The Camden-Rockland Region is a haven for bicyclists. From Penobscot Bay to the inland rural hills, the terrain is varied and uncommonly beautiful. You can choose to ride with views of the coast, lakes, or blueberry barrens—or all three. We’ve selected six routes that capture the best of the Midcoast.
Start/Finish: Penobscot Bay YMCA, 116 Union St., Rockport
Distance: 8.5 mi
This route through quiet residential neighborhoods in Camden and Rockport and around Beauchamp Point offers some fine ocean views. Ride counterclockwise to take advantage of the Union Street Bike Pathway. Allow time to stop at the Vesper Hill Children’s Chapel, Aldermere Farm (home of the “Oreo” cows!), and Laite Memorial Beach. This is a good, relatively safe route for families with older children.
Start/Finish: Park & Ride Lot, Starr St., Thomaston
Distance: 20 mi
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous
From Thomaston Village, you’ll follow the beautiful St. George River to Cushing, making stops to see the whimsical sculptures at the Langlais Sculpture Preserve and the Olson House, setting for Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting, Christina’s World (either spot is a great place for a picnic). You’ll then bike down to the tip of the Friendship peninsula, where a traditional lobstering harbor awaits. Your return trip is via rural Route 97.
Start/Finish: Grindle Point ferry terminal, Ferry Rd., Islesboro
Distance: 30 mi
On this route, you ride the length of Islesboro, incorporating a series of loops to vary the scenery and skirt both sides of the island. The views of the Camden Hills three miles away are splendid. The roads are relatively flat, and the traffic is lightest on weekends, when the building contractors have gone home to the mainland. To get here, catch the Maine State Ferry in Lincolnville Beach. Walk-on passengers can expect to pay an $8.50 per-bike fee in addition to the regular fare ($10 round trip). Islesboro ferry, 207-734-6935, maine.gov/mdot/ferry/islesboro
Start/Finish: Shirttail Point Park, Rt. 105, Camden
Distance: 14 mi
This route circles Megunticook Lake and Norton Pond, with plenty of places to stop for a swim or picnic. Early in this ride, you’ll have an awesome view of Maiden Cliff on Mt. Megunticook as you approach it from Beaucaire Avenue, and then you’ll ride along its base. If you’re feeling energetic, detour to Fernald’s Neck Preserve for a hike.
Start/Finish: Main Street, North Haven village
Distance: 15 mi
North Haven has 30 miles of good roads with incredible views over open meadows — it’s hard to go wrong no matter which route you choose. This one takes in a good portion of the perimeter and cuts through the middle too. You’ll ride portions of it twice, but it’s so pretty, you won’t mind! To get here, catch the Maine State Ferry in Rockland. Walk-on passengers can expect to pay a $16.50 per-bike fee in addition to the regular fare ($17.50 round trip). North Haven Ferry, 207-596-5400, maine.gov/mdot/ferry/northhaven/
Start/Finish: Rockland Harbor Park
Distance: 47 mi
Difficulty: moderate to strenuous
It only takes a few minutes for you to leave behind Rockland’s downtown traffic on this ride that primarily makes use of Routes 73 and 131, with ocean-hugging detours to Owls Head Light State Park, Waterman Beach, Spruce Head Island, and Marshall Point Light. You’ll pass through the quaint villages of Owls Head, Tenants Harbor, Martinsville, and Port Clyde. There are some hills, but nothing a fit cyclist can’t handle. There are several lobster shacks on this route, so plan on lunch.
Start/Finish: Camden Hills State Park parking area, Camden
Distance: 10 mi out and back
Running the length of the park, this varied-use trail is wide with a graveled and graded surface. You’ll likely encounter hikers, runners, and possibly, riders on horseback. The Megunticook Ski Shelter, at the junction of the Multi-use and Slope trails, is available for rent during any season. It has bunks for six, a stone fireplace and floor, picnic tables, and a woodstove. Camden Hills State Park, 207-236-3109, maine.gov/dacf/parks
Start/Finish: Camden Snow Bowl parking lot, 20 Barnestown Rd., Camden
Most of the many miles of trails are multi-use and are maintained by the Mid Coast Maine Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (the Snow Bowl itself belongs to the town of Camden and is operated by the Parks and Recreation department). Highlights in the Goose River Mountain network include Tim Pan Alley and Soundgarden, which are fun technical sections, and Lolly Pop Loop, a kids’ favorite. On Ragged Mountain, the wide Kuller Trail appeals to beginning as well as advanced riders. MCNEMBA maps are available online and at sporting goods stores. mcnemba.com