Bike riders of all ages and experience levels are invited to take part in the Explore Merrymeeting Bay Bike Tour on July 22, sponsored by Merrymeeting Trailblazers and MFT. Three free led bike rides will explore the scenes of Open Farm Day in Bowdoinham and visit open farms and art studios. Merrymeeting Wheelers, MFT, and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust will be supporting the rides.
All rides leave from Bowdoinham’s Mailly Waterfront Park. At 9:30 am, there will be a 24 mile ride through Bowdoinham and Richmond with stops to explore farms and studios along the way. This is a good ride for beginner or intermediate riders. At 10am, there will be a 38 mile ride through Bowdoinham, Richmond, and Topsham with short stops at farms and studios on the route. This ride is best for intermediate or advanced riders. The third ride starts at 11am. This 14-mile ride has stops to explore some of Bowdoinham’s Forever Farms and will be led by MFT staff. This is good for beginner & intermediate riders and those who are interested in learning more about farmland protection in one of the richest farming areas in Bowdoinham.
Preregistration for the rides is not required, but it is appreciated for help with ride planning. To register, visit merrymeetingtrail.org/events or contact Ruth Indrick at the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (or 207-442-8400).
Bowdoinham will have 10 open farms and 14 artists for Open Farm Day this year. Although the sites can be visited by car, these rides provide a fun way to explore the farms and studios with ride leaders who have experience with biking in the region. For bike riders who aren’t interested in an organized ride but still want to experience Open Farm Day by bike, there will be maps of suggested ride routes available in Mailly Waterfront Park from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
Visitors to the farms can talk to the farmers and try samples of their products. Bowdoinham hosts farms for vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, cows, sheep, goats, alpacas, and chickens. The work of local artists with open studios features painting, printing, fabric, furniture, and photography.
All riders and farm visitors are invited to attend the Open Farm Day barbecue. This barbeque is from 3:00pm to 6:00pm in Bowdoinham’s Mailly Waterfront Park and features fresh foods from local farms. The barbecue is $12 for adults, $8 for kids, and $4 for dessert.
The Explore Merrymeeting Bay Bike Tour provides people with the opportunity to explore and enjoy the beautiful Merrymeeting Bay region, and it helps to raise awareness about local farms, Merrymeeting Trail and farmland conservation. Merrymeeting Trail is a proposed 25 mile multi-use trail for bikers and walkers of all ages that will travel through the towns of Gardiner, Richmond, Bowdoinham, and Topsham, connecting the Kennebec River Rail Trail with the Brunswick Bike Path. To learn more about Merrymeeting Trail, check out the Merrymeeting Trailblazers, a local group working to make this trail a reality, HERE. MFT is committed to protecting farmland, supporting farmers, and advancing the future of farming in Maine.
Learn more about MFT’s ride HERE.
Photo credit: Victor Langelo