Bike & Brew: Rolling Up to a Pint
People have often asked me, “I’m headed up to the Portland area, are there any good biking trails to ride, and get a great beer after?”
Absolutely. First, we’ll start with the “bike” and then get to the “brew.” In the Portland area, there are about 100 miles of good riding. The Greater Portland chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (GPNEMBA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to mountain bikers in the greater Portland area and is a great place to start if you want local riders’ trail suggestions.
But if you want to go off the beaten path, a half-hour inland, the town of Gorham has also turned into somewhat of a destination with about 50 miles of good trails, thanks to the town and many local landowners who have graciously allowed a team of dedicated volunteers to build trails on their land.
While Gorham doesn’t have much elevation, it boasts a great trail design with lots of flowy single track and there always seems to be a new trail popping up. Navigating with Trailforks (trailforks.com), or Alltrails (alltrails.com), explore the four distinct areas for riding: Weeks/Moody’s, USM, Tannery, and Hamblan. Each has its own unique feel and set of challenges. Most of them offer parking at the trailhead or you can park at Sebago Brewing Brewpub (29 Elm St.). The Village, or Tasting Room location, is a great start/end location. The USM, Moody’s and Hamblan areas are all just a few minutes away.
Start at the Village location and take Lincoln Street to where it crosses Route 114. There’s a crosswalk with a light just down the street. Follow the path through the high school parking lots to Frazier Preserve Trailhead.
From there it’s a pretty straightforward ride until you get to MBWEEE!, which is one of the most fun trails in the area. It has some great flow sections and a few gentle climbs. Continuing further into the network there is a very popular Lavoie Pump Track and adjacent to it there’s the brand new Signature Trail, which has equal shares of rollers, drops, subtle climbs, and even a wooden drop to test your “oh shit” skills!
The larger network on the Moody’s/Weeks area has some sweet single-track trails such as Shakedown Street, Nirvana, and Unchained (typically a “down” trail).
Upon your return, it’s time to reward yourself with a beverage or two. The Tasting Room at Sebago Brewing has a cozy bar and full restaurant seating area. The food is excellent, the staff are pleasant, and know their beers. One of my favorites is Frye’s Leap IPA (6.0% ABV). It’s clear, smooth, and has just enough kick to keep you interested. NED is another fine IPA at ( 7.0% ABV). If you’re looking for more of the floral hazy brews, there’s Haze FWD (6.7% ABV). There are many more on tap and available by the can. So if you’re looking for a great spot to get in some of the best riding in Maine and also taste some of the best beer around head for Gorham, Maine.