The Carriage Roads make up approximately 45 miles within Acadia National Park. John D. Rockefeller Jr. financed and had the roads built between 1913 and 1940. The paths consists of intricate gravel roads and stone bridges throughout the park. Today you can still hike, bike and ride horses on these roads around various areas. If Biking the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park is on your bucket list it easy to set up and well worth the ride.
To begin, head to Bar Harbor and park along the street (yay free parking!). As long as you arrive fairly early, free parking should not be a problem. Head on over to Acadia Bike Shop (the one closer to the center of town) and rent your bike. They have various types to choose from (road, mountain, etc) and will adjust the seats and helmets for you. Prices were reasonable at $25 for a full day. The bus stop that takes bikes on board is just two blocks away at the Village Green Square and runs every half an hour. (Called the Island Explorer Bicycle Express- schedule here). The driver will load your bike for you and take you to Eagle Lake which has the start of various Carriage Road routes.
The Hubs and I opted to seeing a lot of ground so went around the Eagle Lake loop to Witch Hole Pond. The entire route was fairly flat but with enough hills to make me need to take a break every now and again. We stopped multiple times to wander off the path a bit and take in some views. Coasting downhill made me feel like a kid again and was worth each hill climb. It was drizzling on and off the entire morning but when we reached the end of Witch Hole Pond it began to gain speed. We decided to bike back to Bar Harbor (there is a bike path most of the way- the bike shop recommended the routes to get back) versus back to the Eagle Lake and waiting for the bike shuttle. The rain certainly did not feel the best going fast down the hills into the harbor! After returning our bikes we grabbed a quick bite and did some Bar Harbor shopping (which I will be sharing soon!)
I hope you will add Biking the Carriage Roads to your itinerary the next time you are visiting Acadia National Park! Enjoy some shots of our ride below.