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ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE

Bicycling in Acadia National Park

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Road Scholar
Program #2196RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Sep 14 — Sep 19, 2014

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Type: Motel

Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.

Contact info:
40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
web: www.barharborqualityinn.com

Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: To be arranged with motel
Please contact the motel for availability and rates.

Check in time: 2:30 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 14 - Afternoon Arrival, Victorian walking tour
Afternoon: Check in to motel and register with Road Scholar group leader in lobby between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Quality Inn is located in downtown Bar Harbor and is within a short walk of downtown shops and attractions. Our first gathering will be at 3:30, with a walking tour of Victorian Bar Harbor at 4:00.

Dinner: We’ll dine at a local restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor. Each evening there will be a designated entrée, and a light alternative will be available.

Evening: Evening free to explore Bar Harbor area.

Lodging: Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.

Contact info:
40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
web: www.barharborqualityinn.com

Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: To be arranged with motel
Please contact the motel for availability and rates.

Check in time: 2:30 PM


Day Two: Monday, September 15 - Welcome, orientation, bike fitting/Acadia Nationa...
Welcome, orientation, bike fitting/Acadia National Park/Cadillac Mountain

Note: We’ll cycle about 18 miles today on the carriage roads of Acadia National Park – hard-packed gravel road which are ideal for biking. There will also be an optional five-mile ride up Day Mountain.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Welcome and orientation, followed by custom-fitting of bicycles. We’ll give you a capsule look at Mount Desert Island, “the jewel of New England,” and show you the routes we’ll be biking this week in Acadia National Park. Mount Desert, known for its dramatic scenery and universal appeal, is the third largest island on the east coast. As we prepare to start our cycling adventure, our experienced staff will provide an individual bike fitting for each participant, and your group leader will make sure you’re comfortable with your 24-speed mountain or hybrid bike. We’ll begin our biking on the carriage roads of Acadia, built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. These unique roads are closed to motorized traffic – thus they’re perfect for bicycling -- and are home to a dazzling array of scenery. Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond, carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, feature clear, cold water; we’ll skirt both of them on our morning ride. We’ll encounter rolling terrain – yes, there are hills, but they’re manageable -- and our group will move at a comfortable pace. Today’s cycling adventure will last five to six hours, including frequent breaks and our lunch period.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch – individually prepared, of course – on the tea lawn of the Jordan Pond House, an iconic landmark in Acadia. From the gentle sloping shores above Jordan Pond, you’ll experience an unforgettable vista of the water and the Bubbles, twin mountains that dominate the northern end of the lake.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll leave Jordan Pond to continue our cycling trip, passing one of the stone gatehouses that mark the entrance to the carriage roads; the detail is interesting, and the skill of the masons who built this gatehouse is evident. There’s an optional side trip up Day Mountain, with gorgeous views south across the Gulf of Maine, with the Cranberry Islands dotting the seascape. We’ll also pass Bubble Pond, with the craggy west slope of Cadillac Mountain jutting out of the water to form a near-vertical granite face.

Dinner: We’ll dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant, where we’ll enjoy our meal while replaying the day’s adventure.

Evening: We’ll enjoy a scenic drive up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard. When the serpentine summit road was built in the 1930s, it was considered the best-engineered mountain road in the world. From the summit, we’ll marvel at the 360-degree views and will look west towards Blue Hill as the day comes to an end.

Lodging: Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.

Contact info:
40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
web: www.barharborqualityinn.com

Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: To be arranged with motel
Please contact the motel for availability and rates.

Check in time: 2:30 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, September 16 - Park Loop Road/Ocean Drive section of Acadia Nati...
Note: Today we’ll ride a portion of the Park Loop Road, which is paved, as are the other routes for the rest of the week. We’ll cover about 15 miles over steady-but-manageable hills

Breakfast: Continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Before biking, we'll head to Oldfarm, the ruins of the home of George B. Dorr, who's considered the father of Acadia National Park, and we'll learn the fascinating and moving story of how the park was founded and how it came to be the only park in the entire national park system in which the land was donated rather than purchased by the government. Afterwards, we’ll bike the part of the famed Park Loop Road of Acadia, one of the most spectacular oceanfront boulevards in the world. Along the way, we'll pass Champlain Mountain, with its sheer east face and the challenging "Precipice" hiking trail; rugged overlooks where we'll gaze eastward towards Egg Rock Light; and Sand Beach, which is actually composed of crushed sea shells. Some of us might even summon the courage to dip our toes into the frigid Gulf of Maine, which crashes endlessly on the beach

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park, with a wide variety of sandwich offerings.

Afternoon: We’ll continue along the Ocean Drive section of the Park Loop Road, stopping to view Thunder Hole, where the ocean surf can send spumes of spray skyward from the powerful Atlantic. As gulls, cormorants and other seabirds ride the wind currents above, we’ll have a chance for a dizzying view from atop Otter Cliffs, with a vertical drop of more than a hundred feet straight down into the ocean. We’ll make our way to Seal Harbor Beach, which overlooks a portion of the former Rockefeller estate, and we’ll look up from the beach into the surrounding hills, crowded with the opulent Victorian cottages which survive from an era which represented a different way of life. We’ll be picked up for Seal Harbor Beach by our bus.

