Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bikes and hikes

Today we rented bikes and toured a couple of the many carriage roads that lace the island. These broken-stone roads were designed and constructed in the early 1900's by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who later bequeathed them to the government with the stipulation that automobiles never be allowed to use them. They are intersected by several lovely stone bridges and cover nearly 50 miles. The Friends of Acadia have done a great job in recent years restoring the paths to their original condition so that now, walkers, bikers and horseback riders can enjoy the pristine forest and lakes without any motorized distractions.

We picked up our bikes in Bar Harbor and got on a neat bicycle shuttle bus that took us to the beginning of the Eagle Lake carriage road. We spent the rest of the morning riding around the lake - almost 6 miles altogether, and then taking another road up to and around the smaller Witch Hole Pond. We passed a picturesque beaver lodge and rode up some pretty long hills where I had to get off and walk, but mr. lo managed to keep going, albeit slowly. It was great fun and wonderful being able to ride so far in the peaceful woods.

After the ride, the shuttle was there to take us back to Bar Harbor where we returned the bikes and had lunch at Stewman's Lobster Pound, right on the harbor where we could watch the boats come and go, and then browsed for a while in some of the shops.

We decided that was enough of "city" life, so we lit out to find a lighthouse (no pun intended [maybe]). The Bass Harbor Light, found at the bottom of a long, steep flight of wooden stairs over outcroppings of pink granite on the water's edge, fit the bill perfectly.

Then it was off to hike the Wonderland Trail which opened up out of thick forest onto a small secluded - and utterly deserted - rocky beach. By now we were both thinking, "We could live here".
More photos are on Flickr.

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