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Thread: vacation planning - Maine

  1. #1
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    vacation planning - Maine

    Looking for some inside info from the folks who live or ride in Maine.

    Since the weather is still crappy (and way too white) I have nothing better to do than plan a vacation in early June. We've decided on Maine and have never been there. The plan is to do some camping and some hotel stays. We are planning to arrive near Bar Harbor on a Monday and leave the state on Friday for a two-day trip home.

    We know we want to spend time Down East on the coast but the state is large. Acadia is a given. Any other must-see's? What other area should we consider visiting? Any must-ride roads that we should know about?

    Thoughts and opinions are welcome and appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    Looking for some inside info from the folks who live or ride in Maine.

    Since the weather is still crappy (and way too white) I have nothing better to do than plan a vacation in early June. We've decided on Maine and have never been there. The plan is to do some camping and some hotel stays. We are planning to arrive near Bar Harbor on a Monday and leave the state on Friday for a two-day trip home.

    We know we want to spend time Down East on the coast but the state is large. Acadia is a given. Any other must-see's? What other area should we consider visiting? Any must-ride roads that we should know about?

    Thoughts and opinions are welcome and appreciated!
    Although an urban setting, I alway enjoy the waterfront of my old home town - Portland. My brother has a gorgeous Inn right near Longfellow monument (The Percy Inn) in city center. Casco Bay has many interesting options. Although slow, the coastal route is full of scenic possibilities. 295 up to Augusta and then 202 to 3 and onward to 1. If you were venturing into Canada I would say to continue up to Campobello Island and take the barge ferry that meanders to Deer Island and then the Letete ferry onward to the New Brunsick mainland.

    That's just a couple of my thoughts, those living in Maine can direct you to many other beautiful spots. Enjoy the run up Cadillac Mountain. That's a great ride and destination. - Bob
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    Tracy, Yes, Acadia National park is a must see. The park loop road is one of the most scenic drives on the East Coast. Make the drive up Cadillac Mountain. If the weather permits the view is wonderful. Another section of the park is Scoodic Pt. Get out your Delorme Gazetteer and look up Winter Harbor. Schoodic is just South off State route 186. To see the best that our coast has to offer one must get off of Busy Route One and take the smaller roads that lead out to the small towns out on the many small peninsulars and harbors.

    We like Camden hills state park in Camden. The view from Mt Battie inside the park offers a beutiful view across Frenchman's Bay to the east. There is a paved road to the top. Free for the folks staying in the park. A small fee if not. Camden is a good two hours west of Bar Harbor.

    We stay at Lamoine beach state park in the Town of Lamoine. It is located on the north shore of Eastern bay. It is about a twenty five minute commute from Lamoine to Mount Desert and Acadia. Arcadia National park runs two campgrounds and there are several private ones.

    Route one in Maine is congested with traffic in Summer. The Worst is in the Southern part of the State and it Gradually thins out as one heads North and East. By the time you get beyond Ellsworth(the town before Mt Desert) traffic has thinned out nicely. The ride on Route One from here all the way to Fort Kent at the top of the state is a joy. To access the Acadia region we usually will take Rt 295 north to Agusta and then rt. 3 to Belfast. A scenic coastal town that has retained its old buildings in it's downtown. Then rt one to Ellsworth. Another area worth checking out is Deer Isle. To get there take rt 175 or 15 out of Orland which is on rt one just East of Bucksport. Check out Castine, Blue Hill, and Stonington on its southern tip. I am going to back up just a little. We have a new suspension bridge in Bucksport on rt one. Take the elevator to the top. The view is worth the small fee.


    OK, now way up the coast is Machias, west Quaddy Head, Lubec, Eastport, and Calais. Just off rt one is Cobscook Bay state park. A camground on the water. Many of the sites are right on the shore. The tide rises twenty feet in six hours and falls twenty feet in another six. The state numbered roads the extend north to rt nine off rt. one between Ellsworth and East Machias can almost be called desolate in some sections. State rt nine between Bangor and Calais is one hundred miles and good for making time.

    Crossing the bridge from Lubec into New Brunswick, Canada will take you to scenic Campobello Island. Please have your passports ready.

    If you have the chance Aroostook county at the top of the state offers the best riding in the state. Many of our roads are in poor condition. But up in the county the state roads are in great conditon.The hills are long and so are the views. The farms are large and beautiful. The small towns and people friendly.

    Be careful riding at night, The moose are out and about. They are black and their eyes do not reflect as much light as a deer. Not good.

