May 22, 2011

John Christie: Acadia carriage roads: Maine's gift to bicyclists

(Continued from page 1)

CARRIAGE ROADS
click image to enlarge

Bicyclists glide past a vista overlooking Jordan Pond and the Bubbles Mountains on a carriage road at Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor.

Associated Press file photo

Now, let me tell you about Schoodic, if you've never been there. It never ceases to amaze me that folk who drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to Acadia don't take the time to visit this part of the park which is, to me, the quintessential automobile-accessible coastal experience in all of Maine -- or on the entire East Coast, for that matter. Granite headlands, rocky beaches and spruce-fir forests, along with crashing waves on the bold outcrops at Schoodic Point make this a place you'll not only never forget once you've been there. It'll beckon you back time and time again.

And for the biker, it's a paradise with its 6-mile one-way loop right long the ocean's edge. I always start at the Frazer Point parking area at the entrance to the peninsula and head south on the one-way loop road. A stop at the Point is a must, as is, I think, a quick hike to the 180-foot-high Anvil just off the Blueberry Hill parking area. The one-way road becomes two-way a couple of miles south of the little village of Birch Harbor, then its back on Route 186 toward Winter Harbor and you car at Frazer Point. A total of about 11 miles and a thousand memories. In recent years a bike lane has been added to Route 186, so it's a safe and comfortable ride even on the sometimes-busy road.

That's a taste of biking in Acadia. We'll talk more later about both the hiking and kayaking opportunities that await you Down East.

John Christie is an author and an avid, life-ong, year-round explorer of the Maine outdoors. He and his son, Josh, will share this space this summer to highlight some of state's lesser-known places to go and enjoy the beauty only Maine has to offer. He can be contacted at:

jchristie@fairpoint.net

 

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