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cranktankerous Mainer
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610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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.
Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 21 miles near Bar Harbor | Times and Records | Strava

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.
Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 31 miles near Bar Harbor | Times and Records | Strava

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.
Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 23 miles near Mt Desert | Times and Records | Strava

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.
 

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beer thief
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4,931 Posts
Yeah, that place rocks. The kids & I went up a few weeks ago and pedalled a little bit. Also hiked the Beehive in pouring rain for added excitement.

I think it's BS that the Park Service can't negotiate an agreement to connect carriage roads from Day Mountain to Jordan Pond, it's about 1/4 mile.
 

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cranktankerous Mainer
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610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I stopped to talk to a resident as I was hiking with my bike on one of the “closed” trails, the “story” I got was some local biker had an altercation with the private land owner while he was out on his horse. I guess the biker acted like a jerk and said F U, so the land owner shut it down. But your right Rob, it’s messed up the Park can’t do something better in that area.
 

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Back on the wagon
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1,091 Posts
Awesome riding up there for sure. Last time I was there my wife and I went out for a 20 mile spin or so. Next time I visit I'm bringing the cross bike and seeing how many miles of carriage road I can do in a day :)
 

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7 Posts
Hey Todd
I am headed up to Acadia in August and was reading through some threads and found your great trip description, but I can't get the links to work. Were those your routes? is there another way to access them?
Nice slideshow - really gives me a good look at the carriage road surface.
Thanks,
Maryann
 

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cranktankerous Mainer
Joined
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610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hi Maryann,
ok, I fixed the links above, thanks!- It seems that Garmin has messed with things & updated their website, for some reason it won't show those tracks from 08' anymore on maps?? Well, alright, good thing I uploaded them to good'ol Strava! I also found some other rides as well, same routes basically, its ALL good in any direction. Really can't go wrong or get lost. Early evening when the Horses get put back in the barn is the best time to go and the changing sunlight in the woods is awesome! Also, if you like going fast a BELL is really good to have, joggers and walkers never look back and even tho line of sight is really far, it takes two seconds to be on top of them, a bell is super useful in there. All these rides were done on a hard tail mtb with a 32 ring, blah, spinning, spinning... This Sept. I'll be hitting them on cross bike and skinny tires, can't wait for that upgraded experience as that is the proper way to do it! Have Fun!

2012-
Saved by the Bell. by tacotoad at Garmin Connect - Details

Horse poop in my mouth. by tacotoad at Garmin Connect - Details

Southwest Side
South West Swisher by tacotoad at Garmin Connect - Details

2010
Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 29 miles near Bar Harbor | Times and Records | Strava

2008 (same as top post)
Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 21 miles near Bar Harbor | Times and Records | Strava

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 31 miles near Bar Harbor | Times and Records | Strava

Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 23 miles near Mt Desert | Times and Records | Strava
 

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Registered
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7 Posts
Thank you so much Todd! I appreciate you putting up the rides. I am going to try and put them on Strava once my iphone will agreeably allow me to install the app so that will be fun to try out if I can make it work.

Yep I have a bell now and use it. Felt a little funny using it at first, but I hate startling people and I got over using it big time when biking with some Italians in Italy. They REALLY use their bells and get a bit indignant with pedestrians that ignore the warning. At least the ones I was cycling with there did...lots of hand gestures back and forth that I don't think meant "have a nice day"

and 802 - got a good chuckle imagining my Great Pyrenees in a bike trailer, would be a calorie burner for sure.
 
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