We were awakened early — Maine’s “roosters” were in the trees, yakking up a storm!! There were 4 or 5 huge crows right above us and I think they are related to the crows on the Windex commercials. We weren’t sure what the park’s position on throwing rocks at birds at 5:15 in the morning was, so we just made a pot of coffee instead.
This was breakfast every morning. It just tastes so much better when you are tenting!! Sweet Baboo couldn’t wait to get out and get on the bikes. Ham and eggs and toast, coffee (yum!!) and hit the road!!
I’m going to give you a little bit of advice here. If you go to Acadia and intend to ride, stop at the first visitor center that you see and get a map of the carriage roads — we didn’t and kicked ourselves for not getting one. In our defense, we didn’t know that the maps existed until our last day riding. Better yet, click this link and it will take you directly to the map I’ve just mentioned and you can print it out.
All of the campgrounds are serviced by shuttle buses that will pick you up and bring you to different parts of the park. You can also be picked up at the Village Green in Bar Harbor. The buses are equipped to carry your bikes for you, if your destination is the carriage roads. Parking is very limited at the access points. We took our chances, piled the bikes in the truck and took Rt 3 to the Lower Hadlock Pond area and were lucky enough to find a parking space.
Another bit of advice — if you decide to take your bikes to one of the entry points in your own vehicle, do yourself another favor and bring a cooler of food and water with you. Be sure to take some water and power bars or something similar with you on the carriage roads, but I guarantee that you will be starving when you get done riding.
Okay, enough “guidance”.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, my bike was stuck in one gear — low enough for level riding but not nearly low enough for inclines. We took our time, taking pictures along the way. It wasn’t long before we realized that however fun it is to coast down these long, winding hills, eventually you have to pedal your butt back up! We started to get the gist of that when we passed a lot of bicyclists coming from the opposite direction, pushing their bikes. Definitely an uh-oh in my book.
This is one of 17 bridges that are scattered throughout the park. And no, I didn’t manage to get pictures of all of them, thank you very much for asking. Forty-five miles of roads is a bit too much for a novice biker like me!!
So, after maybe a mile or so, we decided to turn around and come back, rather than push on, not knowing what’s around the next corner or over the next hill. I did my own share of pushing on the way back, not having my gears working properly. When we got back to where we started, we were glad we brought the cooler.
This is the view from Rt 3 looking down toward Northeast Harbor. Everywhere you look in Acadia, the views are breathtaking. The roads in the park are fabulous — I’m thinking that they must be closed in the winter, because there are no potholes or patching to be seen anywhere.
One of John D Rockefeller’s gatehouses that was used, back in the day, as an entrance to the carriage roads. It’s easy to imagine what it must have been like back then — I think the roads haven’t changed much in nearly 100 years. There are “coping stones” that are lined up along the roads, that served as guard rails. You can see examples of these stones in the picture above. The ditches along the roads are paved with stones (granite perhaps) that prevent the water that streams down from undercutting the roads. It’s a very well thought out area.
As I recall, after we finished our ride, we made a stop at the grocery store in Bar Harbor, then went back to the campground and had a two hour nap. All that fresh air knocked the stuffing out of both of us.
Day three later.