The Polaris Adventures program presents a golden opportunity to explore new territory and we found a great place to experience it first-hand. Maine has incredible scenery but also is a year-round powersports mecca, with trails that run in nearly every direction and some right up to the Canadian border. We’ve had many excellent riding adventures in Maine and will always jump at an opportunity to come back. Our destination on this trip would be 201 PowerSports near the town of Bingham.
201 POWERSPORTS - PART OF THE NETWORK
We’re a big fan of the new Polaris Adventures Network. It opens up the world of off-road recreation to many people who might not ordinarily get a chance to experience it as we do. The program’s success relies on partnering with quality outfitters, and 201 PowerSports is part of that larger network. Co-owner Scott Hunnewell and Scott Newton both run 201 PowerSports with the help of their families, mechanics, and trail guides, and it is their goal to make sure you enjoy your time on and off the trail. As part of the Polaris Adventures network, a big part of their business is renting high quality machines, but they’ve also created a complete power sports hub for ATV’s and UTVs in the summer, with snowmobiles being the vehicle of choice in the winter. They also stock a pro-shop with parts, accessories, apparel, tee’s, and pretty much anything else you would want for your trip. If you are heading into the backcountry of Maine where the terrain and weather can change quickly you had better be prepared. The 201 crew will make sure you are.
We were happy to find a fully prepped, ready to ride Polaris RZR 900 EPS at 201 PowerSports but there are 4 seat RZRs ready to go also. Thankfully, both were equipped with the extra rear storage which is always welcome on a long trail ride. And there is plenty of riding to be found in Maine.
You’ll have a difficult time exploring Maine’s 6500mi interconnected trail system (The largest interconnected trail system in the United States!) in your lifetime, but the crew at 201 PowerSports has several options for length of trip, terrain, and difficulty of ride that will get you a good overall impression of the system. Options are:
VIEW THE VALLEY
A 2hr express trip allowing a taste of riding alongside rivers and streams, and topping it off with a completely amazing view of the Kennebec River valley atop Johnson Mountain
TOUR of the TOURS
A good half-day (4 hr) trip allowing you to experience the same viewings as the 2hr ride while venturing onto a wind farm project. At the top is a spectacular 360º view, with windmills silently spinning away all around. Terrain is gravel trails, logging roads, a little mud in places, and some rocky sections. It’s a little bit of everything.
This is a 6hr full day ride similar to the half-day tour, but with more mileage, more mud, more rocky sections, and with the delight of 2 stops with a homemade lunch. Thursday through Sunday is a stop at Poppa Jo’s Home Cookin’ for pies and specialties, homemade jellies, jams and salsa, as well as fresh meats for hot and cold sandwiches, soups and chili. The Abbot Bakery is not to be missed if you have a sweet tooth, and you’ll consider stuffing the storage box full of treats to bring home.
SMOKIN’ MUD HOLES
It’s 8 hours and 100 miles to Spring Creek where you’ll get great BBQ from Mike and Kim Witham along with some entertaining stories and jokes. The trail is a balance of smooth terrain, old railroad bed, some mud, and of course rocks. You will loop towards Moosehead Lake in Greenville, then back to Barrows Falls for some wicked mud holes. Once those are conquered you’ll pass through the wind farm, and back to town. Don’t forget to stop at Here’s the Scoop for ice cream!
This is a long ride but worth it! At 150 miles it’s a complete day, with every type of terrain and riding experiences from the shorter adventures, but with additional trail miles and stops at Moxie Lake and other interesting places to explore. You’ll also need a stop for fuel but it’s nice to get out and stretch the legs. You’ll cross the Appalachian trail system on the east side of Moxie Lake for one of your best opportunities of seeing a Moose, but they can be nearly anywhere there is standing water and dense cover so be prepared at all times! They are HUGE!
If this is still not enough riding for you there are more options. You can book multiple day trips, some with camping, you can opt for a serene pontoon boat ride at the end of the day to watch the sun settle into the water, or you can put in your application and become a guide for 201 PowerSports where you’ll get to do it every day! It’s not a bad way to spend the summer! Some of the adventure rides can even be combined with the late afternoon / evening boat rides making a truly memorable experience.
