing the journey, the path leads riders along the lower edges of Rangeley Lake, where opportunities for hiking up Cascade Stream Gorge Trail and the Appalachian Trail at Piazza Rock Trailhead abound. The ride culminates in the quaint town of Madrid, marking the end of a memorable ride through some of Maine's most captivating terrains.

Location Distance Time Notable Features
Madrid to Upton 96 miles 2 hours Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, Mahoosuc Public Reserve, Old Speck Mountain, Grafton Notch State Park
Upton to Madrid 90 miles 1 hour 54 minutes Rangeley Lake, Cascade Stream Gorge Trail, Appalachian Trail

3. N Anson to Coburn Gore

The journey from N Anson to Coburn Gore is a quintessential Maine motorcycle ride, offering a blend of natural beauty and serene roadways. Starting close to the United States-Canada border, riders embark southeast on Route 27, encountering a series of picturesque ponds including Arnold Pond, Crosby Pond, and the Chain of Ponds, before skirting the western edges of Flagstaff Lake as they approach Eustis.

The route is not just a ride; it's an exploration of Maine's rugged landscape, with each turn bringing a new vista or a quiet spot to reflect.

Continuing southeast, the road weaves around the southern tip of Bigelow Preserve, offering views of Carrabassett Valley and the prominent peaks of Crocker Mountain, Mt. Redington, and Sugarloaf Mountain. The ride is as much about the journey as the destination, with opportunities to hike up Cascade Stream Gorge Trail and the Appalachian Trail at Piazza Rock Trailhead.

For those planning this ride, here are the essential details:

Distance Time Start End
67 miles 1 hour 24 minutes Coburn Gore North Anson

 

This route, with its combination of scenic views and challenging curves, is a must for motorcyclists seeking an adventure akin to the top motorcycle rides in Arkansas.

4. Newfield to Grey

4. Newfield to Grey

The journey from Newfield to Grey is a quintessential Maine motorcycle ride, encapsulating the state's picturesque landscapes and serene backdrops. Starting in Newfield, riders embark northeast on Route 11, where they are greeted by the tranquil Sokokis Lake and Pickerel Pond, before encountering the western edge of Steep Falls Wildlife Management Area.

As the ride progresses, the route offers a blend of rolling farmland, open roads, and deep forests. The proximity to Sebago Lake, one of Maine's largest lakes, provides an opportunity for riders to enjoy the twists and hills that characterize this 50-mile stretch. The ride is not just about the destination but the journey, as the road delivers fantastic views and a sense of freedom that only a motorcycle can offer.

Transitioning onto Route 85, the path leads southeast, passing by Panther Pond and Morgan Meadows Wildlife Management Area, before reaching the charming town of Gray. This ride, taking approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, is a must for any motorcycle enthusiast seeking to experience the essence of Maine's natural beauty.

The Newfield to Grey route is a testament to the allure of Maine's countryside, offering riders an immersive experience into the state's scenic splendor and the joy of open-road riding.

5. Aroostook Scenic Byway

5. Aroostook Scenic Byway

The Aroostook Scenic Byway presents a captivating journey through Maine's picturesque landscapes and rural charm. Spanning a distance of 105 miles, this route offers riders an immersive experience into the state's natural beauty and wildlife.

Route Distance Estimated Time
ME-11 105 miles 2 hours

Riders will find themselves enveloped by the serenity of Baxter State Park's vicinity, with opportunities to witness the local fauna, including the abundant moose population. The ride is a blend of gentle curves and extended stretches, providing a varied riding experience that caters to different preferences.

The Aroostook Scenic Byway is not just a path through nature, but a gateway to the heart of Maine's wilderness.

As the journey progresses, landmarks such as Portage Lake and Scopan Lake emerge, with the majestic Mt. Katahdin serving as a distant backdrop. The route concludes in Sherman, leaving riders with lasting impressions of Maine's untamed beauty.

6. Fryeburg to Gilead

6. Fryeburg to Gilead

The journey from Fryeburg to Gilead is a quintessential New England experience, offering riders a 49-mile stretch that is as challenging as it is beautiful. This route, taking approximately 1 hour and 3 minutes to complete, skirts the eastern edge of the White Mountain National Forest, providing a mix of open mountain vistas and dense woodland scenery.

  • Start: Gilead
  • End: Fryeburg
  • Distance: 49 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 3 minutes

Riders will find themselves navigating a series of tight turns, especially through the more technical sections of the forest. The road, while narrow, is a test of skill and offers an engaging ride for motorcycle enthusiasts. Along the way, the Cold River Overlook presents an opportunity for a brief respite and a chance to take in the stunning mountain views.

The transition from Route 35 to Route 5 directs riders away from the wilderness and towards a variety of natural attractions, including Heald and Bradley Ponds Reserve and Sabattus Mountain Trail.

This route is not just a ride; it's an exploration of Maine's rugged charm, where the journey itself becomes a memorable part of the adventure.

7. Thomaston to Lincolnville

7. Thomaston to Lincolnville

The journey from Thomaston to Lincolnville offers motorcyclists a quintessential New England experience. Departing from Thomaston, the ride covers approximately 29 miles, taking riders through a picturesque landscape that includes the northern region of Camden Hills State Park and close to the serene Norton Pond and Megunticook Lake.

