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Moosehead Lake : Mt. Kineo Mountain Bike Tour

Moosehead Lake - Katahdin Region


Directions & Trail Description
Click for trail map

Location: Mount Kineo in Piscataquis County, Maine

Length/Configuration: 20 miles total. A short straight stretch which leads to loop.

Terrain/Surface: Mountain bike tour route on hard-packed logging roads.

Technical Difficulty: Intermediate / advanced riders in good physical condition.

Elevation Change:

A few short, fairly easy climbs.

Caution: Expect Several stream crossings on the bike ride. Some areas may be washed out and the ground soggy. Bring a good detailed map.

Due to unpredictable winds, the boat ride over to Mount Kineo can be rough. Take proper precautions during hunting season.




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Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.


The Mount Kineo 20-mile mountain bike tour begins on Mount Kineo which is situated on a peninsula jutting out into Moosehead Lake from it's eastern shore. The easiest way to get there is by taking a short boat ride from the public boat landings located just across the narrows side of the lake in either Rockwood or Lily Bay State Park, ME. Take the Kineo boat shuttle which travels across Moosehead Lake for about 1 mile to Mount Kineo from Rockwood.

During the summer the shuttle runs every hour starting at 8:00 am. There is parking at the Dock in Rockwood and a picnic area. The trailhead begins at the Kineo Dock.


General Description:

With more than 400 miles of shoreline and surrounded by the beautiful northern Maine mountains, Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in Maine. It is as Henry Thoreau described it in 1858, "A suitably wild looking sheet of water, sprinkled with low islands . . . covered with shaggy spruce and other wild wood." As viewed from Rockwood, Mt. Kineo soars out of the water forming a sheer cliff 700 feet straight up one side and rolling down to the water’s edge on tree-studded rock formations on the other. Native Americans once came from afar to obtain the peculiar green flint of Kineo for arrowheads and other stone implements.

The northern part of the Mount Kineo peninsula is part of the Moosehead Lake Reserve which is owned by the state of Maine. The Reserve has 3.5 miles of lake frontage, a few primitive campsites, and three hiking trails (Indian Trail, Cliff Trail and the Bridal Trail) that wind up the mountain. While biking isn't exactly prohibited, we got the very strong impression that it would be best to park our bikes after our ride and hike up. We were told the views of the lake and the surrounding mountains were spectacular from the restored fire tower at the top. Very tempting, but after a 20 mile mountain bike ride on a hot summer day and limited time, a ride over to Pebble Beach for a refreshing dip and lunch in the shadows of dramatic rock cliffs was a lot more appealing to us. This beautiful crescent beach is a favorite local spot for swimming and picnics. For more information see Maine Bikes and Beaches Trails.

Tour De Moose Mountain Bike Ride: 20 mile loop

Moosehead Lake didn't get its name by accident. The largest moose population in the Northeast calls this lake home. The MooseMainea festival, held mid-May to mid-June in Greenville, Maine, celebrates the plentiful, but elusive moose. The Mount Kineo 20-mile loop mountain bike loop trail follows the route of the 'Tour de Moose' (click map link above), a local mountain bike race and tour usually held in conjunction with the festival.

The Mount Kineo mountain bike loop winds around the base of spectacular Mount Kineo on old carriage roads and across the narrows which connects Mount Kineo to the mainland and makes a large loop through remote Maine backcountry on hard-packed logging roads. This is a relatively flat route with minimal elevation gain, a few short climbs, several stream crossings and some technical sections. Some sections may be wet and eroded.

Bear in mind that the entire loop also covers a considerable distance. Several road junctions and unmarked side trails coming in from both the left and the right have the potential to lead you astray. Therefore, it is recommended that you take a good detailed map or GPS with you. The DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 40 A-5; Map 41 A-1 shows the route in detail. For a general overview of the route, see trail map above. Bring plenty of water and an ample supply of energy food.

The ride begins at the base of Mount Kineo at the site of splendid Mount Kineo House which first opened as a tavern in 1847. By 1882, it had evolved into one of the largest inland waterfront hotels in America with accommodations for over 500 guests. It burned down in 1938. All that remains on the site of this once grand resort are a few old buildings, a few cottages that are now private residences, the golf course and a small bed and breakfast inn. Ride across the narrow neck of land that connects Mount Kineo with the mainland, bear right and head towards Cowan Cove. There are several intersections, side trails and stream crossings as you head up and curve around the northern end of the cove. Once you cross Cowans brook, you'll bear right at the junction and head south towards Ronco Cove.

Lucky Pond is the halfway goal post on your journey at around ten miles and also the most scenic stretch of the ride. From this point the trail heads north along the shore of Spencer Bay offering pretty views of Little and Big Spencer mountains. After crossing the Lucky Pond outlet which feeds into Spencer Bay, you'll head away from the pond. There are several intersections and stream crossings to navigate past and over before crossing over Lucky Brook at the northern end of the loop opposite the Lucky Pond Outlet. Right after the brook bear right at the fork and make your way back to the Cowan Brook junction and from there, back to Mount Kineo where you began.


For more information:

Moosehead Lake Region
Chamber of Commerce

PO BOX 581
Greenville, ME 04441

Phone: 1-888-876-2778
TTY Users: 711 (AT&T National Relay Service)


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