PLACES TO STAY AND PLAY
Three days on the trail meant we would be looking for a clean shower and comfy bed at night. 201 PowerSports does not currently have their own lodging but they work with several local places that are highly recommended and worked perfectly for us! Each place has their own amenities and personality. They include:
The Riverside Inn – (Bingham, ME)
Owners Scott and Vicki Stanchfield make you feel at home at their huge inn, which just as the name implies, is right on the Kennebec river. A huge porch is a great place to kick back after a day of riding. The price is very affordable at about $40 per person, per night with a minimum of 2 guests. The Riverside Inn can be found on Facebook, or contacted by phone at (207) 672-3215
Pine Grove Lodge – (Bingham, ME)
Located right on the trails, the Pine Grove lodge makes it easy to stay and play. Clean, comfortable accommodations are found in the lodge or in one of their private cabins. Other nearby activities are fishing, hunting, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife tours, and pontoon boat lake cruises. The cost to stay at Pine Grove is also very reasonable. www.pinegrovelodge.com or call 207-672-4011
Gateway Recreation and Lodge – (Bingham, ME)
When the trail master for a local club is also the owner of the inn you can be sure you’ll find excellent trails. The Gateway is a four season stop that offers 7 new cabins with private baths, bedding, and room for 6 to 8 guests. All cabins have refrigerators, CD player/radios, and coffee makers as added amenities. Three of the cabins are equipped with complete kitchens, and you can always cook over the open fire at night as you relive the days adventures. You can find Gateway Recreation at: www.gateway-rec.com or phone: 800-440-0053
Maine certainly offers incredible outdoor recreation and as much as we love exploring the trails, throwing a line in a lake or staring at the flames of an evening campfire while the frogs chatter away is a great way to spend or end the day as well. 201 PowerSports and the Polaris Adventures program makes it possible. Maine makes memories!
29 Main Street, Bingham, ME 04920 Phone: (207) 672-3773
POLARIS ADVENTURES NETWORK
A MAINE REFERENCE GUIDE -------------------------------
RESTAURANTS TO SAMPLE:
- Spring Creek BBQ – Monson, ME. Known for its smoked foods, homemade salad and dessert. You can never go wrong with great BBQ! www.springcreekbar-b-qmaine.com - 207-997-7025
- Abbot Bakery – Abbott, ME. All the stuff you dieted before vacation for. Doughnuts, pies, cakes, and dessert offering fresh sandwiches as well as ice cream. Enjoy! Facebook @ Abbot Bakery Village - (207) 876-4243
- Longfellow’s Restaurant – Kingfield, ME. Casual family dining with hearty, homemade soups and specialties. Perfect for chilly fall or spring rides. Full Day riding adventure with the best views and most challenging trails. www.longfellowsme.com - (207) 265-4394
- Patrick’s Pub – Bingham, ME. We love a good pub! Offering appetizers, fresh salads, pub food and entrees, along with a good time! As a big bonus, Patricks Pub is attached to North Country Rivers offering camping, lodging, moose safaris and whitewater rafting. Truly home away from home! www.northcountryrivers.com - 207-672-4814
- Here’s the Scoop – Bingham, ME. Located at the Riverside Inn, a local dairy / ice cream treat with their very own special, the “Dusty road to Bingham” sundae featuring coffee ice cream and maple glazing! Forget the diet – You’re on vacay! Facebook @ Here's the Scoop - (207) 672-9386
PREFERRED TRAILSIDE LODGING OPTIONS:
- North Country Rivers – Bingham, ME. Definitely a favorite of ours. Cabin and bunkhouse lodging, RV camping, tent camping, restaurant, white water rafting, kayaking, moose safari’s, and a 9 hole disc golf course. They can book the whole package for you! www.northcountryrivers.com - 800-348-8871
- Bingham Motor Inn – Bingham, ME. Clean motel rooms, pool and a huge hot tub. Also room to park a truck and trailer. It’s simple, but everything you need. www.binghammotorinn.com - 866-806-6120
- Sunrise Ridge Cabins – Moscow, ME. Cabin Lodging about a 5 minute drive from town but definitely where the wilderness starts. Offering trail riding adventures, but also many hunting and fishing possibilities. www.sunriseridgeguide.com - 207-672-5551
- Evergreen’s Campground – Solon, ME. Cabin lodging, RV sites, and tent camping on site. Also offering dinner Friday and Saturday nights, and an all you can eat breakfast Sat and Sun mornings. Load up on pancakes and eggs, and hit the trails! www.evergreenscampground.com - 207-643-2324
- Pine Cone Acres – Solon, ME. Remote cabins located just 9mi from 201 Powersports. Check them out on Facebook @pineconeacres209 - (207) 643-2336