Lincoln to Patten Route Description
Our second morning of riding continues heading north out of Lincoln, still following the Penobscot River, which is the second longest river system in the state. Quiet, pastoral country roads wind alongside the river. We’ll begin a slow climb just past the town of Mattawamkeag, “a river with many rocks in its mouth”, a former hub of the International Railway of Maine and a meeting place of many native tribes before that. The route continues on a northbound trajectory away from the water, climbing through forest-lined roads that remind us of the rich logging heritage of the area, through Sherman and Stacyville (home to our fabulous tent and porter crew!) and onwards and upwards to Patten and the Lumbermen’s Museum, with (fingers crossed! a beautiful dark sky) and a view of Mount Katahdin for the night.
Mileage: 55 // Elevation Gain: 2,776 ft.
Patten, incorporated in 1841, was the first town north of the Mount Katahdin range, giving it access to the upper East Branch and lower Allagash River basins, which were leading lumbering areas. Historically, it has the best agricultural land in the area and as a result, lumbering stimulated very early development of commerce and farming; and the town gained the status early on as the distribution center and cultural nexus of all the towns west of Houlton and north of Lincoln.
Today, Patten has a population of around 1,000, and benefits from being the gateway to the north end of Baxter State Park and the newly designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Patten has a small but vital downtown including several long standing and multi-generation family businesses. There is also an ever growing and well-established Amish community. Annual events include the Patten Pioneer Days, the Bean Hole Bean Hole Day Celebration, the Fiddlers and Fiddlehead Fest, and the Memorial Day Parade. Patten also boasts some of the darkest skies east of the Mississippi. Fingers crossed for a clear evening!
Our home in Patten is the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum. The museum has been operating since 1963, and offers a hands-on look at the lives of early timber workers through nine exhibit buildings, as well as amazing views of Katahdin.