HomeTrails6 Best Maine ATV Trails

6 Best Maine ATV Trails

#1 – Bangor & Aroostook Trail

  • Location: NE Maine (near the Canadian border)
  • Length: 62.3 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Open: Year round except mud season (April/May)
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Rails to Trails, packed gravel
  • Towns: Mapleton, Washburn, Stockholm Caribou, Van Buren
  • Services Available: Yes

The Bangor and Aroostook Trail is broken into two separate sections that link up in Stockholm. One section of the trail passes through Mapleton, Washburn, and Stockholm while the other section connects Caribou to Stockholm and then continues on to Van Buren Maine right at the Canadian border.

Stockholm is a very small remote town less than 30 minutes the Canadian border. Most of the trail is remote, but there are some limited services available in the small towns the trail passes.

This trail features mountains, forests, fields, lakes, streams, wetlands and small towns.

This route is part of the former Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) that began service in northern Maine in the late 1800s to transport wood products and potatoes, the two big exports of Maine at the time.

As time and progress marched on, this railroad route fell our of use. Now, it’s become part of the popular “rails to trails” movement that transforms former railroad routes into trail.

This 62.3 mile ATV friendly route is a multi-use trail open to non-motorized users such as horse back riders, off road biking and hikers. In the winter, trail users can also enjoy snowmobiling, dog sledding and cross country skiers.

This trail connects to the 28.8 mile long Aroostook Valley Trail if you’re looking to add a few more miles.

Bangor & Aroostook Trail

#2 – Down East Sunrise Trail

  • Location: NE Coastal Maine (starts north of Bar Harbor Maine)
  • Length: 87 miles
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Open: Year round except mud season (April/May)
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Rails to Trails, packed gravel
  • Towns: Ellsworth, Cherryfield, Colombia Falls, Machias, East Machias, Dennysville, Ayers Junction
  • Services Available: Yes
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This 87 mile trail is part of the former Calais Branch rail corridor that has been rehabilitated for both motorized and non-motorized recreational use.

The Down East Sunrise Trail begins 30 minutes north of Arcadia National Park in the town of Ellsworth and runs 87 miles north easterly to Ayers Junction.

The Maine Department of Transportation bought 127 miles of railroad corridor in 1987 from Maine Central Railroad. They bought the corridor to preserve it for possible future railroad use. However, it’s not currently being used for trains, so they decided to convert part of it into the Down East Sunrise Trail.

Off roading In Maine
Down East Sunrise Trail BrotherM | Flickr

It’s quite possible that this trail could convert back to railroad use as that’s why it was originally purchased and preserved. But, it’s become quite popular as a recreational resource, so it would be a hard sell to convert it back to railroad use.

Parts of the trail pass through small towns where you’ll easily be able to find services such as motels and restaurants, while other sections are a bit more remote, so review the maps and plan accordingly.

You’ll cross over tree lined streams and salmon rivers on old wood slat bridges as you ride through the coastal mountain region of the mid to northern coastal Maine region – one of the popular and scenic regions of Maine.

This easy trail passes through deep forests and alongside marshes. Maybe you’ll even get lucky and see a moose as they make their home in the marshes. Since Maine is estimated to have between 60,000 – 70,000 moose, the odds are in your favor.

You’ll have plenty of other wildlife viewing opportunities on this trail as this region is also home to eagles, osprey, beavers, deer and wild turkeys.

This trails also passes by areas with lots of wild blueberries, so be sure to pack a little Tupperware container or just eat and pick as you go.

Down East Sunrise Trail

  • In some regions in Maine, the ATV trails are closed in spring and after heavy rain to minimize damage to the trails.
  • ATVing in Maine lives and dies with it’s ATV clubs.
  • There are a ton of ATV clubs in Maine!
  • Most ATV trails in Maine are on private land.
  • ATV clubs in Maine work hard to build relationships with private land owners in order to build and maintain ATV trail systems.
  • When off roaders cut trails, ride illegally or disrespect land owners, they end up closing off their land to off roading which hurts us all.
  • A very small segment of ATV trails in Maine require that you belong to a local ATV club. Most of these sections are in NW Aroostook County.
  • Maine is not ideal for dirt biking. A lot of land owners don’t permit bikes.

#3 – The Moose Trail

  • Location: Northern Franklin County
  • Length: 138 mile loop
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Open: Year round (open winter for snowmobiling)
  • Type: OHV
  • Surface: Varied – mud holes, hard pack, rock
  • Towns: Stratton-Eustis, Rangeley, Kingfield, Avon, Salem, Strong, Phillips, and Madrid
  • Services Available: All services easily accessible

The Moose Trail is one of the best ATV trails in Maine. This 138 loop trail that takes you through 16 towns spanning Franklin County Maine. This loop is a collaborative effort between the towns and the 8 ATV clubs that maintain portions of the trails.

