As one of the US’s most scenic states, Maine has a lot to offer anyone looking for time spent outdoors, and it’s an excellent choice for those who love to cycle. If you want to journey alongside dramatic, rocky shorelines, spot picture-perfect lighthouses, and see sleepy fishing villages, plus walk among pristine lakes, forests, and mountains, Maine is the place to be.
The revitalizing effects of time spent away from urban environments, immersed in nature, cannot be overstated. Maine truly offers the kind of breathtaking scenery to make a holiday unforgettable – it’s why we see so many cyclists, hikers, and other sightseers coming back season after season.
Join Summer Feet as we discuss Maine’s Gold Coast and some highlights awaiting all travelers to Maine. If we leave you inspired and ready to embark on your New England adventure, check out our Maine’s Gold Coast Tour or full selection of Maine Bicycle Tours.
What is Maine’s Gold Coast?
Maine’s Gold Coast is Summer Feet’s idea of the perfect Maine route to enjoy some of the most extraordinary scenery. Explore the Schoodic Peninsula and two of the most idyllic islands you’ll ever find, Islesboro and Mount Desert Island (home of the Acadia National Park).
The Gold Coast stretches from Portland, Maine, all the way to the Schoodic Peninsula, taking in countless treasures along the way. Whether you’re looking for fantastic scenery to photograph, delicious freshly caught seafood, or quiet regions for escaping on your bicycle, the Gold Coast region of Maine has it all.
We’re biased, of course, but our favorite way to get the most out of the area is by exploring on a bike. Traveling by bike allows you to cover sweeps of the outstanding countryside, stopping where you please.
If you’re interested in sailing or kayaking, the Gold Coast will provide plenty of chances to enjoy these pursuits. Whether you’re looking for a challenging journey or something more leisurely, the Gold Coast is the ideal place for an adventure.
Below we’ll outline the highlights you can expect from Maine’s Gold Coast and what you can expect if you choose to see it with Summer Feet Cycling & Walking.
Acadia National Park
No trip to Maine should miss the Acadia National Park, the crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia is one of America’s most famous national parks, welcoming 3.5 million visitors annually. Yet, your travels in Acadia won’t feel cramped or crowded. In fact, in Acadia, you can easily find yourself alone, peacefully breathing in the fresh forest air and feeling yourself returned to nature.
The Acadia National Park is like a distillation of all that is great about Maine. On this island, you have the freedom to hike, climb, explore the coastline, socialize while enjoying freshly caught seafood, and, of course, cycle until your heart’s content.
Cyclists can explore the 45 miles of the park’s famous carriage roads. A gift of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, the carriage roads provide travelers with car-free trails into the center of this natural, unspoiled wonderland.
Kayaking and Sailing in the Penobscot Bay
Located between Muscongus Bay and Blue Hill Bay, just west of Acadia National Park, Penobscot Bay is an ideal destination for those looking to try their hand at kayaking or sail onboard a delightful wooden schooner (two activities included on our Maine’s Gold Coast Tour).
Once you’re on Penobscot Bay, it’s easy to hop between the charming, historic towns and villages on the bay’s shore. Art lovers should visit Rockport, voted by Forbes Magazine as the prettiest town in America. Those interested in history should spend time in Belfast, a small city famed for its unique, historic built environment.
Meanwhile, the resort town of Camden acts as an excellent base from which to explore, offering a splendid mix of nature and small-town coastal life; after a day sailing in the bay, there’s nothing better than heading to Camden for some fresh lobster at a restaurant with a waterfront view.
Cycling Islesboro Island
Often described as Maine’s friendliest island, Islesboro offers guests a simple way of life. It almost feels like time moves slower in Islesboro. Established by fishermen in the late 18th century, Islesboro’s inhabitants have retained a traditional New England hospitality that makes this island so exceptionally welcoming.
Walk the Turtle Head Preserve trail to enjoy quiet beaches hidden away from the world. If you have more time to spend in nature, consider taking a boat from Gilkey Harbor to the Warren Island State Park, 70 acres of spruce forest. The park has no electricity or running water, so you are leaving the modern world behind here!
But pack well for a day’s hiking, and you won’t find a more peaceful place to enjoy a picnic.
Finally, no trip over to Islesboro Island would be complete without a visit to the Grindle Point Sailor’s Museum and Lighthouse.
Is there any more iconic symbol of Maine than its lighthouses? At Grindle Point, you can learn the history of this fascinating, friendly island community.
What to Expect on a Gold Coast Tour with Summer Feet
If you choose to join Summer Feet for our tour of Maine’s Gold Coast, you’ll get to experience the highlights of this heavenly stretch of Maine Coast across six days. We’ll cycle from one destination to another at our own comfortable pace, regularly stopping to explore.
In addition to cycling, you’ll get to savor a trip aboard a classic wooden schooner on Penobscot Bay. You’ll kayak along the Maine coast, enjoying that famous coastal scenery from the sea. And we’ll indulge in plenty of quality Maine seafood.
Included in your Gold Coast adventure: five nights of lodging in beautiful inns; four dinners, five breakfasts, and four lunches; hybrid Bike Rental, ferry transits, kayaking, and sailing aboard the schooner; entry to the Acadia National Park; experienced Summer Feet guides; detailed route notes and maps; van support including fresh water, ample snacks, and “relief rides”; Summer Feet souvenirs – a cycling water bottle and t-shirt.
Begin planning your adventure in one of the world’s most stunning coastal regions!
For more information on all things Maine, read our Summer Feet Blog. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about our Gold Coast tour or any other tours and services.