Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day 5--Acadia National Park--Carriage Roads with Lots of Bridges to See

Sparky's apologizes for the break in info about Acadia and riding the carriage roads. Sparky took a week's break from picking out her favorite Acadia photos and blogging about the carriage roads to go on a road trip with her daughter's car back to Virginia, and to welcome her daughter home from a long stay in Kuwait. She's BA-A-A-C-K! (Both of them...explains E.)

A little aside about Acadia National Park...It preserves parts or all of 15 islands in addition to Mount Desert Island.  It's about 35,000 acres with 41 miles of coastline, has the only fjord in the eastern U.S., AND the highest point on the Atlantic coast of North and South America. (Cadillac Mountain).

Sparky LOVES the Rockefeller bridges. There are 16 of them that are within the carriage road system and more outside the carriage roads. Each bridge is unique, and what a lot of people don't know, if you don't get off your bike, or head down the paths that you can barely see at the sides of the bridges, you will miss a whole other world. There are trails that criss cross the carriage roads, go under the bridges and beautiful falls and streams and other surprises await, like this little wooden bridge on a trail a ways back from one of the bridges.

This is Sparky's favorite bridge, the Amphitheater Bridge.

Here's an example of what you might see if you traverse down a bridge's side and look for trails underneath.

This photo below was taken underneath and to the side of the Waterfall Bridge....

One of the coolest things about Acadia and Rockefeller's vision, are the fact that the trails and paths that lead you to Mother Nature's beauty are so well blended into the landscape, although they are man made trails, that you can't even tell they are there.....This looks like an impossible walk through, but it's really quite easy because the stone and rocks have been deliberately placed so you can step from one rock to the next, and not jam your ankle in a crack somewhere, as long as you are stepping carefully!

See the blue blaze on the trail? (it's on the tree in the center) This really is a trail!

Sparky's ride today was on the other side of Acadia, near Northeast Harbor. She wanted to see FIVE bridges. This was going to be a longer ride. Eldy dropped Sparky off at the parking lot to the side of where the Brown Mountain Gate Lodge is located, on 198 on Mount Desert Island.

We had rented a nice little bike rack from the Bar Harbor Bike Shop on Cottage Street to transport the bike rental over to that side. Sparky was going to ride the Upper and Lower Hadlock Pond loop and the Long Pond loop-- on the bike map highlighted in blue--rated DIFFICULT. Where you see stars, are the bridges. The hard part is identifying the bridges two weeks AFTER you saw them, and trying to match up the stars with the names of the bridges on the Acadia park map with this bike map. (There are no signs at the bridges). The numbers on this map are the signpost numbers.

Here's the park literature map WITH the bridge names (off to the side,  not pictured) and numbers which have nothing to do with the bike shop map numbers! See how Sparky is confused? :-) (Doesn't take much to do THAT! laughs E.)

Did Sparky get lost again on the carriage roads? Yep, briefly. You see, many of the carriage rides are loops. So when you get to a signpost, which is numbered, and which is on the bike map, sometimes it will say go either way to get to a certain point, because it's a loop. Sparky's problem is, she's spatially challenged BIG time, and she doesn't know which way is east- west- north or south on a cloudy day (or any day! laughs E, AGAIN). So she briefly went a wrong way on one of the loop routes, then asked some other bikers which way she was supposed to be going, and they straightened her out.

Sparky thinks she did over 20 miles today....She started the "Map My Ride" bike app, but it ran down the phone battery so fast, she turned it off. And if it wasn't 20 miles, it certainly was a stupendous workout with all the hills. She needs a portable odometer! It was a really fabulous ride today.....
Hadley Brook Bridge
Next up, a whale watching tour with quite the story! See you later......


  1. Such great memories your pictures bring back. I had so hoped to be there this summer. The carriage roads are wonderful. But I thought Eldy was a big time bike rider. Why did he drop you off??

  2. we were hoping to make it aback upt there this summer but probably won't ... thanks for taking us there virtually...

  3. Wonderful memories coming back thanks for the refresher.

  4. Another great adventure! Beautiful area, we drove all around it and checked out some of the scenic overlooks.