Best Biking Trails Around Portland, Maine
Ranked as the second most bike-friendly state in the country by Washington D.C.'s League of American Bicyclists in 2015, Maine's diverse system of trails and greenways create a source of affordable, healthy recreation and convenient transportation for all ages. The extensive trail network offers the option for in-depth exploration on foot or by bicycle, allowing humans to experience nature with minimal environmental impact. Trail trekkers enjoy unique discoveries in new locations while supporting the preservation of unspoiled lands, and natural habitats for protected plant and animal species.
Thanks to a collection of cycling groups, bicycle-centric events, diverse scenic bike paths, and expansive open spaces, Portland was named one of the most bikeable cities by Outdoor Magazine, making it the obvious highlight of your next recreational New England getaway. Trails range in difficulty and landscape, alongside beaches and through woodlands, for epic healthy adventures.
Best Portland Area Bike Trails
Bradbury Mountain State Park
Located about a half-hour drive from Greater Portland in Pownal, Bradbury Mountain State Park is a popular spot for rugged off-road excursions, and much more. At just under 500 ft. in height, Bradbury Mountain is home to inspiring views. The expansive multi-use trail system ranges from wide to narrow pathways with slight to steep grades, so there is a trail for everyone from the casual explorer to the seasoned adventurer. Bradbury Mountain is the only state park in Southern Maine offering trails for shared-use in horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowmobiling, making for family fun all year-round, and memorable day-trips from the Portland area. On the park's west side, the Switch Back and Boundary trails are the most challenging, with sharp turns and steep climbs. The east side of the park is home to the rocky singletrack Ginn, Ragan, and Fox trails, and the expert-level O Trail. Bradbury Mountain State Park is open year-round, from 9:00 AM till sunset daily.
Cape Elizabeth Loop
The Cape Elizabeth Loop is a journey with many destinations. The ride hugs the shores of Casco Bay venturing past historic lighthouses and tranquil seascapes to picturesque Cape Elizabeth. The abbreviated path option covers about 22 miles, while the full 30+ mile route includes the Prouts Neck coastal loop. The family-friendly path features gentle terrain passing the Fore River, Old Port District, and vibrant communities that are home to boutique shops, inspired eateries, and scenic town parks. Highlights of the Cape Elizabeth Loop system include Two Lights State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Portland Head Light and Spring Point Ledge Light, so there are plenty of potential stops along the way for side-trips and spontaneous exploration.
Clifford Park in Biddeford is a fantastic option for limitless outdoor fun spread across 140 acres. There are tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, mini skate park, picnic areas, swings, and a playground, as well as miles of forested singletrack for mountain bike, bicycle, or hiking use. The trail network starts from the trailhead near the tennis courts, with the interior portions of the trail providing the greatest challenge, and the bordering exterior being the widest and most developed. Park hours are dawn to dusk daily.
East Coast Greenway
The massive East Coast Greenway covers 2,500 miles from the Canadian border to Key West, with a prime portion of urban trailway cutting through the Portland area. The Greenbelt Trail is the prominent span of the greenway for cyclists. This paved trail covers just under 6 miles one-way, through street crossings into woods and open fields. Pick up the Greenbelt Trail at South Portland's Bug Light Park (a great spot for a picnic lunch or morning yoga session) for a nice out-and-back journey, or extend your bike ride to include a day at Old Orchard Beach or the Kennebunks - approximately 40 mile and 85 mile round-trips, respectively. Maine's East Coast Greenway segment spans nearly 400 miles in total.
Eastern Promenade Trail
The Eastern Promenade Trail is a favorite among locals and visitors alike due to its accessibility and scenic segments. Nestled beside the shores of Casco Bay, the 2.1-mile Eastern Promenade connects to the 3.5-mile Back Cove Trail, which is a packed gravel path situated entirely along the water. Along the way, cyclists can take pause to discover the Narrow Gauge Railroad and East End Beach, with an option for a side-trip to explore Fort Allen Park.
Fore River Sanctuary
This 85-acre preserve is home to Jewell Falls (Portland‘s only natural waterfall) as well as a trail network through thick oak and pine forests with exceptional bird-watching opportunities. Nearby, pick up the Fore River Trail to Thompson's Point, Stroudwater Trail along a wooded riverside to Smiling Hill Farm, or the Capisic Brook Trail at Capisic Park, an 18-acre nature preserve and home to Portland's largest freshwater pond. The Fore River Sanctuary is open from dawn to dusk, year-round.
Bicycle Rentals, Service, And Tours
693 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04102 • (207) 773-1700
Offering road, hybrid, and mountain bike rentals starting at just $35 per day. Superior selection of modern e-bikes and fat bikes. Men's and women's models available. Rental includes helmet, lock, and platform pedals. Additional locations in Saco, Kennebunk, and Brunswick.
127 Marginal Way, Portland, ME 04101 • (207) 878-8741
Outdoor specialists offering full service and repair for bikes and skis. Rent classic mountain bikes and hybrids starting at $40 per day. Great selection of handpicked equipment for rental or purchase.
6 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101 • (866) 857-9544
Located on the waterfront in the heart of Portland's Old Port district, Portland Encyclepedia offers a wide selection of bicycle rentals for men, women, and children, as well as tow-behind child trailers for the tiniest riders. Rentals start at $20, including lock and helmet.
6 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101 • (866) 857-9544
Portland Encyclepedia's parent company, Summer Feet Cycling has been offering guided bicycle and walking tours of the Portland area (and beyond) for more than 20 years. Bicycle tours range from half-day tours to day trips and multi-day excursions, with suitable options for beginners to seasoned cyclists. Most tours include bicycle rental. Popular Portland-area tours include the 5 Lighthouse tour (12 miles with an 8-mile option to extend; 4-5 hours), Bike and Brews (4 or 8 miles; 2.5 hours), Explore Casco Bay (26 miles; 7 hours), and The Lobster Roll (25-30 miles; 6 hours).