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  1. Default Motorcycling Maine and New England States

    We have gotten such good advice from this forum for our past motorcycle trips, I thought I'd ask again for some advice for our trip this year. We are leaving Iowa next week with the goal of journeying to Maine. We have a loop in the Adirondacks and a loop in Northern Vermont mostly figured out. We are planning on camping in Freeport, Maine and maybe doing a couple of 250-300 mile loops from there. The next part of the trip is taking Hwy 1 south to the Danvers, MA area before taking 62 and 126 to avoid Boston. We want to pass through Rhode Island and Connecticut before heading back through New York to home.

    My husband's goal is to eat clam chowder and lobster...suggestions of great local restaurants would be appreciated. We love the mom and pop type joints, casual atmosphere and GREAT food.

    We'd like to see a light house or two, maybe find a waterfall and drive beautiful roads that offer great scenery. We enjoy quiet backroads and try to avoid big city traffic. This will be our first trip to New England and we want to make the most of it. We are definitely nature people not commercial people (rocks, water and trees instead of museums, shopping malls and cities)

    Suggestions for great scenic roads, campgrounds, local restaurants and must see attractions in Maine, Massachusettes, Connecticut and Rhode Island are all welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Easier than You Think

    The thing is - New England is a lot smaller than most people imagine. Day rides from Freeport pretty much bring you within range of the entire coast of Maine to Bar Harbor and Acadia. just about all of New Hampshire, and even eastern Massachusetts with the exception of Cape Cod. So what would I do with just two days available. Well for sure I'd take one day and use as much of US-1 as I could to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Then on the second day I'd explore as many of the peninsulas that stick out into the Atlantic east of Freeport as I could manage. Try to get to Bailey Island, Popham Beach and New Harbor at a minimum, and while in New Harbor look into taking the ferry out to Monhegan Island and back.

    You can concentrate on the coast during your time at Freeport because you can see much of the best of 'inland' New England during your loop of Vermont and your ride from there to Freeport. Assuming you'll be starting from roughly Montpelier, the route of (my) choice would be US-2 east to St. Johnsbury, I-93 down through Franconia Notch to Lincoln, NH-112 the Kankamagus Highway over to Conway, NH-113/ME-113/ME-114 to and around the southern shore of Sebago Lake and into the Portland area where I-95/I-295 will get you to Freeport.

    Actually a couple of my favorite lobster houses are on your way to Danvers. I worked in Portsmouth for about a dozen years, and Warren's on the river in Kittery, ME is about as unpretentious as good food and a great view gets. MA-62 and MA-126 should work pretty well for you as long as you're pleasantly surprised when they're country roads and not put off when (most of the time) they're suburban thoroughfares. They do run parallel to MA-128, the Boston Beltway, just a few miles outside it, so better than trying to fight the beltway traffic, but not open road. That would, as you note, bring you down into northwestern Rhode Island. Assuming that you are heading back to Iowa from there, try US-6 to Willimantic and pick up CT-66 to Marlborough, then a treat: CT-2 to exit 10, Chestnut Hill Road and CT-160 to the oldest continuously operating ferry in the US between South Glastonbury and Rocky Hill and Dinosaur State Park. The Merritt Parkway and I-287 then provide the 'standard' bypass of New York.

    There is far more to see in New England and there are even more rural, but longer, ways around New York. If you'd like more info just speak up, but the above should get you started.


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