Yen's Blog

Lens, Wheels, Skates, Keyboard

Acadia National Park: Biking the Carriage Roads

Another unique feature of Acadia is the extensive system of carriage roads. Built in the first half of the 20th century by the Rockefeller family for use by horses and carriages, these roads traverse Mount Desert Island and offer unparalleled access to the its interior. These are possibly the most scenic bike paths anywhere. Due to its length of more than 45 miles, the carriage roads are best experienced on a bicycle. This is the activity that we’ve done most often and I’m happy to say we’ve biked most of the carriage roads here (some are outside the park proper and off-limits to bicycles).

We sometimes bring our own bike, but our preference is to rent a tandem bike from Bar Harbor Bike shop. Not only is it more fun, the tandem makes going up hill much easier. From the shop, some people take their bikes to the park on an Island Shuttle. The shuttle, which can accommodate regular (not tandem) bikes on a rack mounted on the front, is a free and convenient way to get around the park. We prefer to bike directly to the park via Duck Brook access road. We typically make a half-time pit stop at Jordan Pond to have lunch and recharge before making the journey back. This time we also take a detour to Day Mountain, which is the only mountain whose summit is reached by a carriage road.

Here’s a map of the route we took.