I found another nice set of bike trails in the area. Mt. Agamenticus is a cool mountain in York at the heart of "one of the largest remaining expanses of undeveloped forests in coastal New England" (http://www.agamenticus.org/index.html). On Sunday I rode the trails that head to the mountain peak. It's only about 30 minutes away from my place, making it fairly easy to ride.
I rode Ring and Fisher on the way up, and Witch Hazel, Ring, Chestnut Oak, Porcupine, Rocky Road, and Ring on the way down. I missed the turn to hit Chestnut Oak, ending up on a nice, technical ride down Goosefoot. But Goosefoot dropped me at Cedar, a trail that ran off my trail map. I had to climb that same technical hill back up to catch the Chestnut Oak trail. (Oops.)
Perhaps the coolest thing about this ride is the bonus view from the top of Mt. Agamenticus. A lookout on the north end of the mountain offers views of the hills and valleys of Maine and New Hampshire, and I could see the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the distance. (A panoramic sketch of the mountain silhouette helped me locate those mountains, taking me back to the days when I used to hike those mountains all the time.) And from the southeast side of the peak I could see the Atlantic ocean. This will be a great place to ride as the leaves turn, and as they drop and the views just open up. This is a great place for hiking as well. On the summit, at the ranger station, there's a wonderful nature exhibit, with hawk wings, pelts, and plants that introduce visitors to the wildlife of the region. I'll bring the family here soon!
It was such a nice ride that I headed back for more on Monday evening. I met Rob, a local Ogunquit bike shop owner, at the trail head. He offered to show me some of the trails I hadn't yet explored. We had a really nice, quiet evening ride as I explored the northeast end of this conservation area. After running around Ring and out around Second Hill, we rode straight up the north side of Agamenticus on Sweet Fern. We hit the summit just as the sun was setting over the mountains to the west. Gorgeous! I don't normally ride with a partner these days, unless I'm riding with my kids. It was great to have someone to ride with and I'll be sure to try to ride with Rob again.
Apparently, there's another network of trails in a water district conservation area just across Mountain Road. Rob and I agreed that it would be nice to explore that area some other time.