RTWPaul: Ride Maine…as much of it as you can!

Only a select few ride the State of Maine, when you ask a smattering of motorcyclists if they have ridden Maine the answer is normally the same…”it’s such a long ride just to get there!”

This is the great thing about this state, its as far northeast as you can go without crossing into Canada. As a large number of Americans do not have a passport, this is why riding to Maine is such a special trip.

With over 3400 miles/ 5400km’s of coastline and a land mass close to the size of Portugal but only 10% of their population you will have the roads to yourself most of the time.

Take every side road you can as you head up the coast; find little lobster fishing villages, idyllic scenery, and secluded beaches. Road quality is great, and rarely straight for more than a few seconds and, most people who get here park their cars and hike everywhere.

The absolute gem of the state is Acadia National Park located on Mount Desert Island, it is not one of Americas biggest National Parks, but it is very diverse broken up into lots of different sections and currently the 7thmost visited.

Most of the land was donated by John D Rockefeller Jr. and family. Another well to do family that have lived here; the Ford’s of Ford Motor company fame.

As you ride around you might notice houses not mansions as you’d expect, their positioning is usually on the points of land with the greatest views and you will be riding right by them. You’ll ride in and out of the park, little side roads paved and dirt will take days to discover them all. 

Make a point of getting up early one day and ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain and watch the sunrise and be amongst the very few who get to see it before anyone else in America. From here you’ll be able to look down on the town of Bar Harbor in the distance.

Lighthouse’s dot the coast line, some 67 of them and they are very popular to photograph at sunrise, sunset, during storms and when the milky way is in full view on a moonless night.

A ride north will take you to Lubec and Eastport the USA’s most northerly towns and the most eastern point of the whole country, and the last lighthouse of the nation, Quoddy Head.

Fog is a familiar feature here and the temperatures are usually the coldest of all sea level areas of the whole country…be prepared.

A great number of immigrant workers moved to Maine through the centuries and you will find a lot of towns named after famous cities and numerous countries from around the world. You could do a world tour here without ever leaving the State.

When you are taking a rest from riding make sure to eat some Maine lobster, restaurants serve it for breakfast, lunch and dinner at very reasonable prices because Maine produces around 90% of the counties harvest.

Riding around always be cautious for wild animals walking into the road, the moose is the State animal and the second largest population lives here. They are huge at around 3 meters to the top of the horns and close to 700kg. Your motorcycle is no match for them. Sighting are reasonably rare and you are more likely to see deer, especially around Arcadia N.P. where hunting is banned, so numbers of roaming animals is huge.

So, what would be a good route?

From the southern tip of the state head north, ride through Americas oldest chartered city, York. Just outside of town is Cape Neddick also known as Nubble Light. One of Americas most photographed lighthouses with its unique red light still used today. Further north; make a stop at Cape Elizabeth another idyllic lighthouse just outside of Portland.

The city is a good stopover point for the night and is the heart of Maine’s brewing businesses and a great deal of them are represented here.

Northeast and onward up the coast Route 1 will take you through scenic towns like Camden and Freeport home to one of the longest running adventure stores: LL Bean, a good place to stock up if you need supplies or gear up for your trip further north where the population and tourists will reduce dramatically after Arcadia.

Good times to ride here are obviously the summer months but also in the autumn to see amazing array of trees and the fall foliage. Be prepared for the locals calling you a ‘leaf peeper’ a term of endearment for fall tourists.

Whatever you do, ride this State and prepared to be amazed.

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