COASTAL MAINE BIKE CAMPING TOUR

Fort coastal MaineThis one-way bicycle camping tour begins in Ipswich Massachusets, takes you along the New Hampshire and Maine coastline, and ends in Bar Harbor Maine, with an alternative destination of Stonington, ME on the Penobscot Peninsula.. Average daily ride is about 50 miles. We enjoyed cycling out Maine's many coastal fingers, with great ocean views and lots of lighthouses. Coastal Rt. 1 in the area around Camden was a pleasant surprise, with great shoulders. We were disappointed by the dangerous narrow winding roads near Stonington, in this otherwise beautiful tip of the Penobscot Peninsula. There are, however, several roads leading to nearby Blue Hill more suited to road cycling. Mount Desert Island and the roads in Acadia offer some of the most gorgeous cycling in the American east, so we end the trip with a ride through the Penobscot peninsula to Mount Desert Island.

On our trip we took an inland route the first two days to reach Old Orchard Beach, in order to bypass busy coastal traffic. We also include here the coastal route. The ride from Ipswich to Portsmouth is very nice, but be careful of traffic and pedestrians near Hampton Beach NH. We have not ridden the Route from Portsmouth through Cape Neddic to Old Orchard Beach. Note that much of that section along the ocean does not have paved shoulders.

Day 1 Inland route: We rode from Ipswich to Eliot Maine, northwest of Portsmouth 50 miles and camped at Indian Rivers Campground, 3 Indian Rivers Rd. Eliot ME 207-748-0844 . This campground was outdated, primarily for fishermen. Cue sheet Route map

Day 2 Inland route We rode from Eliot to Old Orchard Beach, ME 45 miles. Deb takes Amtrak back to Boston from Old Orchard Beach. For a short 2 day trip, you can return on Amtrack to Boston. Amtrak schedule: http://www.thedowneaster.com/schedule.php We enjoyed the Old Orchard Beach Campground 27 Ocean Park Road Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064 Phone: 207-934-4477 relax@gocamping.com . No reservations are needed for tent camping. Cue Sheet Route Map

Fort coastal MaineDay 1, Coastal Version, 55 miles: Ipswich to Coastal Version along the Maine coast. 55 miles Camp Nedick Harbor View Oceanside Campground, . Note that there may be heavy traffic on Rt. 1 and Rt. 1A in New Hampshire and Vermont on summer weekends near beach areas. View route online
Cue sheets and mapsCue sheet and map

Fort coastal MaineDay 2 Coastal Version, 46 miles: Cape Neddick to Old Orchard Beach : We have not tried this coastal route, but it continues with gorgeous scenery. Parts of the route do not have a paved shoulder, and expect considerable traffic during the summer. Cue sheets and maps
Cue sheet and map

Day 3 Old Orchard Beach to Freeport For a shortened version, begin your tour after staying overnight at Old Orchard Beach Campground . This 50 mile day takes us to Freeport, ME, where we camp at Recompence Shore Campground at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. . (207) 865-9307. The campground is a wooded area down a dirt road from a farm, but we had a great site that looked right out into the bay.

Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Cue sheets and mapsRoute Map

Day 4 Freeport to Pemaquid Peninsula We rode from Freeport to Damariscotta, 50 miles, and stayed for two nights at the Lake Pemaquid Camping, Back Meadow Rd., Nobleboro, so that we could do a loop the next day on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Phone 207-563-5202 Email: lakepem@tidewater.net

Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Cue sheets and mapsRoute Map

Maine lighthouseExtra Pemaquid Loop We stayed at Lake Pemaquid and immensely enjoyed the Pemaquid cycling loops, visiting shipyards, country stores, a nature center, and the lighthouse at the tip. Check out the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site and Fort William Henry.

Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Cue sheets and mapsRoute Map

Day 5 Pemaquid to Camden We continued along the Maine Coast, passing through the charming town of Rockville, where you'll want to make sure to stop by BikesenJava , a combined bike and coffee shop. We enjoy great camping for the night at Camden Hills State Park.

Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Cue sheets and mapsRoute Map

Day 6 Camden to Penobscot Peninsula Today we rode from Camden Hills away from the crowded coastal section of Route 1, and returning along the coast near Searsburg and on to the Penobscot Peninsula for a total 61 miles. Camping at Balsam Cove Campground.

Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Cue sheets and mapsRoute Map

Fort coastal MaineDay 7: Penobscot Peninsula to Mount Desert Island 40 miles with some nice roads, connects to Mount Desert Island through Ellsworth. Stop at the visitors center soon after crossing onto the island. We enjoyed Mount Desert Narrows Campground, clean and spacious. Although it is several miles from Bar harbor, it has excellent access to the park loop, Cadillac Mountain, and Southwwest Harbor .
Cue sheets and mapsCue Sheet

Acadia Park LoopMount Desert Island

Ride 1: Park Loop The primary paved road hrough Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the 27 mile Park Loop Road, beginning at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center on the northern side of the island) and continuing through the Park's lakes, mountains, forests, and rocky coast . There are several scenic stops, including the Thunderhole and Jordan Pond Video Map loop map

Ride 2: Cadillac Mountain This 4 mile road winds with a continuous moderate grade for 3.5 miles from it's base to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in Acadia. Video . Map

Ride 3: Carriage Roads. If you didn't bring your mountain bikes, no problem The bike shops in Bar Harbor have a great selection to pick from for up to 45 miles of nicely groomed gravel Carriage Roads, built with the inspiration of John D. Rockefeller. Video Map

Ride 4: Southwest Harbor. Known as "the other side" of Mount Desert Island, the Southwest Harbor area has scenic fishing communities and long stretches of quiet cycling roads. map


Returning to Boston by bus

Bus transportation is possible from Bar Harbor or Ellsworth to Bangor, then connecting to Boston. Call ahead to find out the policies about transporting bicycles. Some companies require bikes to be boxed.

Downeast Transportation provides popular year-round shopping trips to Ellsworth and Bangor, and in-town shuttle service for Bucksport, Ellsworth, and Bar Harbor. Downeast Transportation also operates the Island Explorer serving Acadia National Park and neighborhing towns from June 23 through Columbus Day.

Concord Trailways operates a bus from Boston MA to Bangor ME that makes stops along the Maine Coast . Concord Trailwaysprovides daily service from Bangor to South Station in Boston and points between, as well as to northern Maine. Express service via Interstate 95 is available from Bangor to Boston, or you can opt for the coastal route and take U.S. Route 1 through Maine's coastal communities, such as Belfast, Camden, Rockland and Brunswick. The express and coastal routes go through Portland.. Concord's Bangor station is at 1039 Union St. It is within walking distance of Bangor International Airport and along the Bangor city bus route.For more information, visit Concord's Web site, write toconcordtrailways@fcgnetworks.netor call (800) 639-3317. The Bangor station telephone number is (207) 945-4000.

Greyhound Lines operates buses from Boston to Bangor stopping at Portsmouth NH, Portland, Brunswick, Lewiston, Augusta, and Waterville. Its Bangor station is at the corner of Main and Union streets downtown. For more information, visit Greyhound's Web site, call (800) 229-9424 or write toifsr@greyhound.com. The telephone number for the Bangor station is (207) 945-3000 and (800) 454-2487 for charter information.

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