A multiuse trail shared with ATVs and snowmobiles, the 58-mile BangorAroostook Trail (a.k.a. BAT) is part of northern Maine's Interconnected Trail System, used and maintained by the state's many snowmobile clubs. You can easily coordinate a multiday tour on this and other area rail-trails, taking advantage of lodging and food options in towns along the way. However, sections of the BAT traverse remote wilderness areas, so plan accordingly. Carry a tool kit (if biking), layered clothing, and plenty of water.
Note that the BangorAroostook Trail map indicates two distinct segments: one between Mapleton and Van Buren, the other between Caribou and Stockholm; the segments meet in Stockholm. In addition, there are generally connections between the endpoints that are part of this greater trail system, be they on-road segments, snowmobile trails or less-groomed pathways.
Trains once hauled lumber and potatoes down this route to distribution centers along the East Coast. Threading a wider corridor than the connecting (in Washburn) Aroostook Valley Trail
, the BAT crosses acres of farmland, as well as woods and wetland bogs, and it is an excellent platform for spotting a range of wildlife.
Just south of Stockholm, the trail traverses the protected Salmon Brook Bog Area, home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The area north of Stockholm is largely wilderness and is a great place to spot moose. Most active at dawn and dusk, moose feed on plants found primarily in wetlands. If you do spot one, give it generous clearance because they can be unpredictably aggressive.
The best access point to BangorAroostook Trail is Caribou, where you'll find plenty of food, lodging, and trail information. If you want to travel farther south, you can pick up the Southern BangorAroostook Trail
, which runs between Houlton and Phair Junction.
To reach the trailhead off US Hwy. 1 in Caribou, where food, lodging, and trail information are available, take State Route 89 east for 0.4 mile and turn left at the sign for trailhead parking. You can also access the BangorAroostook Trail in Mapleton, Stockholm, Washburn and Van Buren.