A land of rivers, lakes, mountains and moose, surrounded by over 250,000 acres of woodlands the Jackman region of Maine has something for just about everyone-except a traffic light according to the Jackman Chamber of Commerce.
A network of logging roads provides access to this spectacular area known as “the Switzerland of Maine”. Hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile and hiking trails radiate from the Jackman hub of the Interconnecting Snowmobile Trail System 86 and 89. Over fifty miles of marked trails in the greater Jackman/moose River area, the breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife (deer, moose, bear and other wildlife feeding right next to the trails) are what make this area a dream to mountain bike. The best time to ride is summer through fall.
Please note that most of these these trails are routed through lumber company roads in areas not currently being logged. (Watch out for lumber trucks! They have the right of way). Bikers should be aware there are times when trails are temporarily closed or rerouted. Check trail status before riding!
Against the backdrop of Attean and Sally Mountains several sparkling lakes and ponds lie within this wilderness setting. Attean Lake, Big Wood Pond and Long Pond form a series of connected bodies of water, fed by the Moose River. In the summer these lakes provide water recreation including swimming, kayaking and canoeing. They also provide the perfect setting for a relaxing swim during or after a hard ride. If you are spending some time in the area combine your mountain bike experience with a canoe trip on the world reknowned Moose River Bow Trip, a loop water route beginning and ending on Attean Lake.
Most of the route covers privately owned land. Please respect land-owner rights.
Rancourt Pond Loop: 11 mile moderate or an easier 8-12 mile loop.
A combination of hard-packed jeep and dirt roads with rough eroded sections and stream crossings. There are several technical sections to challenge mountain bikers of all flavors. Trail conditions vary depending on season and weather. Start out early in the morning, peddling quietly for optimum wildlife viewing.
To begin, head north on Route 201 (moose are a frequent sight along Route 201, officially designated a Maine Scenic Highway, when they travel to feed early in the morning and evening) out of Sky Lodge and follow Route for 2 miles until turning left on the first jeep road (Holeb Road) with powerlines past the Borders Riders Snowmobile Club. Head down the road and turn left onto small jeep trail (if you come to a bridge, you have gone too far). This trail follows a double-track to Sandy Stream. Be prepared to get wet. There is no way to avoid it when you cross Sandy Stream.
(Tip: For alternate easier 8-12 mile loop) Pass by the jeep trail turnoff and continue straight. Cross the bridge over Sandy Stream, turning right after you cross. Follow a well-worn path alongside the stream. After crossing a second bridge, turn right and the road loops back, fording stream to the site of an old powerhouse.)
After you cross Sandy Stream, climb up the hill to a T junction, turn right staying on travelled dirt road. You'll come to the halfway point, Rancourt Pond, on the right. Shhhhh! See any moose? The dirt road meets a larger road (Gander Brook Road). Turn left. Watch out for motor vehicle traffic.
(Tip: At this juncture you can combine a hike with your ride. Turn right for Burnt Jacket Mt. The hiking trail is well-marked).
This road eventually intersects another road, turn right and shortly you'll come back out on Route 201. Head back up to Sky Lodge.
(Tip: Ride the trail in reverse to eliminate all but one hill climb).
For more information:
Jackman - Moose River Region Chamber Of Commerce