Acadia of the Lands and Forest covering portions of Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec is the host region for the 2014 World Acadian Congress.
Cyclists can touch their wheels on all three during the Tour de L’Acadie bicycle trek Aug. 16, sponsored by Fresh Trails Adventures.
“This is not a race or a benefit ride,” Mark Rosignol, the man behind Fresh Trails, said. “This is a ride in the tradition of a European randonee where you ride with your fellow cyclists at your own pace.”
The Tour de L’Acadie offers something for every level of cyclists with three different rides, all starting and ending at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and crossing over the international bridge into Clair, New Brunswick.
All participants must have a valid passport to enter Canada and re-enter the United States.
A family friendly 10-miler is a gentle out and back ride on the Clair ATV trails.
“This is a nice ride families with kids can do together,” Rossignol said. “It is traffic-free other than crossing the bridge.”
The 32-mile ride is entirely on paved roads and takes riders along the shores of Baker Lake to the Romain Carron covered bridge and the ride’s rest stop.
From there riders loop back toward Clair around Lac Unique and through St. Francois, New Brunswick, before crossing back over the international bridge into Fort Kent.
“This is a fairly gentle ride with some rolling hills,” Rossignol said.
For the cyclists wanting more of a challenge, the 55-mile ride splits off at the covered bridge and heads up and over some challenging climbs into Packington with a rest stop at the community center. Then it’s on to Jerry Lake, New Brunswick, before taking the riders up a difficult gravel climb on Monte de Belle Vue followed by a four-mile descent into Clair and back to Fort Kent.
“The routes are really good,” Rossignol said. “I do want people to realize the 55-miler is a real challenge that kicks off with a real climb right out of Baker Lake and has both paved and gravel roads.”
The Tour de L’Acadie is a fully supported ride with SAG wagons, water and snacks available.
All three rides include a breakfast before taking off and a post-ride party at UMFK with an Acadian-themed lunch and concert with The Ghost of Paul Revere.
There are also raffles for new bicycles and other cycling gear.
Participants get a goodie bag filled with cycling items and coupons.
So far more than 125 riders from around the US, Canada and even France have signed on for the rides and registration is open until the start of the ride Saturday.
“These rides are more social than racing,” Rossignol said. “We want people to stop and take photos and really enjoy the scenery.”
Registration and breakfast at UMFK is between 7-8 AM EST for the longer 54 mi/80 km ride and 8-10 AM for the 30 mi/50 km route. For more information and to register please visit:http://freshtrails.com.