Maine Woods Rambler FAQ

Here are the answers to some questions you may have. It’s also possible you have questions we haven’t addressed, and if so, please contact us and we’ll do our best to get you the information you need.

What does the ride registration include?

  • Registration ($125) includes access to your choice of two fully supported routes: a 50 km (32-mile) ride or 100-km (63-mile) ride.
  • Friendly course support that includes downloadable Ride with GPS (gpx) files, marked routes, rider support, and mechanical and medical assistance, if needed
  • Well-stocked rest stops for recharging and refueling
  • A post-ride, wood-fired pizza and salad meal at NEOC’s brand new activity center
  • Optional free guided mountain biking on Saturday and Sunday for youth and family who don’t plan on riding the full route, and a variety of outdoor recreation options at NEOC, including hiking and kayaking. (Bikes will be available on Sunday for use during the guided ride.)
  • Lodging is NOT included. Check out camping options at NEOC here and lodging around Millinocket here.

Full Rambler Schedule:

Saturday, September 24:

2 – 7 p.m. – The Katahdin Gear Library bike service station opens. Note: Bikes should be in good working condition upon arrival; mechanics are available only for incidental repairs (donations accepted). KGL will also have small items—tubes, lube, bars, etc.—for sale.

3 p.m. – Guided trail ride by Katahdin Area Trails @ Hammond Ridge. This ride is approximately one hour long—both beginner and intermediate-level routes will be available.

4 – 7 p.m. – Rambler check-in opens at the New NEOC Activity Center (directions below). Maine Beer Company draft pours available.

5 p.m. – Guided trail ride by Katahdin Area Trails @ Hammond Ridge.

7 p.m. – Maine Outdoor Film Festival (MOFF) screening, with presentation from KAT, and KGL. Presented by KAT, KGL, and the Boreal Theater. 
Sunday, September 25:

6:30 – 7:15 a.m. – Check-in opens at the Activity Center (if you did not check in Saturday).

Note that the Rambler is a MASS START EVENT, meaning that all riders must leave at the same time. If you arrive after the 100-km riders have departed, and the sweep rider is already on the course, you must wait until the 50-km ride begins.

There is limited cell-reception on the course, and it is not entirely accessible by vehicle. For your safety it is important that our sweep rider is the last one in the group, and no one sets out after they have already left. Plan ahead so that you can arrive on time, and can do the course you want to.

7:30 a.m.  Welcome announcements & 100-km mass start.

9:00 a.m.  Welcome announcements & 50-km mass start.

11:00 a.m.  Guided family trail ride with bikes and instruction available courtesy of the KGL.

2 – 5 p.m. – Pizza dinner and Maine Beer Company pours @ the new NEOC Activity Center.

Why did the price increase this year?

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a shock to the world economy, disrupting supply chains and contributing to major delays in shipping. Prices are increasing for everything from food and fuel to lodging. In this landscape, and with the experience that we gained hosting the event in 2021, it became clear that an increased registration cost was needed to make this year’s event possible. The BCM does not profit from this event; registration fees cover the cost of the event.

What precautions are you taking due to COVID-19?

All riders, guests, volunteers, and staff at the Maine Woods Rambler must show proof of full vaccination at the event, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a provider (at-home tests are not accepted), with a matching photo ID. 

A COVID-19 Waiver certifying the above is included during the registration process. Additionally, all participants and volunteers may be required to wear a mask indoors or when in close proximity to others, such as during check-in or in food service lines. Masks will be made available if you do not bring one.

What time is check-in?

Rider check-in is open on Saturday from 4-7pm or Sunday from 6:30- 7:15 am. Check-in will be held at NEOC’s new activity center. See below for parking and directions.

What time does the ride start?

Both ride starts will be a “grand depart.” Please be on time to the start. If you miss the mass start of the 100-km ride, you will be asked to wait until the 50-km ride starts. This is important because there is varying cell reception along the route, and our sweep rider has to stay behind the last rider to know that everyone is safe, and when everyone returns safely. For this reason, we recommend checking in Saturday evening, if you are able.

100-km ride start: 7:30 a.m.

50-km ride start: 9:00 a.m.

