New England Mountains and Coast
From the rocky Maine Coast to the rugged White Mountains, this trip has some of the best of New England. We’ll wind our way through Maine’s Lakes Region, including Sebago Lake, Maine’s deepest and second-largest body of freshwater, and into the White Mountains, home to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern U.S. at 6,288 feet. We’ll even spend a day at the base of the mountain with a chance to shuttle to the top, but beware — Mount Washington has some of the worst weather in the world!
We’ll end the trip by wending our way back to the Maine Coast, finishing with a nice sea breeze and views of classic New England lighthouses, including Portland Headlight, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. And we’ll have enjoyed riding unloaded bikes thanks to the handy Adventure Cycling van doing the heavy lifting. Join us on our New England Mountains and Coast adventure!
"Being part of a group provides a greater sense of support, empowerment and encouragement to allow me to tackle rides I would not do by myself."
Day 1. Scarborough, Maine, 0 miles
We'll meet and greet today at a campground not far from the ocean just south of Portland, well known for fantastic dining options in the Old Port. Situated between the Scarborough Marsh and Saco Bay, there is plenty to do and explore if you're able to arrive early to this home to great wildlife.
Day 2. Scarborough to Sebago, 42 miles
Our first riding day has us travel from the gorgeous Maine Coast and into the Lakes Region. We'll head through small Maine towns like Buxton and Standish before riding to Sebago Lake State Park. Sebago Lake is the deepest and second-largest lake in Maine and is a popular swimming, boating, and fishing destination for many people each summer.
Day 3. Sebago to Albany, New Hampshire, 44 miles
Today we'll work our way toward the White Mountains, leaving the great state of Maine and into the Granite State of New Hampshire through the town of Fryeburg. The small town is home to the Fryeburg Fair at the end of September, the largest in Maine, and you may want to stop in and see the museum. Our overnight location is a quiet spot along the Smith River and next to one of New England's covered bridges.
Day 4. Albany to North Woodstock, 34 miles
Today will surely be a highlight. From our campground we'll climb ... and climb ... and climb, about 17 miles in total -- atypical for a journey in the east. Riding the Kancamagus Scenic Highway (Kank-ah-mah-gus), this 34-mile ribbon of road takes you through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, and a variety of waterfalls. Our high point is just under 3,000 feet at Kancamagus Pass, a perfect spot for a photo op (and to be ready for the fantastic downhill to come!). Be sure to stop at the White Mountain Visitor Center before passing through town and on to our campsite for the night.
Day 5. North Woodstock to Bartlett, 40 miles
Our ride today will take us through Franconia Notch, which splits the Kinsman and Franconia Ranges. The Notch was home to the Old Man of the Mountain, which was a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain that appeared to be the profile of a face when viewed from the north. While the face fell in 2003, the Notch is still full of beauty, and home to a bike path to get us through. We'll ride to our campground just past Crawford Notch State Park. Before getting to camp, stop by the Mount Washington Hotel (and if time allows, take the Cog Railway to the top of Mt. Washington!). The hotel was constructed between 1900 and 1902, one of the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains.
Day 6. Bartlett to Gorham, 47 miles
We'll head back out of Crawford Notch State Park, and around the northern side of Mt. Washington. We'll gain views of Mt. Adams, the northernmost peak named after a president in the White Mountains. After we head through the outdoor orientated town of Gorham, we'll head to our overnight and layover day at the base of Mount Washington.
Day 7. Layover day in Gorham, 0 miles
Today we'll have the opportunity to take a shuttle to the top of Mount Washington via the Mount Washington Auto Road. Driving up Pinkham Notch, we'll see the White Mountains from an entirely new perspective -- from the highest point. Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern U.S. at 6,288 feet, is known to have some of the worst weather in the world, and it holds the fastest surface wind speed recorded in the Northern and Western Hemispheres at 231 mph.
Day 8. Gorham to Bridgton, Maine, 54 miles
We'll leave the White Mountains for the last time today and head back to Maine, stopping once again in the Lakes Region. Along our ride, we'll pass through Jackson and North Conway, New Hampshire, fantastic destinations for winter sports and summer recreation. We'll stay on Long Lake, not far from the Bridgton Twin Drive-In, which features great movies all summer long.
Day 9. Bridgton to Freeport, 50 miles
Trading out the long climbs for short and steep rollers, we'll know we're back on the rocky Maine coast. We'll overnight just outside of Freeport, home to L.L. Bean and the giant Bean Boot, where land meets the ocean. Our campground is home to Wolfe's Neck Farm, a working and educational farm full of activities, and we'll stay right by the water. Not far away, Wolfe's Neck State Park is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the rocky coastline.
Day 10. Freeport to Scarborough, 43 miles.
Our last day will keep us on the coast, following some of USBR 1 and the East Coast Greenway. Along the way there is lots to stop and see: Eartha, the giant globe in Yarmouth, the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum on Portland Harbor, or one of four different lighthouses, including Portland Head Light, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. The end of our journey has only made us full of happy memories, new friends, and stronger legs.