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  1. #1
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    Acadia National Park

    I am planning a trip up to Acadia National Park in Maine and I am wondering if anyone has recommendations for good cycling routes. I believe the Park Loop Road is good for road bikes but I am wondering if there is anything else anyone can recommend? I would rather stick to fully paved roads preferably with minimal motor vehicle traffic so I am trying to avoid the Carriage roads. I appreciate the feedback.

    Eric

  2. #2
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    Last time I was there (6 years ago) I don't remember much of a shoulder on Loop Rd and it was fairly congested. The trails are nice: dirt and light gravel. Any of the roads around the park are nice; just park your car and explore. You might want to poke around and look for routes from Vt Bicycle Tours. They run tours thru the area.

  3. #3
    Blah, Blah, Blah
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    Depending on what time of year you go, the roads around the island might not be too bad. I've been up 4 times now during Memorial Day weekend and the traffic isn't too bad. However if you are headed up during the "summer season" June - August, you may find the traffic on the roads a bit daunting.
    As you can imagine, it is a very popular tourist/vacation spot and has LOTS of traffic during the peak season.
    On & Off Rhodes.com
    Bike, Hike, Run.

  4. #4
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    Yeah for the loop road, if you can, be there just before the sun comes up and leave once you can see.
    Its an amazing ride when you're on that road all alone except for the occasional deer and knowing you're one of the first people in North America to see the sun rise and it's on a bike over looking the ocean. It's really an amazing ride all alone on that road first thing in the morning. Well worth the effort of waking up early. It's almost always cold starting out any time of year so plan accordingly.

    the road around the edge of Schoodic Point (I probably spelled at wrong) is really nice to but its short so just add to it or do it as laps to make it worth the drive out there. It's a one way road around the peninsula and not a lot of people know about it compared to loop road so that makes it pretty nice. It's not as pretty as loop road but really nice none the less.

  5. #5
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    yes - the park loop road is fantastic. I would ride there more often if not for the six hour drive. and don't miss out on the ride up and down Cadillac Mountain - not to be missed.

    as for other local roads outside the park, there is a wide variety, but be very careful of the many large RV's plying the roads.

  6. #6
    mtnroadie
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    You are in for a treat. Itís a really nice place to ride.

    I spent two days riding there last spring. The park road is a nice place to start, but the carriage roads are not to be missed. I stayed in Bar Harbor and rode in from there. Then I would either go up Cadillac mtn first or save it till the end, either way you have to climb it! There are some dead zones on the climb where my computer would cut out, so donít try and fix your computer sensors, its normal.

    I would suggest ride the park loop road where it hugs the coast its the best part. Then veer off on the carriage roads. The carriage roads are very fine gravel/crushed rock, I rode them on my carbon bike with carbon wheels and high tpi Vittoria Diamante tires. Never had a flat or anything, and I really hammered on those roads (there are some awesome downhills!)

    I would suggest bringing a camelback full of water and snacks, you can easily disappear for 40-60 miles for the whole day. I only did the Bar Harbor side, I heard the other side is pretty hairy, especially for a road bike. Have fun!

  7. #7
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    Indeed! Please ride up Cadillac Mountain!

    I did it two years ago in August - at the height of the supposed tourist season. I went early morning (on the road by 9AM) and loved it. I experienced way less traffic than a typical Boston North Shore sunday morning. Plus, I think the drivers expect the cyclist and are ready for them. I had zero issue with cars. Everyone passed slowly with a wide berth.

    That ride alone is worth the trip.

  8. #8
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    Acadia Local

    Eric,

    When do you plan on visiting Acadia? I live on the island and I can tell you that the riding right now (4/24) is superb -- next to no tourist traffic during the week, even in the Park, and the entire Loop Road and Caddy has been swept clean of winter debris (road it this afternoon).

    As you may know, much of the Loop Road is two lane, but one-way -- it doesn't get any better for a road cyclist (a friend calls it Disneyland). Perfect, silky-smooth pavement (90% of the LR and all of Caddy never sees winter vehicle traffic since the gates are closed), the one-way configuration means you can own the right lane, and it's just over 25 miles if you include Caddy -- oh, and it's entirely in a National Park. Poor us.

    Park at the Visitor's Center off Route 3 and ride the access road up to the Park Loop Road, turn left to heads towards Sand Beach. Near the end you will come up on the mountain road up Cadillac on your right. Nice for hill repeats.

    Besides the Loop Road and Caddy, there are lots of nice island roads to explore -- some better than others, but that's true wherever you ride.

    BTW, the LBS in Bar Harbor is an outstanding resource for more information.

    Enjoy,

    Jeff B.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for your responses, they are very helpful. I am planning a trip in August so I assume it will be busy. I do like the fact that Loop Rd is one way, I was not aware of that. I just want to make sure it's not overly dangerous to ride during the heavy tourist season. Jeff, if you don't mind, I'd love to pick your brain a bit more as the trip gets closer. Thanks again to everyone.

    Eric

  10. #10
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    When you take the loop road don't forget to bring some money. the gate where you pay is a few miles from where you park your car so it's easy to forget (as I found out the hard way). If I remember correctly it's about 5 dollars.

  11. #11
    Rob
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    I there in June a few years ago. I didn't ride but I will say that I was amazed at how the weather could vary from place to place in the park. Misty and foggy on the shore and sunny in the more interior parts of the park all at the same time.

  12. #12
    mtnroadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    When you take the loop road don't forget to bring some money. the gate where you pay is a few miles from where you park your car so it's easy to forget (as I found out the hard way). If I remember correctly it's about 5 dollars.
    I didnt have to pay last year when I went in May, but I would bring some cash just in case.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnroadie View Post
    I didnt have to pay last year when I went in May, but I would bring some cash just in case.
    It was two Septembers ago that I had to pay.

  14. #14
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    The park loop road is one of the best rides you'll make. I've done it a number of times, but in early June or September. Even off the peak season, the roads outside of the park can be congested, but the park loop is fine.

    As previously mentioned, the weather on top of Cadillac Mountain can be a lot different than the base. We drove up to the top in June to catch the sunrise, so we had to be there by 4:30 AM. It was cold and windy - much colder than in town. There was a school bus full of kids in their shorts and t-shirts, freezing their rear ends off, mostly going back inside the bus. We were wearing winter coats.

    Take a walk around Jordan Pond while you're there - highly recommended.

  15. #15
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    Eric,

    Write a post here before you come in August and I'll get you dialed in to riding on the island. It would help to know where you will be staying -- I could map out some rides for you.

    I'd also be glad to meet up and show you around; it's a pretty special place.

    Jeff
    Bar Harbor, Maine

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