Want to be a part of BikeMaine without having to ride a bike? For people whose friend or spouse is riding BikeMaine, we offer the BikeMaine Rider Guest Program. A rider guest travels independently by car during the day, then meets up in the BikeMaine Village each afternoon to enjoy all the activities and privileges offered to BikeMaine riders.
The cost of the program is $550, and includes 6 breakfasts and 6 dinners, all Village amenities, daily activities and entertainment, and a tee shirt.
Here are some suggestions for what to do while your companion is biking the daily route.
Day 1: Kittery to Old Orchard Beach
There are many points of interest in the Kittery area. If history is your thing, check out the Sir William Pepperell House, built in 1733, and the Lady Pepperrell House, built in 1760. The John Bray House, built in 1662, is believed to be the oldest surviving house in Maine. Nearby Fort McClary has a blockhouse dating from 1844 that is now a museum, with its amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. The town’s naval history can be explored further at the Kittery Historical and Naval Museum.
For naturalists, the Rachel Carson Nature Preserve has refuges in Kittery, at Brave Boat Harbor and Seaport Beach located off Route 103 at Kittery Point, and in Wells at the Wells Reserve and Laudholm Farm. These areas have hiking trails and information on the ecosystems. There are a variety of hikes in York County, and you have a choice of seeing the region from such different perspectives as the top of Mount Agamenticus or the oceanside Cliff Walk. Find a hike that’s right for you!
If shopping is your thing, you have your pick of outlet stores on Route 1 in Kittery, as well as the many specialty shops in harbor towns of Ogunquit and Kennebunkport.
Driving north on Route 1, you pass towns with gorgeous beaches, such as those in York, Ogunquit and Wells. Some are quiet, others are filled with sports arcades and amusement parks. Taylor Swift made one of her music videos in Cape Porpoise, located off of Route 9 from in Kennebunkport. Drive to the end of the road and have some fried clams or a lobster roll at the end of the working pier and watch the lobstermen pull traps or unload the day’s catch. This lovely harbor also has a great view of Goat Island Light.
Along Route 1, there are myriad opportunities to discover Maine treasures. In addition to the shops, there are museums such as the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, which has an exhibit of Winslow Homer’s woodcuts from the Civil War. The Corey Daniels Gallery in Wells features contemporary and modern art as well as an eclectic mix of unique objects and antiques.
There are so many things to do between Kittery and Old Orchard that you can’t possibly do it all on Day 1. Don’t despair! You will have the opportunity to return to the area when heading back to Kittery on the last day, Day 7.
Day 2: Old Orchard Beach to Bridgton
There’s time in the day to scoot into Portland to check out the Portland Museum of Art, the Portland Observatory, and the many specialty shops and restaurants that line the Old Port.
If you prefer to spend your day closer to the riders, there is plenty to see and do in what is known as Maine’s Lakes and Mountains Region. With over 80 square miles of lakes and rivers, the region has a wide range of activities to choose from: boating, golf, swimming and shopping, to name but a few.
One highlight along the route is the town of Limington, with its historic architecture. The Davis Memorial Library was built in 1912 from the designs of Portland architect, John Calvin Stevens. Limington has 22 buildings on the National Register of Places.
In Bridgton, there are a variety of lovely shops and restaurants. Be sure to look for the Rufus Porter Museum, home of Rufus Porter, artist, musician, teacher, inventor and founder of Scientific American magazine.
Day 3: Bridgton to Bethel
On the way to Bethel, the route passes more lakes and the lovely towns that grew around them to support vacationers. The White Mountain National Forest also looms ahead. In Lovell, stop at Ebenezer’s Pub, rated the best beer pub in America by Beer Advocate, and the beautiful Harvest Gold Gallery.
Bethel is a four-season resort, with much to do in the region. More information on what is available in the town of Bethel will be provided in upcoming BikeMaine Newsletters and in the Rider’s Route Digest. With a car, you will be able to explore beyond the town limits. Hiking opportunities abound, and the Mahoosuc Pathways is a great place to start in finding a trail that is right for you. There is rafting and canoeing on the Androscoggin River, and a host of things to explore north of Bethel at the Sunday River Ski Resort. If you go up to Sunday River, don’t miss the frequently photographed Sunday River Covered Bridge. The bridge is beautiful, but beware that the water below is icy cold, should you decide to swim.
Day 4: Layover Day in Bethel
Information about the many layover day activities will be provided in the July and August BikeMaine Newsletters.
Day 5: Bethel to Sweden
Instead of following the riders along the narrow, winding Route 113, we ask that you continue west on Route 2 from Bethel to Gorham before turning south on Route 16. This will allow you to see the beauty of the White Mountain National Forest, with its spectacular mountains and autumn leaves, without interfering with the riders. Driving south on Route 16, stop first at the Great Glen parking lot for a breathtaking view of Mt. Washington, then at the Pinkham Notch AMC Visitor Center. It is the high point of Presidential Range and features a wonderful 3-D diorama and shop.
In Jackson Village, pick up lunch at the local’s favorite, J’s Deli, then turn at the historic Wentworth Inn and go one mile up Eagle Mt. Road to the soothing Jackson Falls for a picnic. Sit by the falls and let nature amaze you.
The beauty of the region may tempt you to take a hike up one of the many trailheads leading from Route 16. One nice, short hike is Diana’s Bath, just west of North Conway on the West Side Road.
North Conway is a mecca for shopping and year round outdoor activities. Don’t miss Zeb’s, the famous old-time general store located in the middle of town. From Conway, you can take Route 113 east to Fryeburg.
Fryeburg offers boating on the Saco River and the Hemlock Covered Bridge, as well as Fryeburg Academy with its small, but notable, art museum.
On your way to Sweden and Camp Tapawingo, you will pass again through Lovell. Lovell is located on beautiful Kezar Lake. Use the Center Lovell Town Beach for a swim in the warm water. If you are up for more hiking, pay a visit to nearby Kezar Falls. Just east of the turn off for the camp is Pietree Orchard with its wonderful farm store featuring Maine made gifts, owned by noted authors Stephen and Tabitha King.
Day 6: Sweden to Kennebunk
On the way back to the coast and Kennebunk, check out Moose Pond and the Shawnee Peak Ski Area. Cornish, with its many craft and specialty shops, is worth a stop.
In Arundel, those interested in rug-hooking must visit W. Cushing & Company to view its collection of Jean Moshimer rugs, kits, and rug-making supplies.
You may want to move along to Kennebunk, as there is more to do in this town than you will have time to see in 24 hours. Here are a couple of resources to help you plan your visit:
Parson’s Beach in Kennebunk is a great place to relax and swim. The Cat Mousam River runs through the heart of Kennebunk and winds down to the ocean at Parson’s Beach. There is great swimming on the marsh side of the dune. At low tide, enjoy a walk all the way to the Laudholm Farm beach, although you may get your toes a little wet!
Day 7: Kennebunk to Kittery
Spend a few more hours exploring the Kennebunks, before heading south towards Kittery. Here’s your chance to focus on the small harbor towns, preserves and beaches you didn’t get to see on Day 1…or enjoyed so much you’ll welcome one more chance to explore!