Riding in the Portland area has a lot to offer at the moment with many ongoing projects adding trail all the time. Stopping in a local bike shop or hooking up with one of the area riding groups are the best ways to explore new trails and maybe make some new friends in the process!
The River Trail:
One of the most loved trails in the area lies along the Presumpscot River and is maintained by Portland Trails. The "River Trail" is a multi-use trail that offers riders fast flowing singletrack, many challenging technical sections and climbs. Beautiful views of the river corridor, forest and a nice set of rapids await riders. Trail sections are available and well marked on both the north and south sides of the river and the clever rider can link a very nice two-hour ride in the area with many available starting points and optional "extra credit" loops of trail. See Portland Trails' website for more information on the Presumpscot River trail and the many other trails they maintain in the area.
Lowell Nature Preserve, Atherton Hill and Blackstrap:
Another popular riding area includes the Lowell Nature Preserve. The town of Windham maintains the Lowell Preserve as a multi-use trail system leaving right from the Windham fire station on Blackstrap Road . A resourceful rider can link this trail system to the nearby Atherton Hill and Blackstrap community forest trail networks although going with someone familiar to the area is suggested as there is a lot of terrain to explore (i.e. get lost in)! There are many options available in the Lowell preserve area to combine different sections of trail to ride for as little or long as someone wants. Terrain in the area includes rolling hills, steep technical sections, stream crossings, roots, rocks and everything in between. MAP
Libby Hill Forest:
A great multi-use trail network designed by Winter Olympian John Morton. You can find detailed information on their website.
Clifford Park in Biddeford is a spider web of very twisty, rocky and rooty singletrack. This challenging group of trails will challenge your technical skills. The trails are marked, but not well marked. The town provides a map on their website.
Behind the Congin middle school, there is a short and fast loop of singletrack. Although short, it is diverse and tends to stay drier then many of the other riding spots in Southern Maine. It flanks a pipeline that provides access to a long strip of power lines is also popular amongst mountain bikers. Locator MAP
A vast plot of land. Riders often refer to the two distinct parts of the the park as the “mountain side” and the “Foley side” or “water shed side”. Both sides provide lots of riding. It’s best to find a guide as many trails are unmarked and it is quite easy to get lost.
Pineland Farms, New Gloucester:
Most of thier trail system is open for mountain biking in the non-winter months. Park your car at the Welcome Center, pick up a map while there, fill up your water bottle and enjoy the country air.
With its rolling terrain, the River Loop is excellent for family rides. Add the Valley Farm Loop for a challenging, hilly ride, or try the Oak Hill trail system for a combination of both. Trails are graded and are 12-16 feet wide. Trail passes can be purchased at the Welcome Center.
One day trail pass: $5 per person
Season pass (late spring through fall): $30 per person.
Children 17 and under ride free
Another great offering from Portland Trails. The Fore River sanctuary is a popular multi uses trail that is located within city limits. It provides a great opportunity for after work rides and is often combined with some of the other local options for longer rides.
Fore River Sanctuary
Hidden behind the main area of the cemetery, there is a few miles of challenging single track. The terrain is rocky, steep and often very challenging. Although short, this section of trail is very easily connected with the Fore River Sanctuary and Stroudwater trails for a much longer loop.
Bradbury Mountain State Park:
Bradbury Mountain State Park continues to offer some of the best single track anywhere with miles and miles of well manicured trail available a short distance from downtown Portland in Pownal , Maine . Trail sections are adopted and meticulously maintained by area groups including the Friends of Bradbury Mountain, local bike shops and clubs, and the State Park staff. Bradbury offers buff singletrack suitable for any skill level as well as steep climbs and some highly technical sections on various trails. Terrain includes rolling hills, open fields, and Bradbury Mountain where riders can take in a spectacular view of the countryside. Each year Bradbury hosts a number of events and races with a NEMBA sponsored fun day on the calendar for July 25th. See Bradbury Mountains ' website for maps, an events calendar, and other information.
By Mitch Wacksman
Read more about Portland Area Riding