For those looking for great off road biking trails in Maine, as I do, I’m happy to report there are eight terrific trails within a 12 to 30-odd minute drive of the Wolf Cove Inn, a lakeside bed and breakfast in Maine perfect for couples dreaming of active getaways in the great outdoors.
Some run past babbling brooks that have cut shallow valleys in the forest floor. One runs along the mighty Androscoggin River. And yet others take you past Maine marshlands where eagles nest and beavers dam. You can even ride to a flooded abandoned quarry where you can check out the tadpoles and frogs, or maybe find some long overlooked tourmaline, a gemstone once mined there.
8 Of The Best Off Road Biking Trails In Maine
Without further ado, let’s find your perfect day of off road biking here in western Maine.
1) Range Pond State Park
7 miles, 12 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
State Park Road, Poland, Maine
The park consists of two separate trail areas. For easy, wide trails, enter through the park entrance on Empire Road. This part of the park contains walking and biking trails, picnic areas and a beach area on Range Pond.
The unmarked parking lot just down the road from the main entrance brings you to the more challenging, single track terrain. Here you can ride over 4 miles of single track terrain that winds along brooks, valleys and marshland. Terrain varies from grass lined paths to forest floors rutted with roots to granite outcroppings.
This is my “go to” biking destination, so you might see me in there with my dogs Gabby and Ellie. Trail running and hiking are additional favorite pastimes in these woods.
As with all state parks, a nominal user fee supports maintenance and operation of the park.
2) Mount Apatite
9 miles, 19 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
98 Small Rd, Auburn, Maine
Mount Apatite consists of an 8 mile trail network ranging from old woods roads to winding single tracks. The city of Auburn maintains the trails, including many drainage features and long armored “turnpikes” to keep you dry in muddier areas.
The 325 acres offer a wide variety of terrain including ledges and glacial erratics, dense forest stands, abandoned quarries and semi-precious stone mining sites.
Blue and red blazes mark the main trails. One may also explore the many unmarked/unmapped side trails along the way as well.
A point of interest is the abandoned mineral quarry. Filled with water, many amphibians call it home – tadpoles in the spring turning into an abundant frog population in the summer. The filled quarries also offer up a spot for a cool dip.
If a little treasure hunter resides within you, bring along a pick and join the other miners hoping to grab some tourmaline or garnet gemstones.
An alternate starting area is behind the Army National Guard Armory at 930 Garfield Road.
3) Jugtown Forest
10 miles, 17 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
80 Edes Falls Rd, Casco, Maine
Owned by Hancock Lumbar, riders can enjoy 18 miles of interconnected trails nestled in the 5000 acres of forestland in Casco, Naples and Otisfield. Well marked trail segments range in length from 0.1 to 1.3 miles. Do bring a trail map to help orient yourself on your journey through the woods.
Good trail conditions are the norm, though things can get muddy during the spring and wetter periods. You’ll share the trails with hikers, ATVs, nature lovers and dog walkers.
4) Libby Hill Forest
12 miles, 19 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
50 Libby Hill Rd, Gray, Maine
Libby Hill Forest supports a wide variety of activities year round, including off road biking in the summer and fat tire biking in the winter. Riders will find both wide logging roads (used for cross-country ski competitions in the winter) and wilder single track trails.
The 8 mile trail network, like most in the area, has a wide variety of terrain. Rooted forest floor, ledge, flat, pitched – you’ll find it all there. You’ll bike along creeks, and pass extensive marshland supporting beavers and nesting eagles.
Unique among the off road biking locales on this list, you can use Google Maps to help you navigate the network. Just load this link into your smart phone browser, and Maps will show your location in the trail network.
Portions of the trail network receive grooming attention in the winter for cross-country skiing. Bikers and ski-joorers, please stay off these trails to preserve their condition.
5) Spring Road Trail On Lake Auburn
15 miles, 25 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
Whitman Spring Road, Auburn, Maine
The Spring Road Trail takes you along the west shore of Lake Auburn. In and out along the same trail provides a round trip 4+ mile ride. Scenic vantage points dot the trail. Take the hounds, but on a leash – admittedly kind of tough while riding a bike! The lake provides drinking water for the City of Auburn, hence the leash requirement. Likewise, no swimming in the lake.
Now, you may ask, “but I see people boating out there.” True, they allow boating. You see, boating residue generally floats on the surface whereas organic contaminants mix or sink. Drinking water siphons from the bottom of the lake. As a result, the boating residue stays out of the system, unlike the organics.
6) Pineland Farms
18 miles, 26 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
15 Farm View Road, New Gloucester, Maine
Pineland Farms sports over 18 miles of professionally designed and maintained multi-use trails. Enjoy off roading in the summer and fat tire biking in the winter. Stop in at the Welcome Center for a map, a water bottle fill up and to pay a small usage fee.
The River Loop offers rolling terrain for a casual, easy ride. The Valley Farm Loop provides a challenging, hilly ride. If you’d like a bit of both, try the Oak Hill Trail. At the farm, you’ll find graded, 10-15 foot wide trails.
7) Androscoggin Riverlands State Park
22 miles, 38 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
1005 Center Bridge Rd, Turner, Maine
With over 10 miles of trails, the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park offers a wide range of difficulty levels. You’ll find easy single and double track trails. In addition, you could be picking your way along rocky ledges. Enjoy the beauty of the park and give a wave to the area paddlers out on the river. There are numerous scenic overlooks along the way. Grab a Wolf Cove Inn backpack lunch and plan to spend some time exploring the 2345 acres of woodlands in the park.
Note that not all trails are bike friendly. As well you might share your trail with ATVers.
8) Bradbury Mountain State Park
23 miles, 35 minutes from Wolf Cove Inn.
528 Hallowell Rd, Pownel, Maine
Bradbury Mountain State Park is a tale of two parks. Bikers looking for leisurely riding should spend their time on the east side of the park. The trails are flat with a series of long single track trails. The “O” trail offers somewhat more of a challenge
On the west side, you’ll find the more challenging terrain. Krista trail provides a nice downhill run from the summit. Switchback will provide some technical challenges with lots of corners and obstacles.
While at the summit, enjoy the views of former Maine farmland. Furthermore, on a clear day, the distant horizon offers visibility as far as the coast of Maine. In the “Spring Hawk Watch”, visit the researchers cataloging the migratory birds of prey making their way back to Maine for the summer. Read more about Bradbury Mountain State Park on a previous blog of mine.
And After An Exhilarating Day Of Biking …
… make you way back to the Wolf Cove Inn to continue your romantic getaway in Maine in style. Choose from rooms with single or double-track jetted tubs to take the ache out of those riding muscles. Skip going out and instead grab some of the best pizza in Maine right at the Inn. This really is what you’ll want to do since you won’t want to miss the spectacular sunsets at your Maine B&B.