Day 2 – Old Orchard Beach to Bridgton
After leaving Old Orchard Beach, we head northwest and inland along back roads to Buxton and Hollis. There the ride begins to crisscross the Saco River, a favorite for boating and fishing, and then on to Steep Falls. We are introduced to Maine’s famous rolling hills, as we climb to the shores of Hancock and Perley Ponds. In East Denmark, we turn onto Route 117, ride past Woods Pond and into Bridgton.
Mileage: 54 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,420 feet
Bridgton is located on beautiful Highland Lake, home to many summer and private camps. The town was settled in the 1770s and incorporated in 1794. With water provided by streams and the lake, Bridgton developed initially as an industrial center with sawmills, gristmills, textile mills and a tannery and sent completed goods to Portland via a canal. By the latter part of the century there was also rail service to the town bringing with it summer visitors. Although the canal and railroad have been abandoned, vacationers continue to visit Bridgton for its clear lakes and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Bridgton has a vibrant Main Street, with numerous shops, galleries, cafes and movie theater, and is a center of commerce for the region.