By David Young
As one of the most bike friendly states, Maine offers an abundance of scenic bicycle trails for the entire family. Ranging from urban to rural, there are plenty of routes to accommodate all ages and levels of experience. What a better way to pedal away the afternoon than on one of Vacationland’s many designated bicycle paths!
Here is a list of five bike-friendly trails that are closed to vehicle traffic, providing a safer option for young cyclists.
Portland is home to many urban routes suited for the family. As Portland’s activity center, Back Cove Trail offers an easy crushed stone loop with multiple points of access. This natural estuary is a fantastic place to bike or bird watch!
South Portland’s Greenbelt Walkway also accommodates both pedestrian and bicycle traffic. A paved path provides excellent views of residential neighborhoods, Portland’s skyline and the Casco Bay. There are plenty of spots to stop for a family picnic along the 5.6 mile route.
The South Portland Greenbelt Walkway forms the northern end of the newly christened Eastern Trail which runs an additional 65 miles south to Kittery. There are several off road portions of the trail completed including a stretch from Kennebunk to Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach to Scarborough.
Slightly further northeast, The Mountain Division Trail in Standish is a family friendly, 5.7 mile path that runs north to Windham. This wide multi-use path follows the original Portland and Ogdensburg Railway and eventually will total 52 miles from Portland to the New Hampshire border in Fryeburg. An additional 4.2-mile paved section runs through Fryeburg, from the welcome center on Route 302 through the airport on Route 113. These trails have no motorized traffic and offer a smooth ride with plenty of benches for rest opportunities along the way.
The Androscoggin River Bicycle & Pedestrian Path in Brunswick follows alongside its beautiful namesake for 2.6 miles. With plenty of room to accommodate runners and walkers and equipped with a designated bike lane, this trail is a great destination for a family friendly, recreational outing. Surrounded by a pet-friendly park, the family dog will love it too!