WISCASSET, Maine — September in Maine has a lot going for it.
The fall foliage is starting to show off some colors, days and nights are cooler with no annoying bugs, farmers are starting to harvest and it’s some of the best bicycling weather of the year.
The folks at The Morris Farm in Wiscasset are hosting their 17th annual Tour de Farms on Sept. 10, where riders can enjoy some cycling and some gorgeous fall scenery and sample local farm products.
“We really want to connect cyclists and local food lovers with the farms of midcoast,” said Pat Cloutier, farm administrative assistant and director of programming. “We want this to be a fun, scenic ride through our beautiful farmland that connects people to the goods and produce that come from the area.”
Riders can choose among the family-friendly 17-mile ride or the more challenging 45- or 65-mile routes. All three start and end on the Morris Farm.
“People will go through many different farms,” Cloutier said. “The farms’ owners will have what they grow or produce to sample every place riders stop.”
In addition to learning about who is growing what and where along the midcoast, Cloutier said riders can purchase items from the different farms.
A special vehicle will follow behind to pick up and deliver the purchases to the Morris Farm, so riders can continue along without having to carry what they bought.
“We really want this to be more than a bike tour,” Cloutier said. “We wanted the farms and farmers to be involved, too.”
Operated as a trust, the 22-year-old Morris Farm is both a working and educational farm promoting sustainable agriculture and responsible land stewardship.
The 50-acre farm supports a University of Maine Cooperative Extension master gardener program and a variety of community gardens and offers regular hands-on events for students.
Riders in the upcoming Tour de Farms end their day back on the farm with a picnic barbeque, Cloutier said.
“The routes are well marked and safety is stressed,” Cloutier said. “It’s all on paved, back roads and the longer-distance rides are challenging.”
Online registration is open until 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, and registrations are also accepted the day of the ride. For more information and to register, visit www.morrisfarm.org.