    Being a camper some one else willl have to help with the hotels.

    I could keep going but must finish my breakfast.

    Mark from Maine

    PS. We usually stay at Lamoine beach state park the first weekend in June and plan to this year. Let us know if you will be in the area then. Bring your electric clothing, the coast can be cool.
    Last edited by 42016; 02-28-2010 at 06:54 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Maine Trip

    I live in Portland and echo the earlier sentiment about spending a day in Portland. A visit to the Portland Head Light is a must see, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in the US, it was originally commissioned by George Washington and General Lafayette, I'll bet you've seen it on more than a few free calendars. The city is not really like a big city and you can get around pretty easily. One of the things I'd recommend is one of the boat tours of the islands in Casco Bay, a lot of history out there.....they actually sunk a couple of U-Boats out there during World War II. There are some really pretty rides in Maine. Certainly the coastline is fantastic and Bar Harbor, but don't forget the mountains in Western Maine. A ride through the Rangely Lakes Region is really nice and the Moosehead Lake area is amazing. One ride that I like a lot is Route 11 which goes from East Millinocket to Fort Kent (the start of route 1 in the US) and then down route 1 along the coast, really breathtaking and beautiful riding. Here are a couple of links to help you sort out your rides:

    http://www.byways.org/explore/states/ME/

    http://www.ridemaine.net/

    Have a great time! Don

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 42016 View Post
    Route one in Maine is congested with traffic in Summer.
    Early June is no problem.
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  6. #6
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemeup View Post
    I live in Portland and echo the earlier sentiment about spending a day in Portland. A visit to the Portland Head Light is a must see, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in the US, it was originally commissioned by George Washington and General Lafayette, I'll bet you've seen it on more than a few free calendars. The city is not really like a big city and you can get around pretty easily. One of the things I'd recommend is one of the boat tours of the islands in Casco Bay, a lot of history out there.....they actually sunk a couple of U-Boats out there during World War II. There are some really pretty rides in Maine. Certainly the coastline is fantastic and Bar Harbor, but don't forget the mountains in Western Maine. A ride through the Rangely Lakes Region is really nice and the Moosehead Lake area is amazing. One ride that I like a lot is Route 11 which goes from East Millinocket to Fort Kent (the start of route 1 in the US) and then down route 1 along the coast, really breathtaking and beautiful riding. Here are a couple of links to help you sort out your rides:

    http://www.byways.org/explore/states/ME/

    http://www.ridemaine.net/

    Have a great time! Don

    I spent a lot of time there up to Jan 2000. Haven't been back since. Being that you live there, I was wondering if two of my old watering holes are still there. Gritty' s and Three Dollar Deweys were two, but not the only, of my favorite spots. I must get back up there. umh... Maybe I'm due for a ride back to Portland. Also is Dwayne still selling BMW's???
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    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    they actually sunk a couple of U-Boats out there during World War II.
    My Father grew up right outside of Portland, when he was five years old he found a dead U-Boat captain washed up on the shore.

    Lots of great advice here, some comments:

    1. Rt. 3 to Mt. Desert Island is CROWDED in the summer, take it early in the am or you'll be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Rt. 1 can also be very crowded, especially between Rt. 90 below Camden up to Belfast. Camden has changed a lot over the years with great old stores like Haskell & Cothrell being replaced by more tourist-oriented shops, but it still has a tremendous amount of character and is worth a stop for an expensive but good lobster roll on the harbor.

    2.. Several of the islands have beautiful scenery, great old "Cottages" and fun roads, and are well worth a visit. Most have B&B's as well. Islesboro has a 30-minute ferry and is 14-miles tip to tip, with a neat old general store in the southern portion of Dark Harbor that has great frappes and roast beef grinders. Below Islesboro is North Haven and Vinylhaven, served by longer ferries but also a fun day trip. Deer Isle has a bridge and Stonington is worth the visit.

    3. Check out off the main road coastal towns as well, Castine comes to mind. Make sure to see the Transportation Museum in Owl's head, the curator is a BMW Motorcycle enthusiast.

    4. Don't discount the Lakes Region, my favorite stretch of road in the whole state is Rt. 27 from Stratton to Woburn, PQ. - a more beautiful winding ribbon of perfect asphalt is not easy to find.

