Acadia National Park Biking Overview

Cycling on Acadia National Park's coastline.
Cycling on Acadia National Park's coastline. (courtesy, NPS)

Acadia's 45 miles of carriage roads and over 27 miles of paved motor roads are supremely suitable for bicycle riding. To get a sense of the scale and complexity of the park's road system, we provide two views of the carriage roads: an overview map , and a detailed map of the roads south of Jordan Pond , where the system is the most complex.

The carriage roads have crushed rock surfaces and wind through the heart of the park. Private carriage roads are posted and off-limits to bicycles. GORP suggests trying a 13-mile carriage road ride along Eagle Lake, the second largest lake in the park, and a couple of other ponds.

An adventurous and energetic visitor with a bike can choose the Grand Tour around the entire circumference of Mount Desert Island, taking in the major coastal landmarks, including Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, and Otter Cove. Then, the Tour takes the biker through Northeast Harbor and along the eastern shore of Somes Sound into Somesville. The route can measure a heart-pumping 68 miles, or, if you omit the Western Loop, 39 miles.

The 27-mile scenic Park Loop Road begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and offers access to sites such as Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain. The Western Loop takes the rider around the western, and much less visited half of Mount Desert Island.

Beginning at Jordan Pond and riding to Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and finally to Somes Sound, the cyclist can explore the western portion of the eastern half of Mount Desert Island.

In addition to Park Loop Road, other state and county roads may offer scenic views. The road located on Schoodic Peninsula, one hour north of Bar Harbor, offers views of the rugged coast on the only part of the park on the mainland.


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