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2018 Down East Maine Ride

1863 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MNDirtRider
I decided to start this over for 2018, and to have the thread in the correct forum. June 8th, 9th, 10th 2018.
I have copied some of what I had said in the other thread just to save typing. I did some more reading on the Taylor Park ride a lot of you guys are doing in September. I know that it would be hard for any of you to come all the way here in the same year, but I changed the plan to June just in case some of you could.
@DrMud planted the seed on my Trail Jealousy thread to plan a 3 or 4 day ride here in Maine, and I think it's a great idea. The land we ride on is about 90% privately owned by forest products companies, blueberry growers and the like. No huge tracts of BLM land or National Forest land here. There are dozens of atv clubs whose members volunteer and work hard to maintain landowner relations, trails, etc. Due to the dense forest and topography the majority of the riding is on discontinued skidder trails, camp roads, and current logging roads. There will be tight, rough mucky sections, multi-use converted rail bed sections, open gravel road sections, public road atv access connectors, low bogs, high ridges, etc. Not a lot of wide open vistas like out west, of course, but there will be areas with nice views. The blueberry barrens in northern Hancock County is something most people have never seen anything like. You might see moose, deer, bear, turkey, eagles, loons, ducks, bobcat, or nothing! There are about 6000 miles of designated atv trail in Maine, so we have a lot to choose from. It would be cool to show a few of you that have never been to the north woods what it's like up here.
I wouldn't want anyone to travel a long way hoping for deep mud or technical rock climbing. I am not real familiar with places that offer that.
1. I don't seek it out
2. I have not traveled to many areas yet to know where you can do that anyway
3. Almost all of our trails are on private land that the owners have generously allowed atv riding on, going off trail to tear up a mud hole is the perfect way for the land and trail section to be closed forever.

To be work schedule friendly, this is what I am thinking.
Everyone get to the Ellsworth area and get to their lodging sometime Friday, June 8th. it would be awesome if we could all meet up that evening for a meet and greet, looks at some maps, etc.
Saturday AM, get together for breakfast in town by 630 or 7 am.
Head to the parking lot, Down East Sunrise trail and be ready to roll by 8 am.
Easy ride to the gas/convenience store in Harrington(about 34 miles)Top off with gas, have a coffee, etc.
Head north up through the willy wacks, go across the blueberry barrens, get to The Airline Snack Bar(another 35 or 40 miles) for lunch and top off with gas.
Head northeast to Grand Lake Stream,(another 35 or 40 miles) get there in time for supper. If we can pull it off, maybe all of us could stay at one lodge that serves dinner and breakfast. There are a number of choices. If not, the Pine Tree Store has a great little food counter with good choices(and gas!).
It's roughly 90 to 120 miles from Ellsworth, so it's a long day, but there are sections where you can make up some time by cruising 40 mph.
For the ride back to Ellsworth, we can take some different trails that end up in the same place so we get to see a little different scenery and trail conditions. It's daylight here in early June to around 830 pm, so we should be good.
Personally, I would rather head out Friday morning and get back Saturday evening, but I am thinking about folks that don't have Friday's off. If the consensus is a Friday, Saturday ride,(or even a Friday, Saturday, Sunday) we will adjust accordingly.
Obviously, if anyone is coming from a long distance and is going to make this into an extended trip/vacation, there are thousands more miles of trails to ride, or many more things to see and do. Acadia National Park, only 15 miles from Ellsworth, is something like the 2nd or 3rd most visited national park in the country.

If anyone needs lodging, search in Ellsworth, Blue Hill, Bar Harbor, and Trenton for the beginning and end of ride. Search Grand Lake Stream and Princeton for the overnight in the middle of the trip. Early June is not yet peak tourist season around here but plan well in advance if you need lodging. The Comfort Inn in Ellsworth has direct access through the adjacent LL Bean parking lot to the Down East Sunrise Trail. There are many other options close by that are cheaper. The parking lot at the beginning of the Sunrise Trail is huge so getting lodging in a hotel or a campground in the area then park and ride at the trail head is not a problem.
I'll post some links to hotels, lodges, anything I can think of that might be of use.

Hoping some of you can make it.
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Some lodging options in Grand Lake Stream. I have stayed at Grand Lake Lodge, Canal Side Cabins, and Shore Line Camps, all very nice. They all have excellent reputations. Weatherby's and Leens are full service lodges with meal plans.