    Ted
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  8. #8
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Camping

    I agree that the Owl's Head Transportation Museum is a must see, it is amazing. If you are a camper, about 5 miles up the road is the Lobster Buoy Campground. It is a nice family run operation right on the ocean about 5 miles outside of Rockland. It is a great place to camp and very reasonable too. Every morning at 8am they serve real homemade doughnuts (the old fashioned kind) until they're gone, which is usually pretty quick. I usually stay up there for 2-3 days every July during the North Atlantic Blues Festival. If you are a Blues Music fan, you might want to plan your trip so you can take that in, also later in the season in Machias they have the Blueberry Festival. If you like blueberries and blueberry pie, this is heaven. Here is a shot from my camp on the ocean at The Lobster Buoy last July.


    [IMG][/IMG]

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    Also is Dwayne still selling BMW's??? Yes, He is.

    I mentioned earlier about the traffic on Rt one and someone else has mentioned about the traffic problems on Rt 3 to Bar Harbor. But if you plan your trip either before school lets out for the summer when family's start traveling or wait until early fall when they have gone back to school it really is not a problem. We have been there the first weekend in June several years and traffic was not a problem. Have a great trip!

    Mark from Maine

  10. #10
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Are they still there....

    Although I'm not a drinker, I think those saloons still exist in Portland. Duane is still selling BMWs, the one in picture came from him. I also agree with the remarks about traffic around Bar Harbor in the summer, you could sit in traffic for a long time. Northern Route 1 is generally less congested than southern Route 1 in the summer. Have a great trip. Don

  11. #11
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great replies! I'll fill you all in on what we've planned so far and maybe someone can answer a few specific questions.

    First, I am not a camper...yet! This will be our first season camping and I really hope I like it after buying gear.

    We plan to leave Delaware on Friday, june 4th and get a jump to Scranton, PA. (hotel) From Scranton, we will stop in Lincoln, NH (hotel) on Saturday. On Sunday, we want to make a return trip to Mt. Washington and the Kancamangus Hwy, then end up in The Forks, ME. We choose Northern Outdoors Resort with a camp site by the river. Has anyone ever stayed here or heard anythign about it? I think we will spend Sun and Mon night there to explore the area before heading northeast to the coast.

    Question: Should I make campsite reservations or do you think we will be ok to wing it at that time of year? I'm hesitant to plan specifics as we tend to change our route to suit the moment.

    We are thinking of working our way down the coast from the Calais area to Acadia, then leave Friday night for Boston to visit family and home on Sunday.

    Is this workable?

  12. #12
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newstar View Post
    Thanks for all the great replies! I'll fill you all in on what we've planned so far and maybe someone can answer a few specific questions.

    First, I am not a camper...yet! This will be our first season camping and I really hope I like it after buying gear.

    We plan to leave Delaware on Friday, june 4th and get a jump to Scranton, PA. (hotel) From Scranton, we will stop in Lincoln, NH (hotel) on Saturday. On Sunday, we want to make a return trip to Mt. Washington and the Kancamangus Hwy, then end up in The Forks, ME. We choose Northern Outdoors Resort with a camp site by the river. Has anyone ever stayed here or heard anythign about it? I think we will spend Sun and Mon night there to explore the area before heading northeast to the coast.

    Question: Should I make campsite reservations or do you think we will be ok to wing it at that time of year? I'm hesitant to plan specifics as we tend to change our route to suit the moment.

    We are thinking of working our way down the coast from the Calais area to Acadia, then leave Friday night for Boston to visit family and home on Sunday.

    Is this workable?
    reservations at a campground? Most only open some time in May..... just show up and during the first week of June you 'own the campground'. Not sure whether they will let you take a bike up Mt Washington at that time. Why not take the cog railway...... what a thrill! - Bob
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    Registered User rebake's Avatar
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    We are planning to make the same trip either before or after the R.A. rally.Thanks for the info. Ed

  14. #14
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    You don't need reservations anywhere in Maine in early June. In Bar Harbor, it's a time when many businesses still aren't open for the season.

    If you're gonna hotel-it near Acadia, I always stay here in Hull's Cove (a mile from downtown Bar Harbor):



    There's parking for the bike under the overhang. It's cheap, run by nice people, and straight out of 1955. (I have business in the area a few times a year.)



    And this is the view across the street:

    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  15. #15
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourunigo View Post
    reservations at a campground? Most only open some time in May..... just show up and during the first week of June you 'own the campground'. Not sure whether they will let you take a bike up Mt Washington at that time. Why not take the cog railway...... what a thrill! - Bob
    Hi Bob. This will be our second trip to Mt. Washington. (gotta try with the new bike!) If, for some reason we cannot ride up, we will move on. Thanks for the info, tho.

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