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Region: Maine Beaches
Highlights: beaches, swimming holes, historical landmarks, lake, pond, river views, ocean views, rural, state/national park, urban, wildlife
|27-mile ride||27||Gentle terrain, some hills, for almost all cyclists|
|48-mile ride||48||Moderate terrain, hilly, for intermediate cyclists|
These gentle 27- and 48-mile rides begin and end in the summer vacation town of Old Orchard Beach, a town with a wonderful white sand beach and a bonafide old-fashioned amusement pier. Since Old Orchard Beach is a favorite vacation town for French Canadians, most signage is in both English and French. Fortune tellers share space with arcades, a roller coaster, and a Ferris wheel. There are many motels and restaurants. From there cyclists travel inland along the lovely Saco River and through rural farmland. Sun worshippers will want to take time to stop at Ferry Beach State Park, another fine example of Southern Maine’s sandy white beaches.
Special features: The beach and amusement pier at Old Orchard Beach; Ferry Beach; Saco River views; the old mill in the village of Goodwins Mills (Lyman)
Road conditions: Generally good
Cautions: Heavy traffic on US 1 in Old Orchard (in summer); ME 9 from Old Orchard Beach to Saco is narrow with no shoulder and heavy traffic (in summer); ME 35 is narrow with no shoulder and moderate traffic. Some roads have no shoulders.
Starting point: The rides originate from the Old Orchard Beach High School parking lot. From Maine Turnpike Exit 36, follow signs to Old Orchard Beach. Turn left at the traffic light on Emerson Cummings Blvd., following the signs for the Old Orchard Beach High School and the ballpark. The Old Orchard Beach Fire Station is at this intersection. Go 0.4 mi to the high school parking lot. Park away from the school near the tennis courts.