Start End Distance Time
Thomaston Lincolnville 29 miles 44 minutes

 

This route is not just about the destination but the historical and rural ambiance it exudes. As you navigate through Route 173 and intersect with Route 235, you'll find yourself surrounded by a scenic backdrop dotted with farms and natural preserves such as Fernald's Neck Preserve.

The ride from Thomaston to Lincolnville is a chance to step back in time, leaving the modern world behind in favor of the tranquil New England countryside.

Upon reaching Lincolnville, a plethora of activities awaits. Whether it's exploring the Ducktrap River Preserve, taking a leisurely walk on the beach, or enjoying the views from Hatchet Mountain, this ride promises a fulfilling end to a memorable journey.

8. Perry to Prospect Harbor

8. Perry to Prospect Harbor

The journey from Perry to Prospect Harbor Lighthouse is a quintessential Maine motorcycle ride, offering 150 miles of coastal scenery and historic landmarks. The route, which takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete, traverses US-1, ME-191, ME-187, and ME-186, leading riders through a picturesque landscape dotted with lighthouses and state parks.

Starting in Perry, the ride heads north, hugging the coastline and providing ample opportunities to experience Maine's rugged beauty. A notable detour is the historic Quoddy Head State Park, home to one of the state's iconic lighthouses near the Canadian border.

The ride encapsulates the essence of Maine's coastal allure, combining the thrill of the ride with the serenity of the sea.

As the journey continues, riders can enjoy the laidback sections of Route 131, with stops at local eateries and the chance to stretch their legs on scenic trailheads. The destination, Prospect Harbor Lighthouse, built in 1891, marks the end of this memorable ride, leaving riders with lasting impressions of Maine's maritime heritage.

9. Skowhegan to Greenville

9. Skowhegan to Greenville

Embarking on the journey from Skowhegan to Greenville, motorcyclists are treated to a 121-mile ride that is as challenging as it is beautiful. This route, comprising US-201 and ME-6, is affectionately known as the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway. It promises an engaging experience with its numerous twists and turns that trace the contours of the Kennebec River, coupled with stretches of open road that offer moments to appreciate the surrounding vistas.

The ride from Skowhegan to Greenville is not just about the road itself, but also about the landmarks and scenic spots along the way. One should not miss the Robbins Hill Scenic Area or the Attean Overlook in Jackman, ME, both of which provide stunning views and a chance to stretch your legs.

The route's blend of river valley and mountainous landscapes encapsulates the essence of Maine's natural beauty, making it a quintessential experience for any motorcycle enthusiast.

For those seeking to extend their adventure, a detour onto Route 15, which transitions into ME-6, leads to Moosehead Lake. From there, connecting to Route 16 in Abbot can transform the ride into an expansive loop that offers even more exploration opportunities.

10. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway

10. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway

The Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway is a captivating journey that spans approximately 88 miles and can be traversed in half a day. This route is renowned for its serene lakes and picturesque mountains, providing motorcyclists with a leisurely ride that allows ample time to savor the natural splendor of Maine.

Embarking northward via Route 142, riders will encounter notable landmarks such as Webb Lake and Mt. Blue State Park. Upon reaching the junction with Route 4, the path veers northwest, skirting the edges of Rangeley Lake and offering stunning views.

The byway's two-lane road is a testament to the allure of New England's backcountry, with opportunities to stop at quaint local establishments that punctuate the journey.

Continuing southward on Route 17, the route passes by Rangeley Lake State Park, South Bog Conservation Area, Shelton Noyes Overlook, and the Height of Land, before concluding in Rumford. This stretch is not just a ride but an experience that encapsulates the essence of Maine's wilderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best times of year to ride motorcycles in Maine?

The motorcycle riding season in Maine typically runs from May to October, with peak autumn foliage in September, making it a perfect time to explore the scenic routes.

Do I need to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in Maine?

Maine has specific motorcycle helmet laws. It's important to check the current requirements as they may vary based on the rider's age, insurance coverage, and other factors.

Can I find maps for the top motorcycle rides in Maine?

Yes, you can click on map links for direct Google Maps routes of the top motorcycle rides in Maine on various motorcycle enthusiast websites.

Are there any motorcycle events in Maine I can attend?

Maine hosts a variety of motorcycle events throughout the riding season. You can visit BikeWeekEvents.com and other event directories to find local motorcycle rallies and bike shows.

Is Maine a good place for motorcycle riding?

Maine offers a diverse landscape with millions of acres to explore, making it an excellent place for motorcycle riding. From coastal views to mountainous terrains, riders can enjoy a memorable experience.

What should I be cautious of while riding in Maine?

Be vigilant for large wildlife such as deer or moose that may be on or near the roads, especially during the peak seasons of wildlife activity.

Can I use the motorcycle routes listed on your site for my blog or website?

You are welcome to use the motorcycle routes listed on our site for your blog or website, provided that you reference our page in your information.

What are some highlights of the top motorcycle rides in Maine?

Highlights include the scenic Acadia National Park, the tranquil towns along the Aroostook Scenic Byway, and the picturesque lighthouses along the Atlantic Coast.

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