Best ATV Riding Trails In Maine | Hunt or Shred

It’s about time we gear up our ATVs – as the ATV riding season is upon us. If you like the North East you will love these awesome riding trails in Maine!

There’s no better way to enjoy your ATV than riding through natural pathways while experiencing surreal sceneries. Maine has so many trails that you can enjoy. Franklin County, The Highlands/Moosehead Lake, Aroostook County, Downeast & Acadia are some of the best ATV trails in Maine. 

People from across the country haul their ATVs to Maine because it has the broadest range of options in terms of ATV trails. Maine also has many multi-purpose trails that change course from mud to woods to crossing streams. While the Moose Loose trail offers a more challenging day, the Aroostook County trail has some beautiful scenes you don’t want to miss. So if you want a day full of adventures with multiple challenges to conquer, you should prepare to head to Maine.

I have lived in Maine over the past few years, and ATVs are my jam. So, you’re at the right place if you want to know about the best ATV trails in Maine because I have all of them mapped in my brain. In this article, I will tell you all about the five ATV trails in Maine that I think beat all others. However, I will also mention a couple of more trails in Maine, so you have more than just a handful of options.

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Five Best ATV Riding Trails In Maine

The following trails are my top picks for a day full of challenging yet exciting riding experiences.

Franklin County Trails

The Franklin County Trails are second to none as they offer an extremely versatile riding experience. This ATV trail is a joint effort of eight clubs that have made it possible for ATV riders from all over the US to experience riding on trails with multiple terrains. Franklin County has a 520+ miles long trail. So, if you plan to complete the trail in one visit, make sure you come prepared for multiple days.

The Franklin County trails are located in western Maine, with the Moose trail being its center. This ATV trail invites you to enticing challenges and riding on varying terrains, including mud, sand, gravel, railroad beds, and hard-packed surfaces. The Moose trail has a 180-mile round track that goes through several towns.

As the Moose trail is the most popular in Franklin County, the town owners and locals have shaped the town to accommodate the riders. You can plan your stay within these towns in luxurious guest houses or go for a more natural stay in campgrounds and cabins and avail refreshments. You can tell by its name that you will see a lot of moose here, but there is other wildlife to witness, which are additional perks to riding on this trail.

Take a bigger round around the county, and you can experience the serene Mt. Blue State Park. This park also has a trail of 18 miles. It is not much, but the views are serene with some wild activities, including fishing and boating.

As mentioned earlier, the Franklin County trails result from the collaborative efforts of eight riding clubs that have struggled to get permits from the private landowners across the county for trail riding. However, some off-roaders are cutting in the trails and riding unethically. This leads to the landowners shutting out their lands. So make sure you or your group follow the rules when you ride west in Maine to Franklin County.


  • Location: Western Maine
  • Open: Year-round/partially (depending on conditions)
  • Length: 520+ miles
  • Surface: Dirt, railroad beds, gravel
  • Skill Level Required: Varies
  • Type: Multi-use
  • Towns: Stratton, Carrabassett, Kingfield, Phillips, Strong, Rangeley
  • Services Available: In some towns

The Highlands/Moosehead Lake Trails

The second best ATV trail is the Moosehead Lake Trail. This ATV trail is famous for its location, right at the Kennebec River and the Dead River intersection. This trail is also known as the Forks because it divides the two fiercely flowing rivers.

The Highlands to Moosehead Lake ATV trails in the central Maine ATV trail consists of multiple sub-trails adding up to 1000+ miles of trailing for you on your favorite ride. The extensive trailing area is preferred by some riders over any other trail in Maine due to the many varying scenes you can experience here. Also, it is one of the rare trailing systems in Maine offering snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Maine initially became a tourist attraction for its beaches. However, the more you go deep in this state, the more opportunities you discover for various activities. The same is the case with Moosehead Lake. Locally known as the Main Highlands, it is surrounded by high and low grounds, striking natural beauty, and a variety of wildlife.

The trail from the Forks to Moosehead Lake is fun, exciting, and enjoyable for members of all ages. It consists of wide pathways with very few rougher patches in your way, making it easy to maneuver on. You only get to the start of Moosehead Lake, which shares its border with a small yet beautiful town called Greensville. Your trip from Greenville then follows wide, around Upper Wilson Lake, or you can hike down towards Shirley Mills.

Nevertheless, Greensville is a town full of hospitable people and where you can refuel your ATV for the rest of the ride. You can also camp for the night here or stay in a rest house that warmly welcomes all ATV riders. Before you head out of Greensville, you can also stack up essentials to suit your needs for a comfortable ride ahead.

On the other hand, you can make riding on this trail more demanding by taking different routes around the main trail. You can ride through the forest for the rocks and woods demanding a more aggressive approach, while the main trail is covered with mud and gravel. However, the rain can make even the simplest and flattest terrains challenging. So be prepared for what you wish!

The Forks is one of the busiest commercial spots in the Highland trails throughout the year because of the wide activities for thrill-seekers, from ATV riders to whitewater rafting. That’s why the locals have developed the area into a year-round fest that includes lodging, camping, barbequing, and even microbrewing. You can also ride up the Elephant Mountain, where there’s a memorial for the crew of the B52C Stratofortress. This is the site where American fighters crashed in the 1963 cold war, and the remains are preserved on the site as they crashed.


