It’s sometimes surprising to view a visual record of where I go on my bikes. This one is wild!
I haven’t ridden this place in at least 10 years, and sure regret being away for so long. I so much miss riding in the woods right outside of my house these past three weeks. Deer hunting season lasts one more week, plus snow may come at anytime to dramatically change the riding patterns up here in Maine. Thankfully, deer hunting is outlawed on Sundays. When I heard that there was a Sunday Bubba ride to Bradbury Mountain State park, outside of Freeport, ME I was in. The ride from here is close to 4 hours of round trip travel, including stops for gas and coffee. Sunset is now at 4:04 PM, so you gotta take advantage of any good day to be out and this was it- blue skies, no wind, but there was that 26 degree start to the day.
There were tons of people out on the trails today. The parking lot was full. The riding is less technical than up here on Ragged and Pleasant Mountains, so you roll through the woods faster. There are few sustained downhills, so you pedal more, and pedal faster. I soon shed one of my three top layers, but needed the chemical toe warmers in my shoes to stay comfortable. It maybe hit 40 today. At the end of the ride, Rigger and Nate grilled up some brats and hot dogs, and Steve provided some chips for some needed calories that helped warm me up gain.
We stuck to the trails on the “East Side”. The following is some of the good information from the bikekinetics website :
General Description: Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, ME is a popular, four season outdoor recreation and trail destination. The park is located in the Casco Bay region of southern Maine just 30 miles from Portland and Auburn-Lewiston, two of Maine’s largest urban centers and 5 miles north of Freeport, a town well-known for it’s outlet shopping bargains. The forested, Bradbury Mountain with a summit scoured bald by glacier action during the last ice age, is the hub of Bradbury Mountain State Park. Rising to 469-ft above sea level, it may be considered more of a hill than a mountain, but mountain bikers from all over the northeast know that a mountain or park need not be huge in order to be a significant mountain biking mecca. This is certainly true of 800-acre Bradbury Mountain State Park, Maine’s first state park.
Over 18 miles of multi-use trails are shared by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and cross country skiers. The trails radiate out from the mountain like spokes on a wheel and run over varied terrain to create excellent mountain biking options and endless trail connections for riders of all ability and skill levels.
The panoramic views of the Casco Bay coastal plain, opportunities to watch migrating hawks, eagles and osprey soar on thermal updrafts or view the rainbow colors of changing seasons on the landscape below, draw trail users of all types to the summit of Bradbury Mountain. By design, there are trails of varied lengths and difficulty levels to lead you there.
Several trails that climb the steep southern face of the mountain, like the Summit and South Ridge Trails are designated for hiking only. The challenging and technical multi-use Boundary Trail, popular with intermediate to advanced riders, climbs the north and west slopes. The Northern Loop Trail provides an easier path with a gradual climb up the east side of the mountain.
Park Facilities: include over 40 camping and RV sites, showers, sheltered and open picnic areas, restrooms, playground and ball field.
There is even a bike wash station located at the south end of the upper parking lot to clean your bike after your ride. How cool is that!
The Trails: There are 18.8 miles of shared-use trails within Bradbury Mountain State Park. Of these, over 12 miles were designed especially for optimum mountain biking experiences. The well-marked and maintained trails vary from wide woods roads and doubletrack snowmobile trails to narrow singletrack trails. The Maine Department of Conservation is currently working to expand the trail system by linking Bradbury State Park to contiguous and nearby conserved lands. This includes the development of a trail from the park’s northern boundary, across Tryon Mountain, across a Power Corridor to the Pineland Public Land Unit, a state-owned parcel of woodlands and agricultural fields with an existing three-mile trail network.
Route 9 bisects the Bradbury Mountain State Park north/south dividing Bradbury Mountain State Park into two distinct sections: East and West.
Bradbury Mountain East Side Trails
All of the trails on the east side of the park are open to mountain bikes. Trail intersections are marked by numbered wooden posts. This is where you’ll find most of the intermediate and beginner singletrack trails. The trails range from fast and flowy to tight and twisty with ups and downs, drops, bridges, and rocky, rooty sections. There is no real elevation gain in this half of the park. The trails mostly wind through old abandoned fields that have reverted to a mixed growth forest of paper birch, red maple, white pine and red oak over the last 40 to 50 years.
Snowmobile Trail: 1.5 miles. Easy
The wide, doubletrack snowmobile trail bisects the area north/south providing connections to other trails in the section allowing for any number of longer loop rides. This wide thoroughfare trail is perfect for beginners getting used to biking off pavement in the woods. There are a few steep grades, however.
Knight Woods Trail: 1.1 miles. Easy
Wide family-friendly biking with kids trail with slight grade. Several interpretive signs along the route provide trail users with a brief history of the area, forest and wildlife.
Fox East Trail: 1.4 miles and Fox West Trail (IMBA): 1.2 miles. Intermediate
Narrow, singletrack with sharp turns, bridges, long skinnies, up and downs, slick rocky and rooty sections and a few steep hills. Warm up on the Fox West Trail built by IMBA then tackle the fast Fox East which is the more challenging of the two trails.
Ginn Trail: 2.6 Miles. Intermediate
Narrow singletrack with a series of technical, rolling climbs, several bridges and skinnies.
Island Trail: 1.3 miles. Intermediate
Relatively new trail accessed from the Lanzo Trail consists of narrow singletrack with very sharp turns and a few bridges.
Lanzo Trail: 1.6 miles. Intermediate.
Fairly level, narrow and flowy singletrack lined with logs. While you will encounter rock, roots and a few sharp turns and bridges, there is nothing overly technical.
Ragan Trail: 0.7 miles. Intermediate
Narrow, rolling and flowy single track with obstacles that you can can opt to go around. This trail also features a challenging, high bridge for those who have no fear of heights and the confidence born of practice on less lofty obstacles.
When I hear about any more rides to Bradbury, I’m going.