Bahaba is New England speak for Bar Harbor, lol....(Sparky saw that on a license plate years ago).
We are at an Encore Park in Trenton, Maine, called Narrows Too. There's another Narrows Park right down the road a few miles away. We like either one but Narrows Too is our favorite due to the more wide open spaces and quite a few pull through sites.
Encore parks are "free" with our membership. Our monthly Thousand Trails membership cost has paid for stays such as these over and over within very short periods of time. It is well worth it and makes full time RVing affordable. If you were to stay at this park without the membership, it would cost you a lot per night to be able to stay about 10 miles from the Acadia National Park Visitor Center. We couldn't find out from the RV office because the price is based on "dynamic pricing". It depends on what day of the week it is, what time of year it is, and what kind of site you want. They have waterfront sites here, too. So we can stay for two weeks with our membership, then we have to be out of the park for a week before coming back in. We love that we are so close to Acadia!
We happened to be assigned one of the best spots and the biggest in the park. It was just a lucky break. We have a pull through that is really ample, and has a view, although a little bit farther away, of Frenchman's Bay, so we can see the ocean from our living room window.
Sites are gravel and very level. They actually take care of grading and keeping them level! Decent laundry, nice pool, but not open yet as the season isn't fully underway up here just yet and they are waiting on a pool liner which they have no idea when it's going to come in. We have discovered that this is a great time to visit Acadia, as the crowds haven't descended upon the park just yet. A ranger said the end of June is when everything starts jamming up.
Sparky went for a ride one day on the carriage roads in Acadia. For newbies to Acadia NP and this blog, the carriage roads are of great historical significance, as John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s construction efforts from 1913 to 1940 resulted in 45 miles of crushed gravel, 16 foot wide carriage roads that weave in and around the national park. The roads were built to preserve the hillsides, save trees, and take advantage of the views. Even the drainage ditches and run off areas are built of stone that appear to be a part of the natural landscape.
The roads have quite a domed effect to allow for drainage. Along the sides of the roads are granite coping stones nicknamed "Rockefeller's teeth".
As you ride, you can experience many of the beautiful stone bridges in Acadia and see horses still traveling the roads as well, whether they be individual riders or horse drawn carriage tours. This lady had the entire coordinated purple outfit going on. She looked very chic! She even had a Go-Pro camera attached to her purple helmet.
Watch out for horse poop! As a side note, only class 1 E-bikes are permitted on the carriage roads.
The carriage roads are a GREAT workout. There is no steep elevation except in just a few places, but steady ups and downs. The ups might last a half to a mile before you think you are going to have a heart attack, then the downs go down for about the same amount of distance. Just kidding, but riding the carriage roads will definitely get your heart rate up. It is NOT an easy ride if you put in some miles, that's for sure. Even Eagle Lake which is supposed to be more level, has elevation changes, but it's a very popular section of the carriage roads that are not quite as challenging as some of the other loops.
We did a bridge tour several years ago, that was called "Rockefeller's Bridges" and it was amazing! There are sixteen of them and Sparky's favorite is the "Amphitheater Bridge", built in 1931. Pictures of that one coming later on the second bridge bike tour later this week.
If you would like to know more, there are great guides to the bridges and some are easily found online. Sparky hopes to visit all 16 bridges in the park by the end of our two week stay. Here are a few from her first 20 mile ride on the carriage roads.....
Duck Brook Bridge, 1929
Eagle Lake Bridge 1928
Bubble Pond Bridge 1928Deer Brook Bridge 1925
Along the ride today, Sparky stopped by the famous Jordan Pond House. She did not have popovers which they are famous for, but instead opted for the beautiful view outside and the Grab and Go little takeout area for the most delicious homemade lemonade. They also have some quick sandwiches which sure beats waiting for a table for long periods of time at the Jordan House when summer is in full swing. You can eat your popovers out on the lawn with the view of the Bubbles Mountains in the background--(legend says they are named for someone's ample busty girlfriend.)
Sparky then stopped by a pond and saw all these dead trees. She wondered if they had been felled by disease. Nope...From information from a fellow bike rider riding by, who just happened to be a biologist, she learned that beavers had dammed up the pond, killing all the trees by water logging their roots. The trees falls, the beavers eat all the bark to their heart's content, then they pack up and leave. He said it is about a 30-50 year process for the pond to recover. In the meantime, the beavers have moved on. It was striking to see the stark white tree trunks at all sorts of odd angles in the pond. As you traverse the carriage roads, you might come across one of the two gatehouses that herald the entrance to the carriage roads. They are beautiful, too!If the bike trails on the carriage roads are too crowded, then there are other trails outside the national park in the area.
There is a Rails to Trails bike trail that runs for 87 miles called the Down East Sunrise Trail. It is the longest trail section connecting eastern Maine with the East Coast Greenway. The easternmost trailhead is in Ayers Junction, Pembroke. Sparky rode a part of the trail for 26.3 miles out and back the other day. It's not a very good trail heading northeast out of Ellsworth. She kept riding hoping it would get better but it didn't for almost 13 miles. It's for motorized and non motorized vehicles but seemed more for ATV's judging by how many passed by Sparky on her ride. The ruts and potholes from the machines were plentiful. Not an enjoyable ride at all with having to stop for ATV's flying by you unless you consider there is some beautiful scenery of streams and ponds along the way.
With all that, and a couple of nice meals out at local eateries (We loved the Chart House by the way....) our first week passed by rapidly. We are not lobster fans, so all the lobster pounds and lobster roll offerings in the area will just have to be sampled by the next visitors to the area, but they look great and we are sure they serve delicious lobster!
We have one more week to go...more bike rides planned to more bridges in Acadia...There are many many things to do in the Bar Harbor area besides nature and bike rides, but we have done quite a few of those things years ago our first foray out as full time RVers-- a lobster boat tour years ago was wonderful, we've braved the Bar Harbor crowds to shop downtown at the wonderful cute shops there, we did a whale watch tour as well, but this time we are holding onto our tourist dollars for fuel costs instead! Hope we don't bore you with all the nature stuff, but if we do do some other things, we will let you know! Thanks for stopping by to see what we have been doing....Bye for now.....