Montpellier to Acadia

A multi-day bikepacking expedition from the Mountains of Vermont to the sea at Bar Harbor, Maine as experienced by five women from across the country. 

Montpellier to Acadia

Photo Rhetoric - Vermont to Maine-1027.jpg

In 2015, To Be Determined's Matthew Vandivort (@PhotoRhetoric) was invited to follow the journey of five women as they bikepacked from the mountains of Vermont to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. 

What follows are brief excerpts of that 345 mile journey covering 22,502 feet of climbing and more than 27 hours of riding. 

The riders

The video short by Photo Rhetoric:

Day 1: Cheese and Blue Skies from Montpelier to Lincoln

After a Friday spent building bikes and preparing packs, the journey from the mountains to the sea started on a bright Saturday morning just outside Montpelier, Vermont. 

Day one's route started with a diversion to the North for an early ride rest stop at the Cabot Cheese Factory before the long eastward march began, mirroring route 302 on gravel trails and backroads. 

After crossing the Connecticut River at mile forty it was an eighteen mile climb up route 112 for a brief pitstop at Beaver Pond before a bombing descent into Lincoln, New Hampshire.

The Stats:

Day 2: Big Rain and Big Climbs to Lovell, Maine

After a day spent under blue skies, Sunday morning beckoned with a hash, unrelenting rain, temperatures that had plummeted into the mid-forties and howling winds. Conditions were bleak and the fact that the route opened with the fifteen mile ascent Kancamagus Pass didn't help. 

Despite gusts approaching fifty miles per hour over the summit of Kancamagus the riders persevered and dropped into the Mount Washington Valley for hot coffee and cupcakes. 

After some rest stop rejuvenation it was time for the 11% grade of Hurricane Mountain Road - tackled in the same pouring rain that had already drenched the riders for hours. Thankfully shortly thereafter the rain finally subsided for the final few miles of day two. 

The Stats:

Day 3: Out of the Mountains to Augusta, Maine

By day three the big mountains were officially in the rear view mirror and a long seventy eight mile day was on the schedule. Day three, perhaps more than any other, took advantage of gravel trails and snowmobile paths, which made documenting the ride particularly challenging. 

But after nearly eighty miles in the saddle, including a rest stop at Great Falls in Lewiston the riders rolled up to a motel in Augusta, Maine for a bit of R&R before the final push to the coastline. 


The Stats:

Day 4: Lobster and Fort Knox on the way to Bucksport

Tuesday would be the longest day of the expedition, cutting sixty miles East for the first look at the Atlantic Ocean - celebrated with a lunch of fresh lobster - before turning to the northeast for the final overnight stay before reaching Acadia National Park. 

Young's Lobster Pound may have been the most exciting element of the stop, but Fort Knox outside Bucksport was a close second. 

The Stats:

Day 5: the Final Push to Cadillac mountain and Bar Harbor

After three hundred miles of riding, day five was the final push to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. With flights to catch later in the day in Boston the riders got an early start, reaching the summit mid-morning on what turned out to be a beautiful day.

From there all that was left to do was to break down bikes, grab lunch in Bar Harbor and then hit the road back South after a memorable journey from the Mountains to the Sea. 

The Stats:

  • Distance: 52.6 miles

  • Duration: 4 hours, 16 minutes, 40 seconds

  • Elevation: 3,625 feet

  • Rest stop: n/a

  • Strava route: EVOventure Day 5