2198
Maine
Multi-Sport Adventure: Sea Kayaking, Bicycling and Hiking in Acadia
Kayak below majestic cliffs, bike historic carriage roads, hike stunning mountain trails and enjoy lectures on geology, wildlife and history in Acadia National Park.
Program No. 2198RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Walking Tour, Welcome Dinner
Bar Harbor, ME
D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Afternoon: Check in to motel and register with Road Scholar coordinator in lobby between 2:30 and 3:15 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 3:15, with a walking tour of Victorian Bar Harbor at 4:00.

Dinner: We’ll dine at a local restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor.

Evening: Evening free to explore Bar Harbor area.

DAY
2
Orientation, Biking in Acadia, Cadillac Mountain Drive
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Activity note: To start our multi-sport week, we’ll go biking on the unique carriage roads of Acadia – hard-packed gravel roads which are perfect for cycling. We’ll cover about 18 miles today on our bikes.

Breakfast: A 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 route we’ll be biking today 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 today's 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 21-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 experience 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.

DAY
3
Oldfarm, Sea Kayaking, Naturalist Walk
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Activity note: Today we’ll take to the water in our tandem sea kayaks and will see why the waters surrounding Mount Desert Island constitute one of the premier kayaking venues on the east coast. Our adventure will be about five hours, including paddling lesson, boat fitting and a leisurely lunch break on an island.

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Before kayaking, 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 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. Then we’ll go paddling, experiencing the thrill of gliding through the pristine waters of the Gulf of Maine. Using ultra-stable tandem kayaks, we’ll choose a route that will best fit the conditions. We might kayak among the glacial-carved Porcupine Islands of Frenchman Bay, or perhaps we’ll head to scenic Blue Hill Bay, on the western side of Mount Desert Island. Whatever the location, we’ll observe a gorgeous area from the unique perspective of a sea kayak. Our Registered Maine Guides will provide basic paddling instruction, and will stop often to give commentary. Along the way, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for different kinds of wildlife that we often see on the water – harbor seals and porpoises, cormorants, bald eagles and other seabirds.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic lunch somewhere along our kayaking route, probably on a cobble beach. Hardwood Island, with its nearby mussel farms, might be a good choice. Again, we'll choose from a variety of sandwich offerings.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our kayaking expedition after lunch; it’s amazing how quickly paddling skills improve with a little repetition. As nearby lobster boats haul their trips in the chilly waters, we’ll make our way to our final destination.

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.

DAY
4
Lobster Class, Mt. Desert Island Hike, Lobster Dinner
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L,D
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Activity note: Today we’ll learn why Acadia is considered a hiking paradise as we tackle one of the many trails on Mount Desert Island.

Breakfast: A 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 the hiking begins! Weather permitting, we’ll tackle Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard of North America. We'll probably head up the south ridge trail, enjoying spectacular views along the way.

Lunch: One of the pleasures of hiking in Acadia is having our picnic lunches – individually prepared sandwiches – in some spectacular settings. We’ll stop somewhere on the slopes of Cadillac Mountain to relax, refuel and ponder the beauty of Acadia.

Afternoon: We'll continue our hike, noticing the unique geological features carved out by the Wisconsin Glacier thousands of years ago. We'll enjoy the views eastward towards Schoodic Peninsula, a spectacular headland that juts into the Gulf of Maine.

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.

Evening: Free time to explore Bar Harbor

DAY
5
Morning Multi-Sport Activity, Free Time
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L
Bar Harbor Quality Inn

Activity note: On our multi-sport trips, we find flexibility a great virtue. After three days of different activities, we’ll assess our week so far and decide what to do this morning – biking, hiking or sea kayaking. Whatever the choice, we’ll be assured of another active and enjoyable day in one of the most beautiful venues in New England.

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: This morning, we’ll choose either sea kayaking, hiking or biking, making sure we get an early start so we can be finished at noon, thus leaving everyone a full afternoon to explore Mount Desert Island and the surrounding area on your own.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic at the conclusion of our morning's activity, though some might want to "eat on the run" for their afternoon off.

Afternoon: You're free this afternoon to explore Mount Desert Island in whichever way you choose, and we'll be happy to provide suggestions and advice on the many activities available.

Dinner: You're on your own for dinner tonight in one of the island's many dining establishments.

DAY
6
Somes Sound, Program Concludes
Bar Harbor, ME
B,L

Activity note: We’ll again maintain flexibility and quick choice for our final morning, choosing an activity that will provide a fitting climax to our week in Acadia.

Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.

Morning: Whichever activity we choose, we'll have great fun as we enjoy one final morning on Mount Desert Island. A good possibility is that our final day might find us pedaling our bikes along Sargent Drive, which borders Somes Sound, the only fjord on the east coast of North America. We'll ride in the shadow of the majestic Norumbega Mountain, with views westward towards Acadia Mountain and St. Saveur Mountain. Towards the end of our ride we'll pass many of the Victorian "cottages" still surviving from the glory days of Mount Desert Island as a summer colony.

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 savor our memories of a week on the magnificent Maine coast.






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