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Level: Easiest
Length: 45 mi (72.4 km)
Surface: Fire Road
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +997/ -1,078 ft
Total: 64 riders

Mountain Biking Acadia Carriage Roads

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#18 of 121 mountain bike trails in Maine
#2,377 in the world

OK, I gave this an aerobic difficulty of 8 because I hadn't done any biking in the two or three weeks before attempting this, so maybe someone in a little more shape would find this to be a six or seven. Not very technical as these are all car-free carriage roads built by John Rockefeller, Jr, but depending on the trails you take, you may have to face some 700-1000+ ft climbs on gravel roads. The views, especially in the fall with the color changes, are SPECTACULAR once you reach the peaks of the climbs. Coming down is a LOT more fun, though be careful in the gravel - very easy to slide out of control. Trails are also used by hikers and equestrians, so please follow IMBA trail rules. Overall, I rate this network a 10. Great to ride, great views, great history, great photo ops. Great place for a rigid, or even for singlespeeders after some pain. Also, great chances for some hiking - bikes are not allowed on any of the hiking trails, and there is no single track riding available on the Island (Acadia National Park). Also, some of the carriage roads are private, and are marked as such - please respect the markings and do not trespass.

All of the trail intersections are very clearly marked, though I would highly suggest purchasing a local map/guide book of the trails, which offer information such as points of interest, trail length, difficulty, etc. These also enable you to find your way back to your car, and you can create your own 'loops'. Again, there is some serious climbing to be done.

Roadies can also climb Cadillac Mountain in the park - the road up is open from one hour before sunrise until midnight, and due to the tourist traffic on the narrow roads, park rangers suggest that you attempt this in the earlier hours. Cadillac Mountain is 1532 feet high, and is the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coastline. Please note that not all of the park roads are open to cyclists.

First added by searsandrewj on Oct 13, 2003. Last updated Apr 30, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
There are several points of entry into the network of trails, depending on which trails you are interested in riding. The carriage roads in Acadia National Park are located on Mt. Desert Island, off the coast of Maine. There are several points of entry off of Rt. 233, all marked with brown signs. Rt. 233 will also take you directly into Bar Harbor, ME. To get to 233, you can take Rt 3 East from I-95N, and then 3 to 3/198. Once you have passed through Ellsworth, continue on 3/198 towards Trenton and Bar Harbor. Or, refer to Rand MacNalley like we did. In the off season, lodging from bed and breakfasts, to waterfront cabins, to KOA campgrounds can be found anywhere.
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Acadia Carriage Roads Trail map

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Good (on Aug 23, 2022)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Bar Harbor, Maine

Beginner | 3 mi

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  • bmxking45

    Gravel carriage roads more suited to a cyclocross bike. Great ride for the family who are put off by the more technically challenging trails.

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  • Richard Hespen

    These are just gravel roads and I would not consider this mountain biking. Still, the scenery is amazing and there are some tough climbs so you can get a good workout.

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  • Called2RideMTB   ✓ supporter

    Double Track / Gravel road trails that wind through the national park. Great to walk or ride, and there are a few single track parts. Good climbs with fast, winding down hills

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  • sssirois

    No technical challenge whatsoever...however plenty of aerobic opportunities with 25 miles of trails winding through mountains & forest of mount desert island in the heart of Acadia national park

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  • [email protected]

    I loved riding here. The views are amazing. The climbs are challenging, though the "trails" are really gravel roads. Beautiful place. I would love to go back.

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  • jaybird57

    Lovely and picturesque!

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  • leorobpea

    Five stars for the scenery alone. Day Mountain is my personal favorite.

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  • Magnus14

    Unbelievably pretty riding incredible views of mountains, lakes, and the ocean. Trails are smooth gravel roads and very well maintained, I think it would be most fun on a CX or ridged mountain bike. Go in spring or fall to avoid large crowds.

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  • GFreeman

    Try to be in shape when you come to Acadia for the cycling!

    The carriage trails are fun to ride and some have some extended stretches of climbing. The gravel adds to the effort, so I recommend hybrid tires if you got 'em!

    The best guide to the trails I have seen (and own), is "Acadia's Biking Guide" by Tom St. Germain. His is the only topo guide I have seen. The two other guides that I own are "Biking on Mt. Desert Island" by Audrey Minutolo - which offers difficulty ratings of the rides, and "The Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park" by Diana Abrell, which I rate the least useful - YMMV. If you want one, I would go with the first recommendation. These are readily available in various stores all over Acadia.

    And any ride that ends at Jordan Pond house is a bonus - the popovers are spectacular!!! Be forewarned - parking there is tough, and if you plan on using the bus system to get back to town, that is the busiest junction in the park! It may be tough, or take a while to get back...

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  • PDins

    This trail was the highlight of my trip to Acadia. I spent an entire day on the fantastic network of trails. The scenery was by far the highlight, but just biking on the gravel roads was an experience in itself. You don't come here for the singletracks because there are none! So don't

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  • 8valvegrowl

    Nice easy gravel carriage roads, great for a lazy pedal around the park.

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  • maineskiaddict

    I agree with several previous comments. Not much singletrack to be had. (however you can find a little) More wide open double track/ carriage trails. The scenery is top notch and there are several miles of riding to be had. Great to do with the significant other. Careful though as there are some pretty long steep climbs on gravel.

    As an aside, stop at the Jordan Pond house for a quick snack of popovers and fresh berry jam. Absolutely ridiculous.

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  • John Fisch

    Yep--nice scenery, but not reallly mountain biking.

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  • Corey Maddocks   ✓ supporter

    These trails are scenic, but they are all roads, not singletrack. Picture horse-drawn carriage roads and you'll have it about right.

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  • Fitch

    Acadia is simply one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. The entire park, which is quite huge, has all different types of fire roads, trails, and carriage roads networking all over it. It's not the most off-road friendly place, but a good hybrid will bring you hours and days worth of excellent sights and great times.

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