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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    546

    Ideas for a week in Maine?

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    this year is the last leg of our (2 weeks at a time) ride across the US (with America by Bicycle)! We start in Niagara Falls, and finish 7 days later in Portsmouth New Hampshire. From there, we will be responsible for ourselves - bikes and luggage (the tour hauls our luggage ) So we will need a shuttle and/or rental car from that point on. We are thinking of staying in one place and taking rides - or not. I really have no idea! At some point before we leave, we'll need to find a bike shop or motel to ship our bike boxes ahead to after unpacking our bikes at Niagara Falls. Then before we fly home, we'll box up the bikes and ship them back. Any suggestions on logistics/places to ride/places to see? thanks for any suggestions! tokie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    959
    Maine is defintiely a great place to ride! One of the great attractions in the state is Bar Harbor, with its famous loop road and of course the climb to the top of Cadillac. Another great source for routes is the booklet that DOT has published each year... it gives you lots of maps for different areas of the state with lodging, shops etc included.

    Sounds like a great time, good luck with the end of your ride! Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Portsmouth is an awesome small city. Lots of good restaurants and shops. I've done a ride that goes from Portsmouth to York Beach, Maine a couple of times. You can ride by the ocean (all 18 miles of NH coastline) and then head inland, where there's rolling hills and farms.
    I'd also suggest the Camden area of Maine. Challenging riding, hiking, etc.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    5,619
    eat lobster every day.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    546
    Thanks everyone! I'm taking notes! Not really a lobster fan - but have vowed to at least have a "lobster roll" ! and I guess we'll be flying home from the Boston airport, so maybe will see a bit of Boston too....? Looking forward to seeing your part of the country! tokie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    Mount Desert island/ Acadia national park is really gorgeous. If you said you wanted to go kayaking - I would have a ton of suggestions of where you should do that. Mount Desert does have some gorgeous hiking & some nice roads for biking.


    if you have a bunch of camping gear with you already and want to go kayak camping, I'd say go to:
    http://www.oldquarry.com/
    You can rent boats or hire an outfitter & that's on the deer island archipelago - so if you stay in the inner islands, it's only 1-2 miles between every island, and you can hike around. The inner islands are fairly protected from the weather.

    There's 2 sets of photos of kayaking around maine in my picasaweb - just scroll down & hit see more photos after the first batch:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/immunogirl
    Sept 2010 has 4 or 5 albums of Maine & so does August of 2009.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Tokie, if you're going to be in Boston, let me know...
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    546
    Thanks Crankin, I will - (though by that point, the bikes will be shipped already). One week in Maine already seems too short! Beautiful photos Catriona! I do like kayaking and hiking! tokie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    78
    If you're looking for things other that cycling to do in Maine, I'd say white water rafting! There are a few great rivers in Maine. Kennebec and Penobscot being the more popular ones for rafting. Northern Outdoors does tours at both rivers. They set you up with breakfast, a wetsuit, and anything else you might need. I went with some friends earlier this month. We'll be going back before the summer's over. Happy travels!
    "By perseverance the snail reached the ark."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Quote Originally Posted by Cataboo View Post
    Mount Desert island/ Acadia national park is really gorgeous. If you said you wanted to go kayaking - I would have a ton of suggestions of where you should do that. Mount Desert does have some gorgeous hiking & some nice roads for biking.


    if you have a bunch of camping gear with you already and want to go kayak camping, I'd say go to:
    http://www.oldquarry.com/
    You can rent boats or hire an outfitter & that's on the deer island archipelago - so if you stay in the inner islands, it's only 1-2 miles between every island, and you can hike around. The inner islands are fairly protected from the weather.

    There's 2 sets of photos of kayaking around maine in my picasaweb - just scroll down & hit see more photos after the first batch:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/immunogirl
    Sept 2010 has 4 or 5 albums of Maine & so does August of 2009.
    You take fabulous photos, Cataboo!

    DH and I are planning a trip to Acadia for next September. We're driving from Indiana but that means we'll get to bring our touring bikes for riding around on the park's carriage roads. I've only kayaked a few times, and DH never. How experienced do you need to be to kayak safely there? Are you aware of any guided excursions? I think that would be a need change of pace from our usual hiking/biking.

    I'm so excited about this trip. My mom's family is from the Maine/New Hampshire border, but I haven't been up that way since I was very young, but I've long had a romantic attachment to the area.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    Thanks Tokie & Indysteel.

    Indysteel,

    Try getting camp sites for the end of Isle Au Haut:
    http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/duckharbor.htm

    Basically, you can only get there by boat, and it's gorgeous down there. I think the campsites fill up fast - so you have to put in a request on April 1st. You can take the ferry if you don't want to paddle (the ferry might even be able to take a kayak with you). If you were paddling from Stonington, it's probably about an 8-10 mile paddle. There's only 5 campsites down there and a gorgeous little bay... And given that it is a "long" paddle to get there, you really won't see all that many people. If you do want fresh lobsters, when you're kayaking around Maine or near the shore, you can just hail a lobster boat & buy one directly from them (have a pot to cook one in)

    The Maine Island Trail association does a really nice job of speaking with the landowners of various islands around Maine and negotiating their use by kayakers or sailors (sailboats)... Most of the islands are completely empty, and there's just something incredibly cool about paddling up and having an island all to yourself. The caveat is that the inner islands, which are typically very sheltered and only a 2 mile paddle tend to be the ones that everyone goes to, to camp... so if you paddle like 6 miles out, the number of people you see drops dramatically. It's somewhat silly given that a slow paddling speed is like 3 miles per hour and is really not all that much work. But if you stay in the inner islands, you'll be protected from current & winds. One worry about kayaking in Maine is that there are a lot of little lobster boats puttering about... and that's fine, but if a fog rolls in, a lobster boat has a hard time seeing a kayak. In that case, you want a VHF radio so you can announce where you are & when you're crossing a channel.

