3 Maine ATV Trail Secret Gems You Probably Won’t Find on Tourism Sites:
There are a lot of great reasons to ride Maine ATV trails. The scenery. The fresh air. The cool wind in your face. And the mountains. Oh, the mountains!
In case you missed it, we detailed our top 3 ATV trails in the Katahdin region and popular places to eat, drink, and be merry in our last few blog posts.
Travel writers and tourism bureaus will tell you all about the great things you can find and see and do on a Maine ATV adventure. And for good reason. Hiking mountains and visiting neat places are a lot of fun.
But here in the internet age, and especially thanks to social media, visiting riders have the luxury of digging a little deeper into the local culture. Sometimes, learning about those little nuances of a particular community or discovering some local gem never mentioned on tourism sites can really make your visit memorable.
So today I leave you with some little nuggets of local Katahdin area knowledge along with some clues to help you learn more. All it takes is a few clicks, an inquiring mind, and some time in your schedule later to follow up with an actual visit.
Is that a painted fish? On a rock? Yep. Now that’s a find!
Sure, Katahdin rocks. But Katahdin Rocks is a whole new take on scavenger hunting.
Hidden along the trails and in local communities such as Patten and Island Falls are rocks of varying shapes and sizes. On them are these fantastic paintings. Scenes range from sunsets to jumping fish to cartoon characters. They’re left in various locations and then posted to the Katahdin Rocks Facebook page with little hints as to where to find them.
Heck, just scrolling through the hide and discovery posts online was entertaining. Stone cold fun!
Patten, Maine, ATV Guest-Bridge
The Patten ATV Club takes care of the ATV trails in the Patten area. On one of their trail bridges, they’ve installed white panels to the face of the guard rail. On those panels, they invite riders to write their names, where they’re from, and what club (if any) they belong to. It’s like a guestbook, but it’s a bridge. And way cooler.
See pictures of the panel installation (and much more of course) on the club’s Facebook page.
Diners you didn’t know existed
Browsing the local ATV clubs on Facebook, I stumbled across an event listing posted by the Island Falls Free Wheelers ATV Club. They were planning a ride to Al’s Diner in a place called Mars Hill.
Needing to know more, I discovered Mars Hill is this town nearly on the Canadian border. Sure enough, there was Al’s Diner, looking like what you’d expect a true American diner to look like. Thing is, so many of them don’t look that way anymore.
Al’s is a little unobtrusive building with an awning over the street-facing windows marked with “Al’s Diner” in big block lettering. None of that floofy, over-designed signage you find on too many modern eateries these days. To one side a window air conditioner protrudes from the wall and above the awning hangs a blade-style Coca-Cola sign under the diner’s name, this time in script. Above that, the word “Pizza” in black letters on white background.
All that’s missing are some now-classic cars parked out front.
The food, according to online reviews, is also a throwback to the days when food was done right. Diner food served by great people in a place where they greet each other using first names. That’s experiencing Maine like a local!
It’s a long ride up to Mars Hill from Island Falls. It’d be even farther from Patten. But that’s part of the fun. Ride up an appetite. Eat at a local place like Al’s that you’d likely never discover on a tourism website and ride back to Camp Katahdin in time for dessert or a night cap around the fire. Here’s a few more places to eat and drink in our area that you should not miss: Katahdin Area ATV Trails: Eat, Drink, and be Merry.
For more local insight, be sure to follow local ATV clubs such as the ones in Patten and Island Falls on Facebook. For a list of local clubs, visit www.ATVMaine.org.
Denney Lodge at Camp Katahdin is a luxury Lodge in the Mt. Katahdin area that sits right on Maine’s most beautiful ATV trails (in our humble opinion). It sleeps 15 and comes with a brand new Chef’s kitchen. Step out your door and jump on your four wheelers for short rides around town or let us help you map out an amazing day trip. Read more about our lodge here: