Map of Cycle Maine & Acadia National Park including United States Of America

It's official – cycling is the best way to explore Maine and the Acadia National Park

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.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Portland ME, United States
Finish
Portland ME, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
SSXM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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.

  • Cycle the same rugged coastal scenery that inspired the tempestuous seascapes of the acclaimed 19th-century American painter, Winslow Homer.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. While the cycling distances on this trip vary, the terrain can sometimes be hilly so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip – but remember, we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • For group of less than twelve travellers we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a separate driver and the leader will cycle all routes. Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a backmarker.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads with the occasional gravel cycle path there are no technical cycling skills required – but given the occasional hills involved, we do suggest practicing riding downhill so you are comfortable with this once the trip begins.

  • Due to the terrain the included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort, you have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

Itinerary

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.
Optional Activities
  • Local Brewery Tour - USD65
  • Portland Museum of Art - USD15
  • Portland Observatory - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 33 miles / 53kms, undulating with 1150ft / 350m of elevation gain
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.
Optional Activities
  • Center for Maine Contemporary Art - USD8
  • Farnsworth Art Museum - USD15
  • Rockland Breakwater & Lighthouse - Free
  • Maine Lighthouse Museum - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 38 miles / 62kms, undulating with 2560ft / 780m of elevation gain. Our route features a fair amount of vertical gained and lost, but with a peak elevation of only 200ft/ 60m.
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 48 miles / 77kms, undulating with 2900ft / 885 m of elevation gain
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!).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 50 miles/80kms, undulating with 2300ft /700 m of elevation gain.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: Whale watching (approx 3-5hrs), Lobster Fishing/Seal Watching (approx. 2hrs), and Sea Kayaking (approx. 4hrs) are all very popular activities and sell out very quickly - these must be booked by you well ahead to guarantee a place. It is often impossible to book a spot on the day, or even a couple of days beforehand.
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.
Optional Activities
  • Whale Watching Tour - this activity must be booked well ahead as spots sell out fast. https://www.barharborwhales.com/ - USD63
  • Sea Kayak Tour - this activity must be booked well ahead as spots sell out fast. https://www.acadiafun.com/ - USD60
  • Lobster Fishing And Seal Watching - this activity must be booked well ahead as spots sell out fast. https://www.barharborwhales.com/ - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 21 miles / 34kms, undulating with 1600ft /490 m of elevation gain
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Riding Distance - approximately 27 miles / 43kms, undulating on 'carriage roads', with 1640ft /500 m of elevation gain

You will arrive back into Portland at approximately 4pm.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle

Accommodation

Simple Hotel/Motel (5 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Cycle Maine & Acadia National Park trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 1pm on Day 1 in Portland. This trip finishes upon arrival in Portland on Day 6 around 4 pm.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
3. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so we can organise a suitable sized bike.
4. Due to the terrain the included bikes on this trip are a flat bar 'hybrid-style'. You have the option (at extra cost) of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip - this must be requested at the time of booking.
5. A discount is available to those clients bringing their own bike, please ask your booking agent for more information.
6. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
7. For groups of less than 12 clients we have a single leader that drives the support vehicle alongside the group. For larger groups, we have a driver plus a leader that rides with the group.
8. Accommodation is not included on day 6 of this trip. If you require additional accommodation (or want to reserve your room for the main part of the day) please enquire at time of booking.
9. Due to Covid-19 restrictions some of the local attractions may be temporarily closed, running reduced hours, or require booking ahead. Please check their websites for up-to-date opening hours.
10. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES in Bar Harbor: Whale watching (approx 3-5hrs), Lobster Fishing/Seal Watching (approx. 2hrs), and Sea Kayaking (approx. 4hrs) are all very popular activities and sell out very quickly - these must be booked by you well ahead to guarantee a place. It is often impossible to book a spot on the day, or even a couple of days beforehand.

Essential trip information

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