Illustration by Mali Welch
Whether you are a biking enthusiast or a newcomer to the sport, greater Portland offers many delightful routes for those who like to explore using their own personal pedal power.
For those who live here or are visiting our fair city in the fall, Dave Palese, Gorham Bike and Ski’s general manager, suggests a one-hour coastal jaunt that gives cyclists access to several local lighthouses. This 12.5-mile Portland Head Light loop has “the added benefit of showcasing the colors of the leaves against the rocky shore,” says Palese. If you need a rental, Gorham Bike and Ski can get you ready to ride and offer additional routes for wheel-worthy adventures.
Go left out of Gorham Bike and Ski at 693 Congress Street. At the first light, turn right onto State Street. Stay right at the bottom of State Street and proceed onto the Casco Bay Bridge. There is a shoulder/bike lane on the bridge. After crossing the bridge, you will reach a traffic light on Broadway. Go left across the road and follow signs for the Greenbelt Pathway. Stay on the Greenbelt Pathway and follow to Bug Light. This offers a nice view of the Portland peninsula. Return from Bug Light and follow the Greenbelt Pathway back to Breakwater Drive. Make a left onto Breakwater Drive, which turns into Benjamin W. Pickett Street. After two tenths of a mile, make another left onto Fort Road and proceed to Spring Point Ledge Light. Return from Spring Point Ledge Light, and keep following Fort Road. Turn left onto Preble Street, and then take a slight left onto Shore Road. Follow Shore Road to the entrance of Fort Williams Park on the left. Follow park roads to Portland Head Light. Take time to admire one of Maine’s most popular lighthouses, then follow park roads back to the gate. Turn right onto Shore Road, and continue onto Cottage Road. After crossing Broadway, turn left onto the South Portland Greenbelt Pathway. Follow the Greenbelt back to the bottom of the Casco Bay Bridge. Get back on the bridge, and cross back into Portland. Stay right at the base of the bridge. Follow York Street to High Street. Turn left onto High Street, go up the hill, and turn left onto Congress Street. Follow Congress Street back to Gorham Bike and Ski on your right.