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Bicycling in Acadia National Park

Program Number: 2196RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/14/2014 - 9/19/2014; 7/6/2015 - 7/11/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
Price starting at: $849.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience a pedaling adventure along Maine’s cliffs and rocky coast and the 360-degree views atop Mount Cadillac. Delight in the heady perfumes of sea and pine as you weave between the rocks of Mount Desert Island and ride extensive car-free routes. Educational forays explain the park’s geologic and natural history, as well as the importance of fishing to the “Downeasters” as you savor their fresh catches in the quaint getaway of Bar Harbor.




Highlights

• Ride around the shore of Somes Sound, the East Coast’s only fjord, as well as between the cliffs of Mount Desert and the rough sea.
• Pedal through extensive carless carriage roads engineered by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. with an expert cycling instructor and biodiversity field guide.
• Enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and forests atop the highest peak on the Atlantic Coast.



Activity Particulars

Rides up to 12-20 miles, 3-5 hours of activity; some steep climbs; hybrid bikes provided.




Acadia National Park

The first U.S. National Park east of the Mississippi River encompasses 47,000 acres of lakes, mountains and shoreline on Mount Desert Island and other small islands in the Atlantic. Some 40 different species of mammals live in the park. Acadia includes Cadillac Mountain, which in certain seasons is the first spot in the country to see sunrise.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel in downtown Bar Harbor.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Bill Langlois

Bill Langlois is a veteran Registered Maine Guide, having led countless sea kayaking, biking and hiking trips on Mount Desert Island over the last several years. His love of the outdoors – and particularly, Acadia National Park – is evident in everything he does. Bill is extremely knowledgeable about the natural and social history of the Bar Harbor area, too, and is always eager to share his knowledge with visitors to this unique corner of the United States.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Bar Harbor Quality Inn
  Bar Harbor, ME 5 nights
 Bar Harbor Quality Inn
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 allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: To be arranged with motel Please contact the motel for availability and rates.
  Check in time: 2:30 PM
  Additional nights after: To be arranged with motel Please contact the motel for availability and rates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30 p.m., hotel lobby You will be staying at Bar Harbor Quality Inn that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 p.m., hotel lobby You will be staying at Bar Harbor Quality Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Assumption Of Risk Form
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at the motel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bar Harbor, ME
  Nearest city or town:  Bar Harbor
  Nearest highway: I 95 to Route 3
  Nearest airport:  Bangor International
  From End of Program
  Location: Bar Harbor, ME
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Bar Harbor

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
MDI Taxi
phone: 207-288-3333
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$30.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

12 miles

   

Taxis run regularly. Call for reservations and exact fees.

 

Bangor

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Bar Harbor-Bangor Shuttle
phone: 207-479-5911
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour, 15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

Shuttle has several departures daily to and from the Bangor airport. Call for reservations and exact fees.

 
Driving Directions
  From the South You may take 1-95 to Bangor, then 1A to Ellsworth and then Route 3 to Bar Harbor; or you can take scenic Route 1 all the way up the Maine coast.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Afternoon Arrival, Victorian walking tour
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 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.
   
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Welcome, orientation, bike fitting/Acadia National Park/Cadillac Mountain
(Monday, September 15)

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.
   
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Park Loop Road/Ocean Drive section of Acadia National Park
(Tuesday, September 16)

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.
   
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mount Desert Island hike
(Wednesday, September 17)

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
   
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Schoodic Peninsula
(Thursday, September 18)

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.
   
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Somes Sound/Departure
(Friday, September 19)

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 Park
An excellent resource for all information about the park. For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/acad/home.htm
  Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
93 Cottage Street - P.O Box 158 - Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 - (207)-288-5103 For additional information, visit www.barharborinfo.com/
  Maine Office Of Tourism
Maine 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Discover Acadia National Park: AMCs Guide To The Best Hiking, Biking and Paddling


Author: Jerry and Marcy Monkman


Field Guide To Acadia National Park, Maine


Author: Russell Butcher


Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park: An Informal History


Author: Sargent Collier




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