A hut-to-hut mountain bike tour is a really fun way to experience the Maine backcountry, and our trail network links up with some of the best mountain biking in New England. The 80 mile plus, world-class system is suitable for both traditional mountain bikes (front suspension recommended) and fat tire bikes.
The riding accomodates all skill levels and once the temperature drops, you'll find our trails are groomed for winter snow biking, too. Easy-goers will enjoy beebopping between Stratton Brook Hut and Poplar Hut along the Narrow Gauge Pathway, a rail-trail style gravel path meandering beside the Carrabassett River, while more adventurous riders can gain some mileage on purpose-built single track and double track trails reaching as far north as Grand Falls Hut. The area from the Bunting Boat launch area to the Grand Falls is recognized as critical habitat for the Wood Turtle. Mountain Biking is permitted on the Trails leading to and around Grand Falls from July 15th - November 1st.
Make sure to book a gear shuttle for your pack with your reservation so you can cruise between huts without the extra weight.
Don't have a bike, yet? Contact one of the local bike shops below to set up a rental!
Check out TrailHUB, a free app for your phone that will give you a detailed picture of what our mountain bike trail network looks like. TrailHUB is a navigation tool with conditions updates and alerts set by the Maine Huts & Trails trail crew that lets you play like a local. Download the app, set up your account, select your state, activity, and organization (Maine Huts & Trails). Then you can view our trails, get detailed notes on their status, and even lock the screen to navigate without data as you make your way along your new favorite ride.
There are some great things happening in the Valley! Take advantage of weekend Free Shuttle rides curtosy of our friends at Sugarloaf. Come explore, this is Maine outdoors at its best.
We can keep talking about how amazing the biking is out here, or you could just come experience it for yourself!
Bike Rentals, Apparel, and Maintenance
Carrabassett Valley Bike - (207) 235-8863
Allspeed Cyclery - (207) 779-3951
AJ's Bikes (Fat Bikes Only) - (813) 685-2453
FIS (Ski tuning shop that does mountain bike maintenance, too) - (207) 265-5100
Find out more about out what trails are good for Fat Biking. We have great beginner and expert rides to chose from.
Fat tire biking is a really fun way to travel from hut to hut. It’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down, so whether you’re on a fat bike yourself or see them out on the trails, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Unlike skiing, the best conditions for fat biking are when the snow is hard packed and firm- so don’t waste a good powder day on your bike. If you're planning a fat bike trip weeks or more in advance, be ready to change your plans to skiing or snowshoeing just in case we get a big snowstorm. The worst skiing conditions are the best biking conditions, as the grippy tires are built to handle some ice, and you’ll be able to balance easily with more speed.
Consider other trail users. Bikes don’t need (or want) set ski tracks, so leave the tracked trail for cross country skiers. Also, remember to yield to skiers and snowshoers. December and April are prime months for fat biking. Weather and trail conditions are unpredictable, but early morning is almost always great riding. The trails are cold and firm at first, and start getting a little tacky as the day warms up.
AJ's Bikes - (207) 864-2850
Biking Hut to Hut
While it’s possible to bike between all of the huts, the best biking is around and between Poplar Hut and Stratton Brook Hut, and also at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center (closest to Stratton Brook Trailhead). From flat, wide trails, to technical single track, and even some sections of logging roads, difficulty ranges from beginner to advanced, offering something for every rider. Suggested trip itineraries vary depending on the bikers’ skill and experience level.
Bike Skill/Experience Levels
These bikers are generally described as “never evers”, or beginners that have ridden a mountain bike only a few times, who are looking to take the family or friends on a ride that everyone will enjoy with minimal experience. These riders often times do not have their own equipment and are generally looking for a fun but easy experience.
• For Bike & Equipment Rentals:
Suggested Beginner Itinerary:
- Ride the easier single and double track trails along the Narrow Gauge Pathway and at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. Leave the bikes at your car and hike into Stratton Brook or Poplar.
- Ride Huston Brook Road to the Huston Brook Falls (about 1.5 miles) to the beautiful Huston Brook Falls for swimming and lunch. Leave the bikes at your car and hike into Stratton Brook or Poplar.
These bikers are generally described as “avid” bikers, someone who commonly bikes 3 or more days a week. They are comfortable riding trails of medium difficulty (Blue Diamond: generally mix of technical and climbing trails). These bikers will most likely have traveled to other locations such as Kingdom Trails and are looking for new trails to ride.
Suggested Intermediate Itinerary:
- Ride the trails at along the Narrow Gauge Pathway and at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center then bike into Poplar via the Maine Hut Trail.
- Ride to Stratton Brook Hut (via Newton’s Revenge single track spurs) for the 1st night then bike to Poplar Hut for the 2nd night (can tie in the Narrow Gauge Pathway single tracks if desired).
- Ride from Flagstaff Hut to Grand Falls Hut (varying range of trail conditions, including possible wet and/or muddy areas, tall grass, and other obstacles. The experience of biking along the Dead River is worth the variable trail conditions!)
*Mountain Biking is permitted on the Trails leading to and around Grand Falls from July 15th - November 1st*
Suggested Advanced Itinerary:
- Ride to Stratton Brook Hut (via Newton’s Revenge single track spurs) for the 1st night and then bike to Poplar Hut for the 2nd night (can tie in the tracks along the Narrow Gauge Pathway if desired).
- Starting at the Airport Trailhead, ride to Stratton Brook Hut for the 1st night, bike to Poplar Hut for the 2nd night, continue along to Flagstaff Hut (very technical: roots & rocks) for the 3rd night, and then bike back to the Airport Trailhead to end the trip.
*There’s over 16 miles of dedicated single track, with the majority of that being best described as intermediate trails, varying between big elevation gains and technical trails*
Bike Trips & Events
Carrabassett Valley has quietly been growing a local mountain bike scene for a few decades, and it's really taken off over the past few years. There are mountain biking events throughout the year (yes, even winter), and an expanding network of some of the best single track in New England. Mountain bike rentals are available from local shops, and there are trails in the area for every level of rider.
Maine Huts & Trails Biking Rules
In addition to commonly understood rules of the road, please remember the following when using the Maine Huts & Trails system:
- Please pay attention to posted signage along the system indicating areas open/appropriate for biking and those that are closed to bikes.
- Control your bike and ride responsibly.
- When approaching hikers or other bikers from the rear, slow down and announce your presence. Pass slowly and safely.
- Please dismount and walk your bike through wet areas.
- When riding on gravel or paved roads use caution and watch for oncoming vehicles.