Riding the Megunticook loop

By Frederick Freudenberger | Apr 15, 2010
Photo by: Frederick Freudenberger With spring here good riding weather comes along plenty. This route around Megunticook Lake takes about an hour and a half to complete and is certainly a good way to spend part of the afternoon.

Although it may have come early, good spring weather seems to be playing peek-a-boo with us over the last few weeks and shows signs of coming around fully sometime soon. For many of you that may mean lounging in the yard or playing catch with the children.

For me, it means motorcycling.

Surrounded by countryside, lakes, streams, and the ocean it is not hard to find a scenic ride around the Midcoast. Here is worthwhile, 33-mile loop that takes a little less than one and a half hours non-stop.

There is a simple way to do this, and one that takes a bit of a tangent. Simplified, from Rockland, take Route 1 north until you get to Camden then take a left on Route 52. After a while of riding you will hit a fork where you take a left onto Route 173 south toward Lincolnville Center. Once you get into Lincolville Center take Route 235 to Union then Route 105 south to Camden. Route 105 will take you right to Main street/Route 1 in Camden and from there you can turn right to head back to Rockland.

Of course, I took a little more time with my ride.

If you want a nice roundabout way to Camden try going through Rockport. Off of Route 1, take a right on Pascal/Main Streets, which will get you into Rockport. In town, keep right to get on Central Street, which will eventually turn into Russell Avenue and Chestnut Street.

This is a nice tangent that takes you through quiet neighborhoods and a wonderful view of Camden Hills State Park in the distance with serene farmland in the foreground. However, be warned: Chestnut Street into Camden puts you into a one way road so you will have to turn left on Wood Street. On Wood Street take your first right to put yourself back where you can get on Route 1, a right turn.

Next up is Route 52. Going out of Camden, Route 52 will take you to a magnificent view of a sheer rock face as you head down to Megunticook Lake. The face is part of Camden Hills State Park, as is much of what is on your right, and you may see climbers testing their mettle on it.

If you want to stop for a bit you can go to the Barrett's Cove picnic area off of Beaucaire Avenue on to your left directly past the rock face. The park overlooks the lake and appears to be open to swimming during season although it is closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. One warning though, the turn may come up on you quickly and the pavement is littered with gravel so prepare for a tight turn and slight loss of traction.

If you keep heading down Route 52 you will come to a fork in the road where you can take a right to go towards Lincolnville Beach or a left to get to Lincolnville Center and, eventually, Camden.

Taking the right, onto Route 173 north, is a nice, although chilly road. It will put you at the intersection of Route 1 where you can go right (south) to head back to Rockland.

However, the route I am writing about goes left on Route 173.

If you have a hard time deciding, you can stop and get gas or a bite to eat at the convenience store at the fork while you make up your mind.

Taking 173 south (left) is a double-edged sword. I recommended it for the view but not for the road condition. The pavement was littered with potholes and cracks and if you are not confident in your riding I would recommend taking it slowly.

The route here basically follows the other side of Megunticook Lake back into Camden and, if you follow signs to Lincolnville Center, Union, and Camden, in that order, you should get there without having to remember road numbers.

The views, however, are pleasant as you pass the lake and wooded patches. There is even another park on this side, Shirt Tail Point Park, where you can sit and relax.

From this point, the directions pretty much end as you simply take Route 105 into Camden, then a right onto Route 1 back to Rockland.

So go out and, and in the good words of the rock group Queen, "Get on your bikes and ride!"

Here is a map of the route via google. Note: even though my ride took longer, the map says the route is only an hour. Click to see route map

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