Places to ride

As a shock to many exploring our coastal community for the first ton, there is a TON of riding in the Greater Portland area — closing in on 500 miles! From cross-country routes that leave straight from downtown Portland, to the well-maintained loops in Gorham, the rough technical riding and descending in Falmouth, there’s a ton of variety to choose from. We’ve highlighted the most popular trail networks below.

**Please ride responsibly and ensure that you are only riding on legal trails with landowner permission.

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Portland City Trails

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Portland Trails maintains a great network of mountain bike-accessible cross country trails in the city of Portland, many of which loop into neighborhoods west of the city. Fore River Sanctuary and the trails behind Evergreen Cemetery have a number of fun mini-loops, and following this 12-mile route (which will involve connecting through various neighborhoods) will yield more than 2 hours of fun cross country riding.

Cape Elizabeth: Winnick Woods, Robinson’s Woods, and the Gull Crest Trails

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Riders and hikers of all ages frequent the greenbelt trails winding through the forests that connect the neighborhoods and designated conservation areas together. A 7-8 mile loop can be connected which would include Winnick Woods, Robinson’s Woods, and the Gull Crest Trails in Cape Elizabeth. All three concentrated riding areas offer miles of windy single track, good for beginners or advanced riders alike. Trails will take you by beautiful ponds, over tricky bridges, and through technical rocky sections.

Beginners often enjoy Robinson’s Woods well maintained outer loop as a great place to get a taste of New England riding GP NEMBA has held many trail days in these areas, check out the bridges in Winnick and the boardwalk and bridges in the Cross Hill area just outside of Winnick. This long (14 mile) route shows you how to connect all 3 trail networks.

Gorham: Moody’s, USM, Tannery, Hamblen

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GPNEMBA volunteers have done a huge trailbuilding effort over the years in the Gorham area at places like the University of Southern Maine campus, Moody’s, Hamblen, and the Tannery to build almost 50 miles of trails that make the most of the area’s minimal elevation, with tons of fun bridges, berms, tight corners, features, small jumps, and now a well-loved pumptrack in the Moody’s network (southern Maine’s first!). The trails in Gorham tend to be smoother, more buffed out, and more friendly for beginners than many others in the Greater Portland area. To get oriented, check out the frequent group rides GPNEMBA will lead around Gorham, which you can find out about on our Facebook page. Otherwise, find a few suggested loops here. Much of the Gorham network is maintained by GPNEMBA for fat biking in the winter, as well.

Riders who are in the Gorham/Westbrook area and like to get airborne can also check out the trails behind the Congin school in Westbrook.

Falmouth: Blackstrap Preserve, Lowell Preserve & beyond

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Blackstrap Preserve in Falmouth hosts some of the longest sustained descents in the Greater Portland area, and is popular with advanced riders. The area is rooty & rocky, and much of it better suited to intermediate and advanced riders (such as the classic descent Raven). However, work in recent years has added a more beginner-friendly out-and-back to the main Blackstrap summit (River trail to Updraft, then back down), as well as a spectacular flow trail (Flow Creek) out of the same Hurricane Road parking lot. Bustamove is another jump trail in the network with an approachable climb that is more intermediate level.

For folks looking for one of the top advanced all mountain routes in the areas, follow this 12-mile loop. Blackstrap also connects to Hadlock Forest to the east and Lowell Preserve to the west, both of which offer technical cross country riding that gets less traffic and upkeep than Blackstrap. In the coming year, a new trail system will be added to the west of Lowell Preserve in Windham that’ll make this area the largest continuous recreation corridor in the Greater Portland area!

Libby Hill

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A fun mix of cross country and all-mountain riding on a smaller network in the town of Gray. It also includes Libby Thrills, the largest jump system on any public trail network in Maine, with professionally-built tabletop jumps that can match those of any bike park. Aside from Libby Thrills, the surrounding trails off the same Northeast corner of the network offer up some smaller jumps and shorter all-mountain descents.

Bradbury State Park

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Near Freeport and Pownall sits Bradbury State Park, replete with a campground, with paid access. More climbing and technical descending is possible on the west side of Halloween Road (including a great view from the top of Bradbury Mountain), while technical cross-country riding (with a healthy dose roots) is available on the east side. A variety of different length loops can be found here.

Where else?

Other networks that are less trodden include the West Side Trail in Yarmouth, Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, and Knight’s Pond Preserve in Cumberland.

Farther afield, mountain biking in real mountains can be had roughly 90 minutes away in the Bethel area and Mt. Abrams Bike Park, North Conway in New Hampshire, and, farther north, the Carrabassett Valley trail system on and around Sugarloaf ski mountain.