  • Location: Central Maine
  • Open: May – December (depending on conditions)
  • Length: 1,000+ miles
  • Type: Multi-purpose
  • Skill Level Required: Varies
  • Surface: Dirt, railroad beds, gravel, rivers, and streams
  • Towns: Greenville, Rockwood, Lily Bay, Beaver Cove
  • Services Available: Yes

Aroostook County Trails

The Aroostook County ATV trails are my personal favorite for the wildest off-roading any trail in Maine has to offer. This trail features everything you can ask for days out in the wilderness: mountains, lakes, forests, wetlands, fields, and small, vintage towns. Aroostook County trails are made up of several ATV trails stretching for 1200 miles along the border with Canada.

These trails include the famous Bangor and Aroostook Railroads, dating back to the 1800s when the route was used for transporting agricultural exports. Slowly, the route lost its use, and now it plays a historical value for riders and tourists to visit the place. Moreover, this ATV trail is the perfect choice for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing as the area receives plenty of snow, making it a beautiful site for winter sports seekers.

On the other hand, the summer boasts different activities for the riders. If you share an interest in fishing and boating, you should ride to the Fish River Lake Chain or the Grand Lake Chain. The two river chains are home to hundreds of tourists who ride up the county for a surreal boating and fishing experience. Also, the undeveloped forest that stretches out to hundreds of acres provides thrilling opportunities for the hunters.

Other than Stockholm, a remote town thirty minutes from the Canadian border, Northern Maine is mainly undeveloped with a lack of facilities. However, you can find plenty of services if you travel south to Caribou and Presque Isle. You can find everything in these towns, from luxury hotels and restaurants to gas stations and grocery and hardware stores.


  • Location: Northeast Maine
  • Open: Year-round except for rainy season (April/May)
  • Length: 1200 miles
  • Skill-Level Required: Varies
  • Surface: Rails to Trails, rivers, streams, packed gravel, woods, hard-packed
  • Type: Multi-purpose
  • Towns: Mapleton, Washburn, Stockholm Caribou, Van Buren
  • Services Available: Limited

Downeast & Acadia

The Downeast & Acadia trails are located in eastern Maine along the coast, beneath the eastern Canadian border. Only 20 miles away from the Washington coast, it boasts some exciting ranges within the Acadia National Park with various terrains for you to test your ride on. Ranging to over 520 miles, the Downeast trail has a combination of mud, gravel, railroad beds, and woods in its trails.

The Downeast Sunrise trail is the best and most ridden trail of this area. This ATV trail begins thirty minutes away from the north face of Acadia Park and measures 87 miles. This part of the trail consists of the Calais Branch rail corridor that the Maine Department of Transportation partly owns for rail transportation purposes. However, a part of that area is converted into a trail due to lack of primary use.

The trails in the Downeast and Acadia are relatively straight, and you can ride for hours without interruptions. However, you can make your riding more fun by taking alternate routes with long and short loops.

Due to being the closest trail to the coast, the Downeast Sunrise trail has the most lakes and waterbeds in the region. You will come across several lakes, large and small, streams and ponds. The West Grand Lake and the Marsh Lake are two of the biggest lakes in that area and popular spots for fishing and boating. The plenty of water is home to thousands of moose, and you will encounter many more wild animals as you move up towards the northern side of this trail.

The ride up north holds a lot of exciting and challenging paths for you, with streams running between the trees, old wood slats bridging one end to another, with some very serene sights along the way. Not just wildlife, but you’ll find many different kinds of fresh and ripened berries if you ride in the right season. Blueberries are famous products of this region. So make sure you pick them along the way for some fruity freshness on the long trail.


  • Location: South East Maine next to the Canadian border
  • Open: May – December (depending on conditions)
  • Skill-Level Required: Varies, Mostly easy
  • Length: Over 520 miles
  • Surface: Dirt, railroad beds, streams, gravel
  • Type: Multi-purpose
  • Towns: Ellsworth, Waltham, Springfield, Topsfield, Beddington
  • Services Available: Limited

Other Popular ATV Riding Trails in Maine

As mentioned earlier, below, I have mentioned other excellent ATV riding trails in Maine.

Four Seasons Adventure Trail

This ATV riding trail ranges between the Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties and has a total distance of 29.8 miles. This trail is an excellent mix of easy to medium difficulty riding and several challenging opportunities. Going through forests, fields, and waterbeds, it is a fine trail for you and your buddies. The year-round operation is the best thing about this ATV riding trail. Although the riding is crowded in summertime, you have the perfect land for snowmobiling and skiing in the winter by only mounting the snowmobile kit to your four-wheeler.

The trail connects several small and mediocre towns. They have several spots for camping and luxurious stays, where your group can make the night perfect with all accommodations at service.

Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail

Also known as the “Railroad Trail,” the Sanford-Springville Rail Trail stretches only for six miles on an old railbed that connected Lebanon and Sanford. The abandoned railbed is now used for trailing, horse riding, hikers, and bicyclists. The trail is popular for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winters. Even though a short trail, it offers multi-purpose trailing, including dirt, snow, gravel, and woods.

Lagrange to Medford Trail

If you are looking for an ATV riding trail in Maine that’s not too long but also throws a demanding ride, you should head to the Lagrange to Medford Trail. This ATV trail offers a path that takes you in a remote world of its own, with only a couple of small towns that look as if you have entered an old era.

The trail has a total distance of 11.4 miles. There is only a little service area where you can restock your supplies if you are camping overnight, but don’t expect a rest house. On the other hand, there are a few farms, wooden houses, and plenty of wilderness as you ride north.

Take Away

There are plenty of ATV riding trails in Maine due to its well-preserved natural landscapes. You will find many lakes, rivers, and ponds in the major trails that will make your riding experience not just about the ATV but also fishing, hunting, and boating.




45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.

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