Disclaimer: This Portland, Maine Six-Lighthouses Tour and Back Cove Trail Loop recap contains affiliate links…


Touring Lighthouses from Two Wheels

Prior to going to Portland, a friend who spends much of the summer on her little island in Maine gave me a list of recommendations of places to see and restaurants to visit while there. On the list was taking a harbor lighthouse tour. Bill and I liked the idea of seeing as many lighthouses as we could, but from our bikes rather than from a boat.

Bill set about finding a Ride With GPS route and landed on a route that we loaded into our Garmins (affiliate link). In full disclosure, the Ride With GPS route below is one Bill put together after our ride and includes about three more miles than what we rode on the two separate routes.

Even though we found only five of the six lighthouses, the ones we found were beautiful!


Ride Overview
  • • Ride With GPS Name: 33-Portland6LighthouseBackC
  • • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
  • • Location: Portland, ME
  • • Start/Finish: Mahoney Middle School, Portland, ME
  • • Course Type: Loop
  • • Course Surface: Paved
  • • Distance: 23 miles
  • • Time: 1:49:28
  • • Average Speed: 12.6 MPH
  • • Maximum Speed: 26.7 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 1,079 feet
  • • Elevation Range: 1 to 142 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 54° to 58°
  • • Course Map:


Fun Pictures From Along the Way

The following pictures were taken either with my iPhone (affiliate link) or my husband’s Insta360 (affiliate link)…

Breakwater Lighthouse also called Bug Light was built in 1897…


Spring Point Ledge Light was built in 1897…


We decided to climb higher to get a more scenic view of the lighthouse, but didn’t want to push our bikes up the narrow path…


So we carried them up nearby steps…


Viewing Spring Point Ledge Light from the higher vantage point…


Portland Head Light which was built in 1791…


Lobster truck next door in Fort Williams Park…


We road on a narrow gravel and dirt path along the ocean…


Cape Elizabeth Light East Tower built in 1828…


Cape Elizabeth West Lighthouse was built in 1828 and is now a private residence…


Rocky beach; so different than what I’m used to seeing on the Outer Banks…


Garmin Stats

Post-ride Garmin picture…


Garmin map and elevation graph…



Back Cove Trail

Once finished with our lighthouse tour, we drove to the parking lot at Back Cove Trail for the start of our next ride. Had we planned a little better, we would have found a route (like the one below) which connected the two loops.

We were surprised that such a large percentage of Back Cove Trail was gravel, but since we were riding our gravel bikes we were fine. The trail wound around Back Cove and had a connector to get on another trail that took us to downtown Portland along Casco Bay and Portland Harbor.


Ride Overview
  • • Ride With GPS Name: 33-Portland6LighthouseBackC
  • • Ride with GPS: Link to turn-by-turn navigation cue sheet
  • • Location: Portland, ME
  • • Start/Finish: Mahoney Middle School, Portland, ME
  • • Course Type: Loop with a tail
  • • Course Surface: Paved with gravel
  • • Distance: 7 miles
  • • Time: 36:15
  • • Average Speed: 12.3 MPH
  • • Maximum Speed: 19.9 MPH
  • • Elevation Gain: 151 feet
  • • Elevation Range: -9 to 31 feet
  • • Temperature Range: 58° to 59°
  • • Course Map:


Fun Pictures From Along the Way

Trails in the area…


Back Cove…


We were pleasantly surprised that the highway bridge we needed to cross had a separate bike lane…


Heading down to a lower loop closer to the water which would take us along Casco Bay and Portland Harbor to downtown Portland…


Cool graffiti…


Garmin Stats

Garmin map and elevation graph…


Final Thoughts on the Ride

Bill and I regretted not finding (or making) an all-inclusive Ride With GPS route prior to heading out for our ride, but breaking it up into to separate rides wasn’t a big deal. I’m sure it would have taken us less time to ride the extra three miles than it did to break down our bikes (remove our Garmins, Varias (affiliate link), and headlamps), put the bikes on the bike rack on the back of our SUV, drive to the next starting location, and put our gadgets back on our bikes, than it would have to continue our ride.

For cycling near a city, this wasn’t crowded or scary. While researching, I found similar routes with tour guides that charge from $175 to $250, but since we had our own bikes there wasn’t any reason to pay unnecessarily. Doing our own thing allowed us to stay at each lighthouse as long (or short) as we wanted.

We had a lot of fun on our little adventure and would happily do this ride again!


  • • Have you been to Portland, Maine?
  • • Do you enjoy joining tour groups?
  • • Do you stop and relax occasionally to fuel or take pictures, or barrel on through when on a long run or ride? ~ Both for me depending on the circumstances, but these two rides were more relaxing and we wanted to get pictures of all of the lighthouses.


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.