Biking through a New England Fall
In September, 2010, I rode from near Lehighton in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to Boston, Massachusetts by way of Bar Harbor, Maine. This tour took me through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. You can approximate my route by the waypoints I entered at trackmytour.com
I spent the most time in Maine (14 days) and up to a few days each in the other 6 states. I split my nights between hosted home stays (couchsurfing and warmshowers) and motels just about evenly.
I followed the ACA Atlantic Coast route for about half of the 1200 miles I rode. I got a great deal of input on the non-ACA route from several people I found on various internet forums. The opportunity to do this tour came up relatively quickly and I didn't have the chance to do my usual several months of planning. What planning I did do is described here.
Without question, the main trip highlight was watching the trees change color. There was a bit of yellow and some red at the beginning of the ride in early September. By the end, early October, there were large sections of multicolored trees in every vista I rode through.
Other high points include:
- Riding north through Massachusetts from Great Barrington to North Adams first along the Housatonic River and then on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Bike Path.
- Riding through New Hampshire's White Mountains on the Kancaumagus Highway in a steady drizzle. Or, Cranking the Kanc, as the locals put it.
- Two days spent riding around Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island.
- Riding along the Southern Maine coastline from Kennebunk to Kittery.
- Getting to know a dozen wonderful people willing to open up their homes to a tired bike tourist.
For a quick look, I selected photos from each day of the tour.
While this was not an easy bike tour (there are no flat roads in Maine!), it was one of the best I've taken. Every day I saw something beautiful and inspiring that either put a smile on my face or left my mouth agape. For me, this is what bike touring is all about.
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