04 Feb On The Trail: Kennebec River Brew Pub to Lake Parlin Lodge
Earlier this week I decided to check out the trails north of the Kennebec River crossing on ITS 87 and they did not disappoint. Leaving my base camp at Northern Outdoors at a leisurely 10am I pointed my skis for Parlin Lake Lodge about 30 miles away. On the Kennebec River Trail I had my fair share of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) encounters before linking up with ITS 87 North and eventually the greater West Forks “downtown” area.
Heading North out of town I continued on ITS 87 and this is where the riding got really good, the sun was out, the temps were hovering around a balmy 20 degrees and the trails were recently groomed. I enjoyed some awesome riding–a combination of wide open straight aways and beautiful, turny wooded trails–for about 20 miles before heading west on the Lake Parlin connector.
Arriving on the eastern shore of the widest part of the lake, Lake Parlin Lodge is visible in the distance on the opposite side. The Lake crossing itself is marked with a series of wooden stakes that divide you from oncoming traffic so you can really see what’s under the hood before you reach the other shore, but don’t forget to stop and look west at Coburn Mountain which–from the lake–shows its steep, pointed ridge.
After enjoying a quick lunch at Lake Parlin Lodge, I was itching to get back on the trail, and because the riding was so good on the way north, I decided to double back and enjoy the same section of trail. This, however, is not the only option for heading back to Northern Outdoors. If you have the time, gas, curiosity etc., you can continue west on the Lake Parlin connector to ITS 89 South before reaching ITS 86 which brings you back to downtown West Forks. Be sure to grab a map and check out the options that this loop gives you.
Taking 87 south, I had a different option in mind: paying a visit to our friends at the Hawk’s Nest Lodge to enjoy a classic Forks Martini (a PBR with olives) before returning to Northern Outdoors to grab a Kennebec River Brew and a nice hot meal.
All in all this was just the trip I was looking for, a relatively quick 50+ mile round trip with a couple pit stops in between and some excellent riding the whole way. But this trail ride has more options than just that. Make it a loop, take in the views from Coburn’s peak, or check out the mysteries of the Enchanted Loop Trail. The trail is your oyster!
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