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Day 2 – Pittsfield to Kingfield – September 11
The route traverses Maine’s heartland, with its rolling hills and rich farmland. In Solon, the route crosses the Kennebec River near Caratunk Falls, where the Continental Army, led by Benedict Arnold, passed in 1775 on its way to attack Quebec City in support of the American Revolutionary War. Later in the day, the route climbs into the foothills of the High Peaks, earning riders the visual reward of the magnificent 4,000 footers along the horizon, before descending into Kingfield to the evening stop at Mountain Village Farm.
- Mileage: 56 miles
- Elevation Gain: 3293 feet
Kingfield is at the southern terminus of the Maine High Peaks Scenic Byway, and is the gateway to the High Peaks region, home to 10 of Maine’s 4,000-foot mountains. The first white men recorded to have visited the area did so in 1805. They returned in 1806 with their families and formed a settlement, which subsequently was named Kingfield in honor of the landowner, William King, who went on to become the first governor of Maine. Kingfield’s proximity to the Carrabassett River with its dependable waterpower enabled the town to become a mill town centered on the wood products industry and manufacturing. The completion of the Dead River and Kingfield Railroad in 1884 further contributed to the town’s growth. By the nineteenth century, there were several stores in town, at least one shoemaker, a resident physician, several mills, a tannery, and a rake factory. Kingfield’s population of 1000 people has remained fairly constant since that time.
Kingfield has 4 manufacturing factories, including a Nestlé Waters Poland Spring Bottling Plant, and over 80 businesses, restaurants, and shops. Kingfield is home to the Ski Museum of Maine and the Stanley Museum, which pays homage to hometown notables, the Stanley Brothers, famous for their invention of the ruggedly durable Stanley Steamer engine and automobiles. Annual cultural events include the summer Kingfield POPS concert, featuring the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and the Kingfield Festival Days. The Kingfield Art Walk takes place on the first Friday of September through the first Friday of April. It is one of the only winter art walks of its kind and boasts a variety of exhibits, mediums and food samplings. A horse-drawn carriage transports attendees to each destination, highlighting the charm and history of each venue.
The BikeMaine Village will be on property owned by the Mountain Village Farm B&B and Poland Spring, and affords a beautiful view of the High Peaks.