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The towns have a variety of easily accessible amenities including campgrounds, cabins, luxury inns, gas and trail side restaurants.

Off roading in Maine
Franklin County Maine Philip Bouchard | Flickr

This trail offers some of the most varied terrain on the east coast. It’s hard to rate the difficulty of this trail because it’s all over the place.

The trail has large sections that are easy, but overall I would rate it as moderate. There are some rocky sections that need to be navigated. After a rain, there are some very serious mud holes that may even kick up the trail rating to an advanced level. You’ll definitely wish you had a winch.

Like most of Maine, this region is heavily forested with lots of water. The lakes, pond and streams make for an ideal habitat for moose, deer, eagles and other wildlife.

Moose Loop Website

Looking for more great off roading in Maine?

Find The Best ATV Trails In Maine

#4 – Mt. Blue State Park Multi-Use Trail

  • Location: Weld, ME
  • Length: 18 miles
  • Skill Level: Varied
  • Open: Year round (open winter for snowmobiling)
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Varied
  • Towns: Weld
  • Services Available: Campground, boat rentals

With 8,000 acres, Mt. Blue State Park is is the largest state park in Maine. It’s a year round multi-use state park with trails for hiking, horseback riders and ATVing. In the winter the trails are open to snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

Mt. Blue is a great location to spend a long weekend. You can enjoy 18 miles of challenging ATV terrain on old unimproved roads with some forested areas. There is a large parking area available for trailers at the park headquarters with direct access to the OHV trails.

Most of the trail would be rated easy – moderate, but there are some steep climbs/descents, gravel, exposed roots and bouldering. Occasionally there may also be downed trees.

But Mt. Blue has a lot more to offer than just ATVing. This state park also has a lake with a lakeside campground with 136 wooded sites. Boat rentals are available as well as a ramp for launching your own boat. Enjoy the swim beach or take a short stroll along the shoreline.

The 3.2 mile round trip hike up Mt. Blue is popular with visitors. At 3,187 feet, this moderate hike will take you 3-4 hours and reward you with sweeping vistas.

.gov Website: Mt. Blue State Park

Mt. Blue State Park Brochure With Trail Map

#5 – The Forks to Moosehead Lake/Greenville

  • Location: The Forks 
  • Length: 70+
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Open: May 15 – December 15
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Dirt, gravel
  • Towns: The Forks, Greenville
  • Services Available: Full services available in Greenville, limited services in West Fork

Located at the intersection of the Dead River and Kennebec River, The Forks is famous for it’s whitewater rafting. But it’s also a great area to bike, hike, fish and ATV. It’s also popular in the winter for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

The trip from The Forks to Greenville on the shores of Moosehead Lake is an all day that the whole family will enjoy. The forested trail is wide, level and easy to travel. It’s dirt with some gravel pack. Depending on recent rains it may be dusty or muddy.

Greenville is an ATV friendly town and allows ATVs to travel through the main part of town to access gas, restaurants and shops. Stop in at The Stress Free Moose Pub for a delicious lunch.

You have a couple different route options you can take for this trip. It can be done as an out and back or as a longer large loop with a different return. There are also several different spurs and trails providing you with plenty of riding options.

The Forks is a popular outdoor destination in Maine. Only a handful of people live in The Forks, so it doesn’t have any services available like gas or groceries. Gas is available a couple miles up the road in West Fork though.

Because this area is such a popular outdoor destination there are several resorts in the area that have lodging and food. Northern Outdoors in The Forks makes a great base for an ATV vacation. (They have their own microbrewery!)

If you have the time, ride up to the B52 Crash Site on Elephant Mountain. This is a memorial site for the nine crew members of a B-52C Stratofortress that crashed during the cold war in 1963. The remains of the crash remain to this day along with a memorial honoring the deceased.

Sometimes the road to the B52 Crash Site may be closed due to logging.

The Forks Trail Map (loads a little slow, but worth the wait)

#6 – Jackman To Pittston Farm/Seboomook Lake

  • Location: Jackman Maine
  • Length: 120 miles round trip 
  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Open: May 15 – December 15
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Surface: Dirt, gravel
  • Towns: Jackman
  • Services Available: Gas/Food/Lodging @ Pittston Farm, all services available @ Jackman

This trail is a actually a collection of trails that take you 40 miles from Jackman to historic Pittston Farm located at the north and south branches of the Penobscot River.

Jackman is a small town of 800+ people, but it has everything you need for your trip: lodging, gas, restaurants and a small grocery store. Your destination, Pittston Farm, is a remote adventure lodge for hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.

Pittston Farm has lodging, gas and a restaurant available, so it makes a perfect day trip. Or you can also make this trail part of a multi day trip. This segment can be combined with The Forks to Moosehead Lake/Greenville Trail and some other trails to make a large multi-day loop. Or choose a comfortable home base and plan daily adventures.

This heavily forested trail is easy, but it does take you deep into some remote areas.

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