Mountain Biking at Maine Huts & Trails
Maine Huts & Trails is home to some of the best mountain biking in New England, and hut-to-hut MTB tour is a really fun way to experience the Maine backcountry. All trails except the Bigelow Approach Trail and the Hemlock Trail are suitable for both traditional mountain bikes and fat tire bikes. Most Maine Huts & Trails routes are fairly flat with no significant elevation changes, making the riding suitable for most skill levels. Got a hybrid bike? You'll be happy riding the Narrow Gauge Trail, Carriage Road, Long Falls Dam Road and hut service roads (not marked on the map).
Before heading out, be sure to check Trail Conditions for daily updates.
New to mountain biking? Read this:
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.
Unless posted otherwise, trails are open for riding from May to late October. Fat tire bikes are allowed year-round, but please help us maintain trail integrity by staying away from wet areas in the spring.
Biking Hut to Hut
While it’s possible to bike between all the huts, the best biking is around and between Poplar Hut and Stratton Brook Hut and at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center. 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.
Biking from Flagstaff Hut to Grand Falls Hut is another intermediate ride due to the 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!
At this time, the trail between Grand Falls and West Forks is only maintained during the winter season.
Fat Tire Biking
Fat tire biking (a.k.a. fat biking or snow biking) is getting more popular every year, and 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.
Just like mountain biking in the summer, you’ll want to use a gear shuttle (when available) when you bike from hut to hut for an overnight stay.
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.