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Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

We will be in Acadia National Park for 2-3 days after the Fourth of July and we would like to take a half-day and bike on the Carriage Roads with our 2 teenage sons.

Where is the best place to start?

Where is the best place to rent bikes? (Approximately, what does it cost for ~4 hours?)

What is the recommended tour?

What should we bring (other than water, snacks and a camera)?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Virginia
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1. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

We havent rented bikes in a while but I think there are two main rental stores. One right near Route 3 and one near the center of town. Either of these places can recommend an excellent half-day tour.

The carriage roads are in excellent condition and anywhere in the park is accessible. If I remember correctly, we started our bike trip at Bubble Pond, went to the far west carriage roads and ended up going around Eagle Lake. It was around 20 miles total. It was a great bike trip but the bike seats were really......unforgiving. ;)

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

The common joke is that it doesn't make any difference where you start because it <is> a network and all the carriage roads are uphill.

Probably the two most popular places to start are Bar Harbor itself and Jordan Pond.

Not being a cyclist, I can't help with recomendations or prices.

Unless you are dedicated cyclists, I suggest renting the bikes and then using the Island Explorer to transport you into the park---either Jordan Pond or Eagle Lake. The reason I say this is that access to the carriage road system from Bar Harbor is by way of a long, steep hill---most people that I see on that stretch are moving painfully slowly or walking their bikes.

There is an excellent guide to the carriage road system: "A pocket guide to the carriage roads of Acadia National Park" written by Diana Abrell. It is sold locally at several places or can be ordered from <www.downeastbooks.com>. It provides several loops and a map that would let you design your own tour.

One of the most popular loops seems to be the "Around the Mountain Loop," which is about 11 miles long and takes you around several mountains. Again, the carriage road system is a network, so you could easly enlarge upon the 11 miles. The only real limitations are your own imagination and energy, and that a few of the roads on private land (at the southern end of the system) do not permit bicycles.

Lots of water. Sun screen isn't a bad idea, either. Although much of the system is at least partly shaded, there are some open stretches.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

The approximate cost is $15 per person for a half day rental. As the previous poster said, I would caution against biking that steep hill from the village of Bar Harbor into the Park.

I'd rent a bike from any of the rental places on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, bike the two blocks to the Village Green, take a free Island Explorer bus (two bikes on front, two bikes on back rack) to Jordan Pond, and then bike back to the village of Bar Harbor by way of Bubble Pond and Eagle Lake. The trip back into town from Eagle Lake is on a highway but it is all downhill and only about two miles.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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4. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I am amazed at the responsiveness and helpfullness of this forum.

I love the idea of using the Explorer bus to get to Jordan Pond and then bike back to Bar Harbor. It sounds like a wonderful trip ... too bad I can't reserve good weather as well! :)

Bar Harbor, Maine
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5. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

MIchUConn:

"Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I am amazed at the responsiveness and helpfullness of this forum."

You're welcome. It would be helpful to those coming after you if you could contirbute a short review after you return home.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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6. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

That't the least I could do ... :)

What's the best way to do this? Should I just reply to my original question with a review of what we did along with the pros and cons or does it make more sense to start a new message with a title similar to

"Carriage Roads Review"/

Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
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7. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

MichUConn: "What's the best way to do this? "

Almost anything would work. Perhaps using your title as posted here, with an addition of "afterwards" or something like that, would work best.

Many who post here obviously love the park and many have spent a lot of time here--hiking, biking, etc. Nevertheless, none of us know it all, and fresh viewpoints and experiences are always welcome.

Enjoy your stay.

8. Re: Where to bike on the Carriage Roads

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