Weatherby?s Maine Fishing and Hunting Lodge - Grand Lake Stream

Grand Lake Lodge ? [email protected]

Leen's Lodge - The Premier Destination for Maine Fishing, Family Vacations and Maine Lodging

Cabin Rentals in Grand Lake Stream Maine

Indian Rock Camps | Grand Lake Stream, Maine

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oops, post #2 has some links for lodging in the Ellsworth area, and links to the atv clubs whose trails we will be riding on, etc.
Another thought I had is we could split the ride up more over the 3 days and have time to play around more. We could leave Ellsworth on Friday morning, but would not have to get a real early start, say maybe 9-10am ish. Take our time, play around more on some different trails. The Airline snack bar is also a campground and has cabins. We could get there late afternoon and spend the night. Same drill next morning. Instead of being in a rush to get to Grand Lake Stream by supper time, we could take our time, play around etc. and roll into there by late afternoon. On Sunday, I would need to get going and get back to Ellsworth so I could get home and be ready for work the next morning, so I would just head out and roll the Ole Green right along. If anyone was making it a vacation, they could continue to do whatever they want.
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I actually start my vacation a few days before you plan on starting and don’t need to be back in Illinois until I leave for Destin on the 15th. May work but for a long trip I’d need my new tow vehicle by them. If Subaru releases the Ascent by then I’ll most likely be in. If not I don’t want to pull my Grizzly that far with my Forester XT. Max rating is 1500lbs to tow and I’m at max weight with my trailer. This would be a nice introduction to Maine.

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@stillmotion, that would be great! Hope you can make it, keep me posted.
Anybody else thinking about this?
Weatherby's and Leen's in GLS are real nice, but too spendy for my budget. I'll be staying at Grand Lake Lodge and cooking my own supper. Probably have breakfast at the Pine Tree Store.
I might be in. I live in R.I. I’ve done Bingham, Forks & Jackman in the past. Been riding NH for past 6 yrs. make sure you tell everyone who hasn’t done Maine to check Atv rules. Pretty sure no snorkels , no aftermarket exhaust. Don’t really know if they enforce. I realize this is private land so maybe this doesn’t apply. Got to get out of state tags through mail.
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I might be in. I live in R.I. I’ve done Bingham, Forks & Jackman in the past. Been riding NH for past 6 yrs. make sure you tell everyone who hasn’t done Maine to check Atv rules. Pretty sure no snorkels , no aftermarket exhaust. Don’t really know if they enforce. I realize this is private land so maybe this doesn’t apply. Got to get out of state tags through mail.
@rick, hope you can make it. Thanks for the tip.
I don't know about snorkels. As for exhaust, I do know that a spark arrestor is required. This is commercial forest product land, and they don't want forest fires. A 7 day non-resident atv registration is $54.00, a full year is $69.00. The full year runs from June to June. You can register online, they will mail you the stickers. Allow 30 days for them to get them to you.
(a) Each ATV must meet noise emission standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and in no case exceed 96 decibels of sound pressure when measured from a distance of 20 inches using test procedures established by the commissioner; or

(3) Operate an ATV without a working spark arrester.

B. In addition to any penalties imposed under this subsection, the court may, subject to section 9321 and Title 17-A, chapter 54, order restitution for fire suppression costs incurred by state or municipal government entities in suppressing a fire caused by an ATV operating without a working spark arrester.

26. Prohibited equipment. A person may not operate an ATV that is equipped with a snorkel kit or other equipment designed to allow the ATV to be used in deep water except with the permission of the owner of the land on which the ATV is operated or as provided in section 13159.
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Sounds fun

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Just an update, Grand Lake Lodge is full already for that weekend. I have reserved a cabin for two( wife and I) at Canal Side Cabins. If any of you are seriously considering this ride and plan on spending a night or two in Grand Lake Stream, I suggest you make reservations very soon. Most of them have a 30 day cancellation policy, so you would have until the 1st of May to cancel and get your money back.
I am going to have to close this thread and postpone any long range plans for this spring and early summer. We found out that my wife will need rotator cuff surgery from a fall she took, and it will interfere with June plans. The response to this plan was tepid to say the least, so I am guessing that no one is terribly disappointed. By all means, if any one wants to get together for a day ride this year, please keep me in the loop. I would like to meet some of the GC crew.
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Sorry to hear about the wifey mainehunter and it sucks to interfere with the ride.
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Sorry to hear about your wife and her shoulder troubles. I hope the surgery turn out well and she has a full recovery. Wish Maine wasn't so far from MN. I would love to get out there and see that part of the country. I've never been that far northeast and I've seen some o the vids from riders in Maine - it looks spectacular. Thanks for trying to put this together for others.
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