Here in Maine, there is an extensive network of ATV trails throughout most of the state. ATV riders can take advantage of multi-use and multi-use rail-trails that run through diverse and scenic areas. You never know what you will see while traveling these trails, such as beautiful and seasonal scenery and wildlife. Perhaps, even a possible moose sighting! For more information about ATV riding in Maine, you can check out atvmaine.org. Here you can view maps and find out more information about the ATV Clubs located throughout Maine.
In our neck of the woods, we wanted to check out riding on a few of the trails maintained by the Carrabassett Valley ATV Club. Now that the cooler weather is here, this is the perfect time for riding. Even though autumn just started at the beginning of this week, the stunning colors of autumn have begun to emerge for a couple of weeks now. This is my favorite time of year and it will be over before you know it. Not only is this a great time for riding, but it is also a wonderful time to take advantage of the foliage for photography opportunities.
While living in the southern New York area and Connecticut, we found areas for public riding were and are still quite scarce. When we first moved to Maine, we wrestled with the idea of purchasing a snowmobile or an ATV. We didn’t rush into a decision and years later, we decided that we would go with a 2018 Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV. This serves two purposes, we get to view incredible scenery and also take advantage of photographing areas where we would never be able to reach on foot. The ATV also has enough room for carrying and storing our cameras and equipment. The day only has so many hours in it and this way we can see and cover more area in a shorter amount of time now.
Our travels took us to Sugarloaf Regional Airport in Carrabassett Valley, one of our favorite parts of the state. One of the areas to park for riding is located at the Sugarloaf Regional Airport and just behind the Sugarbowl on Route 27.
A convenient unloading ramp in the parking lot for riders using the trails located at the Carrabassett Valley Multi-Use Trailhead near the north end of the Sugarloaf Regional Airport in Carrabassett Valley.
A southern view of the Sugarloaf Regional Airport.
Here is the beginning of the trail from the parking lot. We first rode on Huston Brook Road and then turned around. The trail got pretty rough and narrow in that section and we changed our minds and decided to head back to ride south instead. I think this would be comfortable for a single rider, but not for two individuals riding on the same ATV.
We then rode south and crossed over Route 27. After riding a bit farther we crossed Route 27 again and made our way to Carriage Road. We have walked on Carriage Road on foot several times, but we were able to get farther this time and experienced the incredible views.
A bog located on the side of the road.
Another view of the bog.
The Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV parked on the side of the road.
The foliage showing a hint of autumn of the side of E Flagstaff Road.
The beginning of the Appalachian Trail from E Flagstaff Road.
An informative sign for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.
Stone steps located on the Appalachian Trail.
Making our up way the trail to see a view of Mount Bigelow.
Another magnificent view of Mount Bigelow.
We then rode back down Carriage Road and took a left to take a ride on the Poplar Mountain ATV Trail.
Riding up the Poplar Mountain ATV Trail.
The ATV parked on the side of Poplar Mountain ATV Trail.
A view from the walking trail.
The picnic table located on the way to the scenic view from Poplar Mountain ATV Trail.
Walking the trail along Poplar Mountain ATV Trail.
A scenic mountain view from Poplar Mountain.
Making our way back to Carriage Road.
A view of the woods along the trail.
Crossing over the bridge on the trail.
We then made our way back to the parking lot for the ride home.
It was now time to load the ATV back into the truck. This can be quite tricky, but the mission was accomplished with these Reese ramps.
Loading a Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV into a Ford F250 pickup truck with Reese ramps at the Sugarloaf Regional Airport in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.
The ATV loaded up and ready to go.
After loading the ATV in back of the pickup truck, we then made our way back home. First, we stopped for coffee at Anni’s Market located on 253 Main Street in Kingfield. We were in luck, because they had Carrabassett Coffee Company’s pumpkin spice flavored coffee. What a perfect ending to a great day and an excellent kick-off for the autumn season.
A few days later, we were both quite sore from our ride. Even though the trails were nicely groomed, we encountered a few rough patches, here and there. It was well worth it though and I can’t wait to hit the trails again.