Please note: No paper maps will be available at the ride. We recommend downloading the routes to your smartphone or navigation device to keep you on track. The files will be available just before the ride.

What will the route be like?

The route requires riders to be comfortable riding rough, mixed terrain over long distances in a remote, wilderness setting. Both routes will punish you with challenging climbs, test your brakes on fast descents, and reward you with sweeping vistas of the surrounding lakes, rivers, and peaks. You might spot a moose if you’re lucky! Route surfaces are a mixture of smooth gravel, rough gravel, and harsh, overgrown, barely-ridden gravel that may require you to hike-a-bike through a section or two. You’ll also ride some of the finest paved roads in the region (about 20% of the total length on both routes) and enjoy short stints on some of the best flow trail singletrack this side of the Mississippi. The 100-km route also features a water crossing where riders will be ferried across Pemadumcook Lake (or swim if they prefer!), and a cruise through downtown Millinocket to explore the stores, restaurants, and other amenities the town has to offer. Multiple support stations will be available along the course to make sure you have a great ride experience.

How many people will be attending?

The Rambler is capped at 200 riders, so get your spot early!

What type of bike and tires should I bring?

This is a tougher than usual gravel grind and we recommend you prep your equipment accordingly. Tires should be at least 42 mm wide (1.65”); you’ll get through on narrower rubber, but not without suffering more on the loose or rocky terrain, and running a higher risk of flatting. Carry flat-tire repair items, and know how to use them

Will this route be accessible after the event?

NOTE Riding on this route is NOT PERMITTED outside of this event. This event is being held with special permissions provided by The Nature Conservancy and Katahdin Forestry Management and trespassing outside of the Rambler will compromise our ability to hold the event in the future.

Is there parking on site?

Yes, parking will be available on site. Please click here for directions to NEOC’s new Activity Center.

Are meals included? What is the cost?  

A post-ride, wood-fired pizza and salad dinner is included with the registration fee. Food will begin being served at 2 p.m. at the new Knife Edge Restaurant at the Activity Center. Rest stops will have a variety of snacks to keep you fueled along the route. Maine Beer Company will also be on hand serving beer during the meal.

What is the cancellation policy?

Riders who cancel their registration before July 31, 2022 will be refunded in full, minus a 7% processing fee. Starting August 1, 2022, no refunds will be given to riders who cancel for any reason. If the ride is canceled by the event organizers because of extreme weather, state or local declared emergencies, or any other safety-related reasons on or before July 31, 2022, riders will be refunded in full, minus the processing fee. If the ride is canceled after August 1, 2022, no refunds will be given.

Registrations are non-transferable. Because the funds are allocated to goods and services related to the event, and the event itself does not serve as a fundraiser for the organization, your registration is not tax deductible.

If you have questions about your registration or need to cancel, contact

I need to cancel, can I transfer my registration to someone else?

No. Registration is not transferable, and you will be asked to show a photo ID when you check in. If you have questions about your registration or need to cancel, contact

Is water on the property potable? Should I bring a water bottle?

Potable water will be available on site, and yes, of course a water bottle (or two!) is a necessity. We recommend at least 1 liter to carry on your bike and refill at aid stations.

What is the weather typically like in September?

Maine can be unpredictable in the fall. Bring layers so you can be prepared for all weather conditions. Millinocket is inland and far north, so it can be colder in the fall than Southern Maine, but temperatures of 65F are also typical in September. And if you participated last year, you know that a torrential downpour is also not out of the question! It didn’t dampen the fun though!

Will I have WiFi or cell service?

WiFi and cell reception at NEOC has recently been upgraded, and should be available. AT&T will have the best service, as there is a tower nearby. Much of the course is a remote, wilderness setting, and cell reception will be intermittent at best. We recommend downloading the route file (which will be made available before the ride). For this reason, we have a mass start and it is important that you arrive on time, so our sweep rider can stay behind the last rider and know when everyone is off the course.

What are the lodging options?

Riders are responsible for booking their own accommodations. Lodging/camping may be available (but NOT included with registration) at New England Outdoor Center, and various campsites and indoor options around Millinocket.