3 ATV Rides for Fall Color in Northern Maine

3 ATV Rides for Fall Color in Northern Maine.jpeg

Here are 3 ATV Rides for Fall Color in Northern Maine. If you’re one of the millions of people drawn to places with great autumn color, you owe it to yourself to plan a Maine vacation in the fall. Minimal population and maximum forest cover (nearly 90 percent of the state is forested) means Maine is one of the nation’s best leaf peeping destinations.

Now add in about 6,000 miles of ATV trails and you turn a casual color cruise into a full-blown autumn adventure.

Got your attention now, don’t I?


So when you find yourself vacationing in the Katahdin area of Northern Maine, here are some of our favorite rides for fall color.

 island falls maine.jpgPhoto Credit: Charlie McGibbonv via VisitMaine.com

Patten to Island Falls ATV Trail Ride

Distance from Camp Katahdin: About 20 trail miles, one way

While you’ll enjoy the ride: Fall color lining the river

Added perk: Dining at River Café

Rivers, woods, open fields, hills and hollers. The varied landscape only enhances the fall color scenery on this ride. The views are simply stunning!

From Camp Katahdin and Patten, this ride takes you east and a little north so if you start early you can ride into a morning sunrise. How’s that for a great autumn view?

Once you get to Island Falls, we recommend stopping in to River Café for a meal and a great view of the tree-lined Mattawamkeag River from the back deck of the restaurant. 

River Café is one of those places that won’t leave you wanting at the end of your meal. This is good, heavy adventure fare. Perfect for fueling up for a day on the trails. But don’t stop there. Go ahead and loosen the belt up a notch to make room for ice cream. You’ll be glad you did.

Take advantage of the shortening days and time your return trip back to Camp Katahdin so you catch the sun getting low in the western sky. Stop along the way on top of some of the hills and take in the golden-lit fall-colored vistas before you. The way the evening sun lights up the reds and yellows is, well…you just need to come see it. It’s truly something to behold!

shin pond atv trail ride.jpg Photo Taken by Forest Ranger Chris Beyer of Shin Pond 

Patten to Shin Pond ATV Trail Ride

Distance from Camp Katahdin: About 30 miles one way

Why you’ll enjoy the ride: It takes you deeper into the woods

Added perk: There’s food and fuel at the end of the ride

The ride out to Shin Pond is north and slightly west of Camp Katahdin which means you’re venturing deeper into the millions of acres of undeveloped forests that make up the majority of the northwestern part of the state. In fact, Shin Pond is essentially the northwestern terminus of the series of ATV trails surrounding Camp Katahdin.

Suffice to say, this kind of remoteness is a leaf peeper’s paradise. Now add in the 1,200 acres of tree-lined mountain lakes that are Upper and Lower Shin Ponds and you’ve got a recipe for fall beauty the likes of which are fit for TV.

What’s great about this ride is that despite venturing deeper into the wild, you actually end at a little hub of civilization. Along the shores of the lake is a place called Shin Pond Village where you can get a hearty meal and fuel up your rides. There’s even a little Wilderness Store where you can buy local souvenirs for those you left back at home while you vacationed in Maine. After they see your pictures, they’ll still be jealous. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

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Patten to Bible Point ATV Trail Ride

Distance from Camp Katahdin: About 30 miles one way

Why you’ll enjoy the ride: The lakeshore views

Added perk: A taste of national history 

As an outdoorsman and a conservationist, fall is a special time of year for me. An addition to my hunting pursuits, fall is also a great time to reflect on America’s sporting heritage and the conservation efforts that have assured us abundant game and vibrant forests such as those that cover so much of Maine.

Throughout our history, there were few better champions for that heritage than President Teddy Roosevelt. And as I’ve mentioned before in, Maine ATV: Riding in the Footsteps of Roosevelt, that’s what makes this destination so special.

Bible Point is a little spot where two streams converge just below Mattawamkeag Lake. It was so named because historic accounts.  tell us that during his hunting trips to the area, the then-20-something-year-old Roosevelt would “take his bible each day and go alone to a certain spot in the woods.” 

Take one look at this area in the fall and you can see why such a man would be drawn to such a place. The wooded hills rising above the tree-lined lakes and rivers are the kinds of places you can’t help but appreciate. Is it any wonder Mr. Roosevelt would later become such an ardent champion of our nation’s wild places?

I think not.

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Denney Lodge at Camp Katahdin is a new, luxury Lodge in Patten, Maine 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: 


 *The above mentioned trails can change from year to year. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Please take care and time to plan your trips by contacting the Patten ATV Club or ATVMaine.org. Patten, ATV Club is a very active and hard working club. Even if you’re from out of town we encourage you to join as your money will go to direct improvement. Of course, we will help Camp Katahdin visitors map out day-trips in person upon arival or give us a call.