July 2nd, 2008 01:11 AM
Acadia Carriage Road Slideshow
So.. a while back, my wife informed me we were going to spend a long weekend up in Bar Harbor Maine. She was meeting up with some of her forum friends that are into Boston terriers... great whatever, dogs are fun and if she is paying for the hotel... I'm in. Now I had been to Acadia before, maybe 8, 9 years ago, hiked around and did all that Thunder Hole stuff, but I never rode on the famed carriage roads. Single speeding was getting old and this trip was a good excuse to turn the hardtail into a 1x9 (love it!). So anyway we cruise up there and when my wife is all set doing her own thing, I biked up to the main park entrance at the end of the day. First thing that was cool, there is no gate or park entrance fee for riding in the park, actually it's open 24 hours, sweet... but I couldn't quite find the entrance for the carriage roads? (they look like ordinary hiking trails in the parking lot) ...and of course there are no maps in the boxes, so I just started up the auto road for a bit until I got to Bubble Pond and then got my first real glimpse of the 16' wide crushed stone roads. Still winging it without a map, it was pretty easy to find my way down to the Jordan Pond House which is a main hub, got a pocket map too! So the trails/roads are great fun, I really didn't encounter too many people and I had the throttle wide open most of the time, super fun, it's like the ultimate spin class riding on those roads. It certainly wasn't technical or the climbs very tough, but bombing around at mach speed (responsibly!) was a totally unique biking experience that I'll remember for a long time.
After the first exploration ride I was hooked and obsessed with planning out the next days route. I had formed a goal to bag all of the 57 miles of carriage roads in the park. The next evening when I could sneak away, I had told my wife I would "try" to be back for dinner, but I knew full well that I wasn't headed back until I ran out of daylight!...and I did. This was a great loop with the most interesting views. The trails really don't have names- numbers at intersections. A MUST-DO (traveling North for better DH)19 to12 to 10 to 11 (Aunt Betty Pond) to 6.
The third day I cheated and got dropped off at Jordon Pond when my wife was out site seeing with her friends and the dogs. Today I would hit the remaining trails I hadn't seen yet. "Day Mountain" was a fun little loop (must do) and worth going to the top. Unfortunately some of the carriage roads at the bottom of the park near the ocean are on private property and are off limits to bikes. Trails are a little narrower, not packed as well and not really all that great because they don't really go anywhere (time killers). There are more horses on these trails and allot of the home owners walking their dogs on them. Once in a while you come to an intersection that says "no bikes", so it helps to plan the route ahead of time somewhat so you don't have to make the choice to poach, walk or backtrack, not a big deal though. just read the signs and take note of the different land "shading" on the trail map.
So yeah that's it. I was really surprised with riding in Acadia. 75.47 miles and I still wanted to do more. It rained a bunch and that wasn't even a slight issue on crushed stone. Totally fun and a very unique riding experience, definitely plan to do it again sometime.
Slideshow pictures are in order, enjoy.
July 2nd, 2008 06:48 AM
Looks like a great time. Lots of great photos! My wife and I have ridden the Carriage roads many times. We really like it there. We did a really nice loop from the Blackwoods campground this past Memorial Day. GPS info. Photos. We did it on our mountain bikes but I put slicks on her bike.
One correction though. You do have to pay an entrance fee for the park for the Loop Road. I think it's $10 for cars and less for bikes. It is included in the campground fee and since we always camp I'm not sure. But when we tried to get through the gate on our bikes they asked for our pass. I didn't bring it but they believed me that we were staying at the campground and let us in.
July 2nd, 2008 08:05 AM
i went there once last year, i got really bored seeing now i brought my full suspension, and i had to wait for my sister.
July 2nd, 2008 09:45 AM
Ahh yes, I wasn’t clear… you do have to pay a entrance fee if your in your car on the Paved park loop road and want to get into Sand beach and see the stuff around the coast, but starting from Bar Harbor I did not hit any Gates and you can also get up to the top of Cadillac mtn. without a fee., but it is good to support the National Park System.. $20 bucks for the car though, ouch!
Yeah, full suspension is totally unnecessary and waiting for someone would not be all that fun, but hammering solo on the rigid bike with the ipod on was a blast, Glad I had smooth rolling big knobbies while hitting those wide sweeping corners at speed; skinny slicks would not have cut it.
Last edited by Mt.A TODD; July 2nd, 2008 at 09:49 AM.
July 5th, 2008 05:08 PM
Thanks for the great photos. Acadia is one of my favorite spots. I've done most of those routes myself. Great place to ride.