Top Dream Days of 2019, Biking Acadia National Park

I loved getting the chance to show my Laguna Beach buddies Holly and Tim my favorite playground in New England, Acadia National Park, in early July. We did all my top picks from climbing Acadia Mountain to strolling the rugged shoreline from Thunder Hole to Otter Point, but I really savor the serenity of biking the car-free Carriage Path Tails, that glorious 45-mile network John D. Rockefeller created in the first half of the 20th century. We were happy to hear about a free bike shuttle in operation from late June through Columbus Day that runs from the village green to the parking lot at Eagle Lake. We waited less than 10 minutes before being brought over to the lake and biking the circumference, up and down the hard-packed roads always with water and mountains in sight. We biked under one of the many stone bridges to see an often-overlooked gem, Bubble Pond, nestled peacefully between the gently sloping mountains. Then we headed north to bike around Witch Hole Pond and to stop and see the stone steps that form gently flowing Duck Brook. We crossed the bridge here, took a left on the bike trail, and soon caught up with West Street, which led right back to the Acadia Bike Rentals store on Cottage Street. A perfect way to spend the morning.

We grabbed lunch and then strolled back to Saltair Inn, our lodging for the trip, located within easy walking distance of the restaurants and shops of Bar Harbor, but far away from the crowds. Owners Matt and Kristi are the perfect team. Kristi serves up yummy breakfasts each morning like blueberry pancakes and stuffed french toast, while Matt divulges the insider information on Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park that only a local would know. He designed the bike loop above and told us about a small trail near the restrooms at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse that led down the freshly cut stairs to a bed of rocks, where we not only had great views of the lighthouse, but spotted dolphins and seals in the sea. Matt also made Tim very happy by sending us over to McKay’s Public House for a cask ale pour of Maine brewed Sebago Ale, which we downed each night.