Ride through the beautifully rugged Acadia National Park, one of the nation’s most beloved parks.. Enjoy sunrise and epic views from the top of Cadillac Mountain, known for being the first place to see the sunrise in the United States.. Dine on some of America’s finest seafood cuisine – with a local leader’s expert insight to guide you to the best spots.. Pedal through quintessential New England fishing villages and visit some of the most inspiring lighthouses you’ll ever see.
While the rugged beauty of Acadia National Park naturally gets the headlines there is so much more to cycling in Maine. From the coastal scenery that inspired the tempestuous seascapes of the acclaimed 19th-century American painter, Winslow Homer, to the quintessential New England fishing villages and lighthouses, to riding up a mountain at dawn to watch the sunrise above the Atlantic Ocean, Maine offers something for cyclists at every level. Spend your days riding the quiet and beautiful tree-lined roads and your evenings enjoying some of America’s finest seafood cuisine – the perfect antidote to busy city life.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Welcome to your Maine cycling adventure. Meet your fellow cyclists and guide at 1pm for a brief orientation and group meeting before being fitted to your bikes for your first ride in America’s northeastern-most state. Not to be confused with its northern namesake in Oregon, the charming coastal city of Portland is small in size, yet big on adventure as you’ll discover on a loop ride south past the historic Portland Head Lighthouse – the oldest lighthouse in Maine – and whitewashed Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. Visit Fort Williams, part of Portland’s sea defenses since 1871, then continue to the rugged coastal scenery of Prouts Neck. Inspiration for the tempestuous seascapes of the acclaimed 19th-century American painter, Winslow Homer, you will pass the Homer Studio, where Homer resided from 1884 until his passing. From here you’ll head back to your accommodation in Portland where you can opt to enjoy dinner together in town, visit one of the 20 microbreweries in town, or just wander the historic streets – your local leader will have plenty of suggestions for what to do.
This morning you’ll head north by private vehicle (approx. one hour), stopping in Freeport, home of the 110-year-old outdoor retail giant, L.L. Bean, then continuing on to the delightful harbor town of Damariscotta. Known as ‘the oyster capital of New England’ this quiet yet charming town is the perfect place to start riding. Your route today snakes a winding route east, travelling along quiet wooded country roads. You’ll pass the many ‘ponds’ that this area is famed for, then hit the coast of the West Penobscot Bay before reaching Rockland. The rest of the day is free for you to discover this charming port town –perhaps stroll along the Rockland Breakwater out to its unique lighthouse, visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum, or head to the Project Puffin Visitor Center. You may also like to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum or Center for Maine Contemporary Art. Tonight you are free to explore dinner options in nearby Rockland at your leisure.
Today is the longest ride of this tour, heading north along the coast of Penobscot Bay and inland at times to the town of Bucksport on the Penobscot River. Along the way, cycle through preserves and state parks to the charming coastal towns of Camden – where the mountains meet the sea – and historic Belfast with its recent boatbuilding renaissance. The true highlight of the ride is the constant picturesque coastal views with glimpses of the white sails of yachts and some of the many islands that line the dramatic coast. Cross Penobscot Narrows Bridge with views over nearby Fort Knox State Historic Site, then arrive into the small riverside town of Bucksport. After a long but rewarding day in the saddle simply put your feet up or if you are still feeling energetic, opt to walk the vibrant downtown waterfront area.
Today’s route is a little flatter as you ride east on the tree-lined roads that flank waters of Toddy Pond, then enjoy a mostly downhill ride through the almost deserted countryside to Patten Bay. From here the countryside changes as you follow the Union River, before leaving the mainland and crossing the shallow waters of Mount Desert Narrows to Maine’s largest island, Mount Desert Island.
From here it’s just another 10 scenic miles down to Bar Harbor, the gateway to the Acadia National Park. You’ll arrive at our hotel in plenty of time to freshen up, then perhaps enjoy a stroll along the picturesque Bar Harbor Shore Path for beautiful views across to the many small islands that dot Frenchman Bay. Tonight, you are free to have dinner on your own and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some fresh Maine lobster if you haven’t already this week (or even if you have!).
Acadia National Park
Today enjoy a cycling loop like no other as you cycle around Acadia National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi and one of the nation’s most beloved parks. Explore the rugged, rocky coast, enjoying iconic viewpoints such as Thunder Hole, and the clear turquoise water of Sand Beach. Acacia is not all about the coastline either and the views inland of the glacier-carved centre of the island are equally impressive as you cycle beneath Cadillac Mountain and past the incredibly photogenic Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake, before returning downhill to charming Bar Harbour. For those looking for a longer challenge you can opt to extend your route to ride by the beautiful Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse – one of the most photographed of all lighthouses in New England – or you are free this afternoon to go on an optional kayak tour, whale watching cruise or lobster fishing excursion.
Acadia National Park - Portland
Your final ride day may be one of the shortest, but it’ll be certainly one of the most memorable! Cadillac Mountain is famous for being the tallest point on the North Atlantic seacoast and the first spot that the sun’s rays touch US soil at dawn each morning. Take an early morning drive up the gently winding road to the 1,530 ft summit, arriving prior to sunrise to take in the inspiring panoramic views of the sun rising above the Atlantic. Enjoy the freewheeling descent towards Eagle Lake and take the well-paved Park Loop Road, which will soon connect you to the famed ‘carriage roads’ and the spectacular stone bridges that were designed, built and gifted by John D Rockefeller Jr. Winding through the forests stop at the Jordan Pond House and its stunning boulder-strewn reflection across the lake – before once again dropping back down in Bar Harbor. From here return to the hotel to freshen up before saying goodbye to Acadia National Park transferring by vehicle (approx. three hours) back to Portland where the trip comes to an end.