- - Bikepacking Maine's Katahdin 360

Bikepacking Maine’s Katahdin 360

words and photos by Chris Shane

The Katahdin region of Maine boasts some of the most remote gravel riding in the United States. It almost seems too obvious, given these roads have been maintained through centuries of logging. Starting from Ambajejus Lake, riders are instantly transported into a new world with one left turn as they leave the pavement and enter the Maine woods.

The route we’ve chosen is an extension and slight variation of the Katahdin 360 bikepacking route, which is officially closed at present due to some minor land issues but will re-open soon. Our route prioritizes the Katahdin Loop Road, which offers some of the best views of the state’s tallest mountain. The quality of gravel along the loop road reinforces our love for this 20-mile section, and a few great climbs (and descents) make this a worthwhile component to a trip to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Following the East Branch of the Penobscot and Sebois Rivers, the route provides a real opportunity to go deep in the Maine woods for a short 10-mile section. Here, you’re only likely to find the likes of a moose or hordes of mosquitoes willing to join you into the great wilderness. Roads turn to class IV at best, with a bridge out that only foot traffic can pass now, meaning vehicular traffic hasn’t passed through this route in many years. We think that’s for the best!

Before arriving at the Baxter State Park ranger station, the Matagamon Campground offers a heaven in the woods, serving up foods including burgers, pizza, ice cream, subs, and ice-cold beer before taking on the last 40 miles of near-perfect hardpack gravel. We love booking a campsite in Baxter State Park and splitting up the ride into two days to maximize our time in the Maine woods. This could easily be extended to three days by staying in Katahdin Woods & Waters the first night at Lunksoos or planning a full day in Baxter State Park to do a hike before heading on back to your start the third day.

Leave a reply
Share on