A rail trail is an old, unused railway that has been converted into a multi-use path. These abandoned railways are typically flat and long—perfect for walking, cycling, and horseback riding in the warmer months and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. Some trails allow for ATVs and snowmobiles.
The Maine Highlands has 5 rail trails to enjoy. We’ve listed them here from north to south. For more information on rail trails in our region and beyond, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website. There you will find maps, directions, photos, and visitor comments.
Sherman to Patten Trail
This trail was built from an offshoot of the main Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. The 4.5 mile trail runs between Patten and Sherman. Note that there is no trail access on the Sherman end, where the spur joins the main railroad line.
The path is covered in crushed stone and gravel. This trail is open for hiking, biking, ATVs, horseback riding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Snowmobile and ATV riders will enjoy the number of side trails to explore beyond the rail corridor.
The wetlands adjacent to the trail makes for an excellent place to see wildlife, especially birds.
Learn more about the Katahdin area.
Michael Michaud Walking and Biking Trail
This rail trail was named after Maine Second District Congressman Michael Michaud, a native of Millinocket, for his service to the Katahdin region. The rail trail runs along the Millinocket extension of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad.
This 1.65 mile loop trail follows Millinocket Stream. It’s paved with asphalt, creating a nice smooth walk or ride. This trail is open to hiking, biking, in-line skating, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. It’s also a wheelchair accessible trail.
Learn more about the Katahdin area.
This trail runs between Lagrange and Medford along the Bangor & Aroostook Railway. It’s 11.5 miles long and the trail is surfaced with crushed stone and dirt. The trail conditions depend on the weather—rain can render the first few miles on the northern end muddy and rough. Cyclists will want to traverse the trail with a mountain bike.
Much of the trail is shaded by trees and a few ponds can be seen along the way. These ponds and bogs are attractions for wildlife—especially moose—so be on the lookout. This trail is open to hiking, biking, ATVs, horseback riding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Learn more about the southern Piscataquis area.
Stillwater River Trail
This trail follows a very old railroad that was once used to haul timber. The 1.8 mile trail follows the Stillwater River through Orono. It’s an easy trail of dirt and grass and offers outlets for fishing along the way.
This trail is open to hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. It travels right through town, so stop and grab a bite to eat or sample a pint at one of the wonderful local restaurants or one of the three local breweries.
Learn more about the greater Bangor area.
Four Seasons Adventure Trail
This rail trail is also known as the Newport/Dover-Foxcroft Rail-Trail. It runs between the two towns and links two rivers, three lakes, and a bevy of beautiful views. There are plenty of places to stop along this 26 mile trail. It’s popular with mountain bikers out for a pleasant ride. Because the trail is surfaced with crushed stone, dirt, and sand, inclement weather has an effect on the trail condition.
This trail welcomes hikers, bikers, ATVs, horseback riding, snowmobiling, dogsledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Learn more about the Sebasticook Valley and southern Piscataquis areas.