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Biking around Bangor: Mann Hill

02/13/2014
The view from Mann Hill. Yup, that's Chick Hill in the distance.

The view from Mann Hill. Yup, that’s Chick Hill in the distance.

Over the last year, I’ve charted five great bike routes through the scenic outskirts of the Bangor metro area. All of these 90-minute rides feature beautiful destinations, challenging hills, relatively safe travel and a special something best described as that “unique Maine charm.”

Last fall, I packed a camera on my rides so my Mark in Maine readers could come along.

Looking back at the pictures, the warm sunshine and fantastic fall colors also provide a wonderful escape from a grim winter of YMCA biking.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll post photos and commentary from all five bike rides so you get a better picture of  Bangor and all the beauty that surrounds it.

Mann Hill

Mann Hill?

It sounds like a challenge.

Turns out it is.

The folks at Rose Bikes in Orono told me about this ride. “Do you like hills? This one goes on forever,” said the shop owner. “And they just paved the road so it’s a real smooth ride. You’ll like it.”

The 18-mile route starts in Brewer and follows a relatively busy highway northeast along the Penobscot River. It passes a few old motels and the Eagles Nest Restaurant on the south bank.

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The Eagles Nest diner is supposed to make a great lobster roll. Haven't tried it yet.

The Eagles Nest diner is supposed to make a great lobster roll. Haven’t tried it yet.

Once you hit Eddington, turn right on Clewleyville Road and gear down because it’s pretty much all up for the next five miles. The road passes through an older neighborhood, some large-lot homes and a few old-fashioned barns. Clewleyville is the halfway point: A 19th Century cemetery is all that’s left of  the town… if there ever was one.

This tiny cemetery is all that's left of Clewleyville

This tiny cemetery is all that’s left of Clewleyville

Here’s were the fresh pavement and roller coaster climbing starts. First a quick plunge, then a steep hill climb next to a rushing stream. The road does a few dips through a deep pine forest that hides some expensive suburban subdivisions and then hits a long, straight run to the top of Mann Hill. It’s a 12 minute accent from the cemetery to the summit.

Mann Hill Road cuts through a deep pine forest.

Mann Hill Road cuts through a deep pine forest.

Mann Hill Road

The view from the top is a winner. Perched above  the pine forest you can see for a good 30 miles to Chick Hill and points “downeast.”  While the summit view is spectacular, the real treat is the ride back down. Get into the tuck, crank it up and let it rip. When you it that patch of smooth pavement at 40 mph it feels like your diving through an ocean of evergreens. The fun last about 9 minutes and you’re back in Clewleyville gasping for air. Awesome.

Here’s a couple of bonus pictures from the ride back to Brewer.

A barn in Clewleyville, not far from the cemetery

A barn in Clewleyville, not far from the cemetery

Leaving Clewleyville

Leaving Clewleyville

Fall harvest decorations

Fall harvest decorations

The backstop is all that's left of this old baseball field

The backstop is all that’s left of this old baseball field

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One Comment
  1. This route looks AMAZEBALLS; would love to ride it! You should publish a book on Bangor cycling.

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