    I do know people who have set up bike shuttles - put in with their kayak at one spot, paddle for a week getting up to where they've left their bikes - and then biked back to get their car. But mostly I've been pretty happy just paddling around Maine. Almost anything that I can see on a bike, I can see in a car... I can't see what I see kayaking any other way. Which is probably why I kayak tour a lot and don't bike tour a lot.

    I know that Old Quarry Campground that I linked to above for Tokie is an outfitter & does do tours. I ran into a couple tours when I was paddling around the Deer island archipelago, and they really do manage to get a bunch of people who don't know how to kayak to go on a nice tour of the islands & camping on them. Old quarry campground does have a house that you can rent, and their campsites are fairly plush - hot showers and wooden decks to pitch your tents on. so even if you wanted to just stay at Old Quarry, rent kayaks or do daily tours... you'd be fine. There's a lot of interesting islands to see close by - abandoned quarry islands with fresh water swimming, old machinery, what not. Old quarry campground can give you a list of the islands and what's on them, and if you join the Maine Island Trail association (MITA) they send you a book with a blurb on all the islands, what's on them, where you can land, and what you can do.

    You'll probably see a ton of kayak outfitters when you're up there, I'm just mentioning the ones that I had some interaction with.

    Another outfitter on Mount Desert island is:
    http://www.carpediemkayaking.com/
    I was up there when they were having a kayaking symposium (my friend was attending it & I just paddled around while he took lessons) & they did do a good job of it. The national park service on Mount Desert does rent kayaks on one of the lakes/ponds... It might be on the Great Long Pond. The great long pond is like 8 miles long... But it's mostly protected, so you'd be safe enough.

    The other thing to worry about is the water temp... It might get up into the early 60's by september (I know last year they said they had their highest water temps ever)... But it's still not a water temp you want to be in for a long time. So if you have a wetsuit or something like that, it would be a bit safer - if you rent a kayak or go on a tour, I'm sure they can provide you with something.

    If you've never ever kayaked, I'd say go on a guided tour. Kayaking is easy, but it can be deceptively easy - learning all the rescues and rolls, etc. and what to do if a storm or whatever blows up is the hard part. But many of people kayak for years without knowing or needing all that stuff... If you have a guide, you'll at least know that they know what to do if things go wrong for whatever reason.

    I met the owner of Lincoln Canoe & Kayak when I popped into their store & he's emailed me a few times - they do tours & instruction as well:
    http://www.canoesandkayaks.com/outdoor_center.html
    Last edited by Cataboo; 06-21-2011 at 12:47 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Thanks for all the great info, Cataboo. I'm going to spend some time reading your post. We actually haven't decided if you're going to camp or stay in a hotel or a bit of both. Lots to think about...which is why I'm starting to do this over a year out!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    I think lodging's pretty reasonable up there, so you don't have to camp. I just find camping on an island really cool and tend to seek out places where I can do that.

    I've stayed in the bed & breakfast part of this:
    http://www.llangolaninn.com/

    It's nice & reasonably priced. They also have cottages.


    Camping by kayak can be a lot more comfortable than bike touring - every pound you put on the bike makes a huge difference, whereas it doesn't make as much difference in a kayak. Yes, a loaded boat is harder to paddle than an empty one... but paddling a boat loaded with 20 lbs vs. 30 lbs vs 40 lbs isn't a huge difference. You can actually fit a fair amount in a kayak, you just have to take advantage of the long thin shape of them. Tent poles and thermarests get shoved up into the noses, etc. So it won't be minimalist camping, if you find that uncomfortable.

    Here's everyone packing up after one camping trip that we sort of all treated like a car camping trip since we only had to pile 6 miles and then could empty the kayak of everything and go on our way:


    Camp looked like this (and yes, all of that except for the picnic table, came down by kayak, including the kite buggy)


    Maine does have large tide ranges - so you do have to carry your boat + gear above the high tide mark everytime you get out (that's the annoying part of putting a lot of stuff in a boat) and most of the islands don't have fresh water, so you do have to bring fresh water. The guided trips that I saw were still eating fresh vegetables and fruit 3 days into their trips & were usually generous about sharing with any other kayakers they saw out there. We're sort of bad about bringing or bothering with fresh stuff beyond the first couple days, so that's always appreciated.
    Last edited by Cataboo; 06-21-2011 at 01:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    If you are interested in going waaay up there, I'd suggest staying at one of the camps in the 100 mile wilderness area. Here's a link to the AMC Little Lyford Pond Camp: http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/main...ford/index.cfm

    We stayed there last summer and it was the most relaxing vacation I have taken. Hiking is fabulous and there are lots of ponds. There are also 2 other, similar camps in the Maine Wilderness area, and if you look on the side of the page for Little Lyford, you will see them.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,841
    A friend of mine posted this to facebook today:
    http://www.mainestatekayak.com/index.html

    I know she has friends who guide up in Maine - so I assume that's them. It's $48 for a half day guided tour, which isn't bad.

 

 

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