There are plenty of things to do outdoors in and around Portland, especially if you have a bicycle handy. From city streets to beautiful gardens to the beautiful views at rivers and waterfalls, all you need is an adventurous spirit to experience the best of Portland.
Here are some of the perfect Portland adventures to have by bike.
Picnic on the Eastern Promenade
I would be remiss if I didn't feature a micro-adventure in my own town (the first Portland I might add - not the hipster city in Oregon, but equally hip) especially because Portland Trails offers so many great natural spots within a short distance from the city.
For those not lucky enough to live in Portland it can be accessed by car, train or bus two hours north of Boston, and has its own airport that I’ve found boasts flights with prices comparable to bigger cities.
I grabbed my bike and rendezvoused with friends at Lone Pine Brewery before hopping on the bike path and pedaling around the peninsula to the Eastern Promenade which offers beach access, plentiful lawn space and shade - which on our first hot day of the summer was much appreciated.
Even if you only have an hour or two there’s no reason you can’t hop on a bike in your town, throw a few snacks in your bag and find some green space for a picnic. I challenge you to do it with your phone on silent zipped up in your bag.
Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings and enjoy how good food tastes outside. Be present and enjoy the company, or quiet before you have to go back to your busy, bustling life.
Best Biking Spots in Portland, Maine
Here are some other fun biking spots for a micro-adventure in Portland (and some of the best places to eat along the way).
- Commercial Street for the wharfs, and fresh seafood you can buy and bring home to cook and the nearby Old Port for cute cobbled streets and shopping.
- Head across the bridge to South Portland to check out Spring Point Lighthouse, Bug Light and for a bit more of an adventure further to Portland Headlight
- Duckfat for french fries, Eventide for Oysters and fried fish, and grab the famous ice cream next door at Honey Paw
- Bike to Thompsons Point and enjoy a beer at Bissell Brothers, wine at Cellardoor Winery and spirits at Stroudwater Distillery.
Best Waterfalls in Portland Maine
If you're feeling particularly adventurous or prefer a mountain bike to a road bike, you can also check out these amazing waterfalls:
- Jewell Falls - this quick downhill trail will have you to the falls in two minutes or less.
- Cascade Falls - this half mile trail is popular with tourists, but it's worth a stop to see the waterfall during the rainy season.
- Presumpscot Falls - the Forest City Trail system offers 10 miles of varying loops and terrain for a quick bike trip. The falls themselves are heavily wooded and quiet for a nice picnic and coffee outside.
Best Mountain Biking in Portland Maine
If your idea of an adventure is a bit further off the grid, and you've got the gear for it, try one of these awesome Portland mountain biking trails:
- The Fore River Sanctuary - you'll find the Jewell Falls in this sanctuary, though they're quite accessible. Beyond the falls are miles of trails to explore on your bike.
- The Evergreen - this large sanctuary has both easy and moderate trails, both cleared and natural.
Don't forget to pack your stainless steel water bottle and airtight food canister for the adventure! Nothing caps off a micro-adventure like a cold ice-cream sandwich you've kept tucked away for the journey.