Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Driving Acadia Park Loop Road Part II

Yesterday, we left you at the Fabbri Memorial and picnic area, once the site of a naval radio station. This is a great area to stop and eat lunch, with flush toilets and decent restrooms to freshen up after lunch, not your usual pit toilet area. We didn't take photos here, but the picnic tables are in great condition, they are almost all in shaded areas surrounding by lush vegetation, and we really didn't have a problem with bugs or flies while we stopped and ate.  On to the Otter Cove Causeway Bridge....

Hard to get a good photo of this one with the sun angle late in the day...constructed in 1928, the bridge is made mostly of solid rock fill. Despite the name, sea otter do not live on the Atlantic Coast so you won't see any at Acadia. We continued on our lovely drive, passing the Wildwood Stables, home to the fabulous carriage rides on the carriage roads....(see the previous post about our bridge tour)

Next stop....Jordan Pond House....a favorite destination since the 1800's, but reconstructed in 1979 after a fire. However, the popovers on the lawn are a vintage tradition still continued today. You have to make reservations ahead of time to eat there or have a popover, it's so busy!

There are several trails out back behind the house, a walk out back leads you to Jordan Pond in the background with fantastic views of Penobscot Mountain, the Bubble Mountains (in front) and Pemetic Mountain. Come back out front, and across the street is a gatehouse and tower entrance to the carriage roads built in 1932 and residence for park workers today. It is absolutely gorgeous!

This is the side of the house...the architectural details are wonderful....This is one of two gatehouses in Acadia. We have not seen the other one yet.
After leaving Jordan Pond House, we saw the famous rock called Bubble Rock. It's really a large boulder, weighing somewhere between 11 and 14 tons. It looks like it's going to fall any second, but it's  actually very stable. Another name for this boulder which looks like it's been placed into a position where it doesn't belong, is a glacial erratic. You can hike a trail to Bubble Rock if you want. It looks much more impressive close up!
Next, a mile or two down the road is Bubble Pond, one of the prettiest ponds in the park. It looks more like a lake. You are NOT allowed to swim or wade in Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake or Jordan Pond, as they provide water for neighboring towns. There is a 6.1 mile carriage road that goes all around the lake.

You pull into the parking lot and see a wonderful bridge there, the Bubble Pond Bridge. It's one of the 16 carriage road bridges John D. Rockefeller, Jr. built. The area around this particular bridge has spectacular scenery and has a peaceful and reflective atmosphere. John D. struck a delicate balance between preserving nature and providing access. At the time of the construction of the carriage bridges and roads, Rockefeller knew he wouldn't be able to keep the automobile out of his beloved woods, so he envisioned a system of carriage roads and bridges that would give access to future generations for many years to come. He was a remarkable man way ahead of his time with his vision. More about the carriage roads and the bridges in another blog. Back to the tour!

Bubble Pond Bridge
At this location, you can take a strenuous hike up the steep west face of Cadillac Mountain if you wanted to. We didn't.....But Sparky might another day! (I was afraid that was coming, says Eldo.)

The next to the last stop is Eagle Lake...Here is where Sparky started her bike ride the other day, and she posted a photo of the Eagle Lake bridge. It's a beauty, too....So here it is again.....

Sparky's goal is to see all 16 of Rockefeller's bridges in the park before she leaves. The 17th one was built by the park service and crosses Park Loop Road...Many of the bridges are in the heart of the park and you have to hike or bike to get there. We have two weeks remaining, it should be an attainable goal as we've seen at least five so far.

The last stop on the Park Loop Road is following the road to Cadillac Mountain. We had already done that, so our tour for the day has ended...It was beautiful weather, the sights were wonderful, and we've gotten to know the park more intimately. We highly recommend purchasing the little book, or you can get the audio tour for the Park Loop Road at the visitor center. The longer we stay here, the more we love it and know we will be back.


  1. I love that part of the country. A few months back there was a program on TV featuring the bridges & carriage roads built by Rockefeller. He really was a man ahead of his time, wasn't he.

    1. It's amazing to me how careful he planned everything to blend in with the surroundings, how concerned he was to preserve his surroundings. His attention to detail as far as using the native stone in each of the site bridges, reestablishing the plant life after each project was done, it is really something to see and all the bridges are remarkable. His bridges aren't monuments to man or to himself, that's one of the things I like about them.

  2. Again, lovely area! Love the stone bridges.

  3. What a nice drive. Could you have done it on a bicycle or are there too many cars? So glad you are going to be there another two weeks. It makes me feel a bit cooler to look at your pictures....especially of the water....hint..hint..hint! :-)

  4. Absolutely a gorgeous area. How bad are the bugs? I really want to come out that way but bugs and I do NOT get along well at all. I need to figure out what time of the year (besides winter) is the best time to visit. I am so looking forward to more of your tour of the area.