New England Seacoast - Port of Call
September 8, 9 – 16, 2012 Portland, Maine
420 miles/8days(2 optional ride days) I45-I60
Balance due August 1, 2012
Treat yourself to a cycling vacation on the quiet roads along the craggy coastline of southern Maine, New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Pedal beside the dazzling white sand beaches south of Portland, Maine dotted by lighthouses and island studded bays. Bird watching is extraordinary in the many state parks, wildlife refuges and Audubon centers long the way. Explore the many quaint towns and villages where residents once relied on ship and trolley building as a way to earn a living and raise their families. Experience a region that is rich in history and industry, from lobster and fishing to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard whose primary mission is the overhaul, repair and modernization of Los Angeles-class submarines.
Saturday, Sept 8: Arrive, check in, Hampton Inn, So, Portland, ME 207-773-4400 and attend tour orientation meeting at 5:30 PM.
Sunday, Sept 9: Portland, ME to Ogunquit, ME – 65 miles
Our tour begins in Portland, Maine and travels south along the coast with our first stop being the oldest Lighthouse in Maine at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth http://www.portlandheadlight.com/ . Continuing on, we will visit the many different types of wildlife that reside at the Scarborough Marsh Nature Center http://www.maineaudubon.org/explore/centers/marsh.shtml. Our route passes through the scenic towns of Biddeford, Kennebunkport and Wells Beach before stopping for the night at the Mariner’s Resort in Ogunquit, ME, http://www.marinerresort.com. Our hotel is located along the Trolley line about 1 mile to the north of town. Great selections of dining establishments await us there in this town that is a renowned artists’ colony. http://www.ogunquit.org/
Monday, Sept 10, Ogunquit, ME to Exeter, NH – 55 miles
On our 2nd day we continue our journey south along the Maine coast through the towns of York Beach and Kittery and past the Naval Shipyard http://www.navsea.navy.mil/shipyards/portsmouth/default.aspx, on into New Hampshire. After we pass through Portsmouth, we will venture inland to the classic New England town of Exeter www.exeterarea.org for our overnight stay at the Exeter Inn http://theexeterinn.com/
Tuesday, Sept 11: Exeter, NH to Rockport, MA – 60 miles
Our 3rd day’s ride will take us into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We’ll follow the Merrimack River from Amesbury to Newburyport on our way to Cape Ann http://www.cape-ann.com/ where we’ll enjoy a 2 night stay in Rockport at the Rockport Inn and Suites http://www.rockportinnandsuites.com/. From there it is just a short walk to downtown where there are a bounty of restaurants and shops including many in picturesque former fishing shanties on Bearskin Neck.
Wednesday, Sept 12: Loop Day from Rockport, MA – 50 miles
The 4th day features a 50 mile optional loop around Cape Ann that will let us explore the towns of Gloucester, Manchester and Beverly, each village with its own unique personality. If you choose not to ride, other activities available to you include lobster boat charters, whale watching tours and sea kayaking. Or, you can take the commuter rail to downtown Boston for the day.
Thursday, Sept 13: Rockport, MA to Newburyport, MA – 50 miles
Day 5 redirects us back north along the coast to Newburyport, MA. Along the way we will travel back through Essex and Ipswich. Newburyport features three lighthouses and is the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard. Off-shore is Plum Island, home to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge which protects 800 species of birds, plants and animals and is considered one of the country’s top bird watching destinations. http://www.fws.gov/northeast/parkerriver/ . After visiting the refuge, we’ll spend the night at the Essex Street Inn located in the quaint downtown area of Newburyport. http://www.essexstreetinn.com/ , http://www.newburyportchamber.org/
Friday, Sept 14: Newburyport, MA to Ogunquit, ME – 50 miles
On our 6th day we will continue traveling north crossing the Merrimack River into New Hampshire and head east to Ocean Blvd., Hwy 1A with views of beaches, state parks and numerous bays and points. Making a right turn onto Hwy 1B we will go past Wentworth by the Sea, a Grand Hotel and Spa built in 1874 to entertain leaders from around the world. Renovated in 2003, the property is now owned by the Marriott Corporation. We will continue on Hwy 1B onto the island of New Castle, wind our way back into Portsmouth and then cross into Maine at Kittery. From here we will return via the Shore Road back to a 2 night stay at Mariner’s Resort in Ogunquit. http://www.marinerresort.com
Saturday, Sept 15: Option day in Ogunquit – 50 miles
Today’s option route will take us away from the coast up to the Mount Agamenticus region of Southern Maine. Although it’s not too intimidating at 692 Ft. above sea level, on a clear day you can see the skyscrapers of Boston and the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of NH from the peak. If you choose not to ride, there are numerous activities to choose from in Ogunquit from deep sea fishing charters, lobster boating and whale watching tours to shopping and dining downtown. http://www.ogunquit.org/aboutOgunquit.php
Sunday, Sept 16: Ogunquit, ME to Portland, ME – 45 miles
Our last day, sniffling aside, will be a “relaxing” 45 mile ride back to Portland. The short ride allows enough time to catch an early flight or to get an early start back home if you drive to Portland. Rooms with showers will be available to use, and good-bye hugs will be plentiful. How did this week go by so fast?
Our Sag Drivers will be Steve & Anne Burchby.
For further information, contact Jim Bethell or Janet Reilly at (518) 446-1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .