Patten to Millinocket Route Description
On Tuesday, riders leave behind the mountain view for a while as we steadily gain elevation and head east toward Island Falls. Woods are the name of this BikeMaine; riders will traverse green country roads, home to vibrant Amish communities, before the route’s great turn to the south. We will catch more majestic views of Katahdin on Golden Ridge Road, and we’ll briefly leave Penobscot County and enter Aroostook County as we pedal past the farms and fields of Sherman. From here the route loses its elevation as we continue south and downhill, meeting back up with the Penobscot River.
We’ll follow the curves of the east branch, cresting more ridges with vast mountain views as we go, to its confluence with the west branch in Medway. We’ll pedal west on the Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway over Dolby Pond and past Baxter State Park Headquarters into Millinocket, a southern gateway into the park, and our layover location this year.
Mileage: 59.8 // Elevation Gain: 2,541 ft.
The Town of Millinocket was founded by and sustained by Great Northern Paper Co. (GNP) in the 20th century. For 100 years, GNP provided jobs for the majority of resident families, and funded essential infrastructure, the school system, and the regional hospital. Globalization resulted in the mill’s closure in 2008. The community has been grappling with the challenges of reversing that economic free-fall. Our mission is to maintain a healthy and vibrant town that meets the needs of residents and visitors, and to guide future development in a manner consistent with community goals.
Millinocket sits at the headwaters of the Penobscot River at the threshold of an expansive wood basket and in the shadow of Maine’s largest mountain, Katahdin. Our 4,400 residents are surrounded by world-class outdoor recreation amenities, including whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing, hunting, single-track mountain biking, and glamping with stunning views of the North Woods. Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in the nearby 210,000 acre Baxter State Park. The newly dedicated Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is adjacent to Baxter State Park with an additional 88,000 acres of recreational wilderness.
BikeMaine riders will be able to experience all of the world class outdoor recreation opportunities Millinocket has to offer, as well as dining, lodging, art, and culture as we spend a layover day exploring the area.