I'm in the planning stages for next year's tour (Northern Maine back home to San Diego by way of friends and family in various parts of the US) and have some questions about possible routes in Maine. At this point the rough plan is to start in Quebec and ride the Route Verte to Edmundston, cross into Madawaska and head south, joining up with the Northern Tier around Ellsworth and then west. I'll probably start in mid-May, first week of June at the latest.
That said - from Madawaska onwards, what's the best bike route down to Ellsworth?
Rt 1 which pretty much follows the border south, then west on 9, and south again on 179 to Ellsworth? Get off 1 at Houlton for 2/2a and work over to Ellsworth once I'm near Bangor?
As an alternative, has anyone had experience using the Bangor-Aroostook, Southern Bangor Aroostook, and Sunrise rail trails? I've searched for info on them, but actual ride reports are spotty and a lot of the info seems outdated including the Rails to Trails website. Has anyone ridden a loaded touring bike on these?