Dinner: We’ll again dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant, within easy walking distance of our motel. Along the way, we can browse the many galleries and shops which line Bar Harbor’s streets, perhaps finding that perfect memento to take home as a lasting memory of Acadia.

Evening: A naturalist will lead a walking tour of one of the shoreside trails of Acadia, talking about the history, geology and lore of this unique section of Down East Maine. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture the stunning beauty of this area.

Lodging: Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Motel

Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.

Contact info:
40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
web: www.barharborqualityinn.com

Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: To be arranged with motel
Please contact the motel for availability and rates.

Check in time: 2:30 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, September 17 - Mount Desert Island hike
Note: We’ll trade our bikes for hiking shoes this morning, covering three miles on a portion of rolling carriage roads which are closed to bicycle traffic.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: We’ll give those biking muscles a rest this morning and will hike one of the prettiest routes anywhere on Mount Desert Island. Covering a portion of the carriage roads which meander inside and outside the park, we’ll pass the old Rockefeller boathouse, with a sweeping vista towards the site of John D. Rockefeller’s 100-room mansion, which has been torn down. Then we’ll make our way up by Jordan Stream, passing a granite bridge along the way, before arriving at Jordan Pond. The hike, which will move at a leisurely pace, will cover about three miles over hard-packed gravel. Unlike day two, we’ll approach Jordan Pond from the south, which will give us a completely different, more wooded feel. We’ll be picked up at Jordan Pond and transported back to Bar Harbor for our free afternoon.

Lunch: We’ll return from our morning activities and picnic at Albert Meadow, with a beautiful view across Frenchman Bay.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore Mount Desert Island or any of the other nearby coastal areas which catch your fancy. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction for whatever activity you choose.

Dinner: Dinner on your own

Evening: Free time to explore Bar Harbor

Lodging: Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Motel

Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.

Contact info:
40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
web: www.barharborqualityinn.com

Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board.

Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights before: To be arranged with motel
Please contact the motel for availability and rates.

Check in time: 2:30 PM


Day Five: Thursday, September 18 - Schoodic Peninsula
Note: We’ll be riding today on paved roads again, covering about 15 miles, with an optional five-mile extension at the end of the ride.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: A lobster expert will demonstrate, using authentic gear and live lobsters, how Maine’s most famous sea creatures are caught and what the future of the industry looks like. Then we’ll head for a special treat – the Schoodic Peninsula, which lies east across Frenchman Bay. It’s part of Acadia National Park, and our ride over paved roads will take us to the spectacular Schoodic Point, where we’ll lunch as waves crash against boulders lining the shore. There will be a few hills during the first part of the ride, but the last half will be the flattest portion we’ve yet encountered. Schoodic marks the beginning of the “bold coast” area of Down East Maine, where few visitors go. Along our route, we’ll pass Victorian mansions on Grindstone Neck and picturesque fishing villages such as Winter Harbor.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Schoodic Point, a spectacular headland that juts into the Gulf of Maine. Again, we'll choose from a variety of sandwich offerings.

Afternoon: After rounding Schoodic Point, we'll head through the conifer forests and will wind through rustic areas of Down East Maine. We'll offer an optional five-mile extension to Corea, a quintessential fishing village with a bucolic atmosphere. We’ll return to Bar Harbor by bus, savoring our memories of an area that most tourists never see.

Dinner: Tonight we'll enjoy an old-fashioned Down East shore feast, featuring the state’s most well-known crustacean -- Homarus Americanus, the North American cold water lobster.

Lodging: Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, September 19 - Somes Sound/Departure
Note: With our time limited this morning, we’ll have an easy-though-magnificent ride of about six miles.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Our final biking day will find us pedaling along the shores of Somes Sound, the only fjord on the east coast of North America. We'll cycle along Sargent Drive, in the shadow of Norumbega Mountain, and we'll have wonderful views across the fjord to the seldom-visited Acadia Mountain and St. Sauveur Mountain. We’ll end our week’s cycling by pedaling to the Northeast Harbor marina,

Lunch: Our Road Scholar week will come to an end as we enjoy a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow; take part in a brief “graduation” ceremony; and begin to cherish our memories of a week on the magnificent Maine coast and the newfound friends we’ve made.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Bar Harbor, ME
Acadia National ParkAn excellent resource for all information about the park.
For additional information, visit: www.nps.gov/acad/home.htm
Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce93 Cottage Street - P.O Box 158 - Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 - (207)-288-5103
For additional information, visit: www.barharborinfo.com/
Maine Office Of TourismMaine Office of Tourism - #59 State House Station - Augusta, ME 04333-0059 You may request a free full-color guidebook with 260 pages of Maine vacation opportunities through the web site. For Maine travel information, please call 1-888-624-6345.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Included
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5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
13 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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