Biking in Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is the perfect place to visit if you are looking to take a self-guided bike ride. Home to over fifty miles of carriage roads, these trails are designated for bicyclists and foot traffic. No vehicles are allowed making these roads the perfect way to get out and enjoy riding your bike among some of the most beautiful scenery in Acadia. Lined with stone bridges, scenic overlooks and a network of signs, the carriage roads allow you to easily navigate Acadia between the villages of Bar Harbor and Seal Harbor.
There are several trail heads to enter and exit the carriage road system. Many folks will park their vehicle at one of these spots and head out on foot or bicycle. During the Summer, these entry spots can be busy and parking can be limited. Fortunately for guests of the Highbrook, there is a trail head nearby so you can leave your vehicle and bike or walk right from your room to the carriage roads. There are not many places to stay in Bar Harbor where you can have such easy access to the carriage roads.
For the cyclist who prefers to ride their road bikes around Acadia, the 27 mile Park Loop Road provides the perfect course. The Park Loop Road is the most well-maintained stretch of pavement in the area and just happens to be the most scenic route as well. Along the way you’ll be able to see out across Frenchman’s Bay, ride along the shore of the Ocean Drive portion of Acadia, and if you’re up for the climb, ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain! All of this can be accessed from the West Street Extension entrance of Acadia, just half a mile from your doorstep at the Highbrook Motel.
Tip: Click here to get full directions from the Highbrook to Duck Brook Bridge (nearest carriage road entrance). Or simply check out the map below. The fastest way to bike to Duck Brook Bridge from the Highbrook is via Bloomfield Rd to Duck Brook Road.
The Highbrook Motel provides the perfect spot to access Acadia’s carriage roads for guests who bring their bikes with them from home. For those traveling without bikes, we’re conveniently located to all three of the local rental shops as well. Now there are a few ways you can go about renting bikes so we’ve taken the time to explain them here. So if you’re planning to do some biking on your next trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, we’ve got you covered.
From the Highbrook, you have the convenient option of simply walking from our location to the local bike shops. If you walk (approximately .5 miles to 1 mile depending on which shop) you’ll have the option of riding from the shop to the nearest trail head (Duck Brook Bridge) or taking your bike to the Village Green in the center of Downtown Bar Harbor. If you opt to catch a ride, the free Island Explorer Shuttle will take you and your bike to a carriage road trail head. The most common drop off point is the Eagle Lake entrance. The Island Explorer operates a specific shuttle that only runs between the Village Green and Eagle Lake called the Bicycle Express.
If you drive to one of the local shops you can use your vehicle to transport your bike and yourself to one of the trailheads in Acadia. If you need a rack to carry the bikes on your car the shops have them available for a small fee.
The third option for getting to the local bike shops is to catch the Island Explorer at the Highbrook and get a ride to the Village Green. From the Village Green, you can walk to one of the bike shops (Acadia Bike will be the closest) and grab your bike to bring back to the Village Green.
Below are the three local shops that offer bike rentals. All of them are located on Cottage Street in the Downtown area. These shops offer a variety of bikes including front suspension, full suspension, road bikes, kids bikes and bikes designed specifically for men or women. Rentals are available for half-day, full day or multiple days.
The Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop has been serving the local community with all of it’s recreational and biking needs since 1978. Locally owned and operated, their friendly staff can provide you with all the equipment and information you need to make the most of your biking experience in Acadia. They offer equipment from the top manufacturers in all different types and configurations. Conveniently located on the corner of Rt. 3 and Cottage Street the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop is the closest bike rental shop to the Highbrook as well as the closest shop to Acadia’s carriage roads.
Check them out at www.barharborbike.com.
Acadia Outfitters is conveniently located on the corner of Cottage Street and Holland Ave. This full-service rental shop has everything you need to get out on the carriage roads. With A&B Naturals, Circle K Convenience Store and Hannaford Supermarket adjacent to the shop, it’s easy to grab supplies to take with you on your ride.
Check them out at www.acadiaoutfitters.com.
The Acadia Bike Shop has over thirty years of experience providing bike rentals and service to local residents and visitors. With New England’s largest bike rental fleet, they can provide the perfect bike for you. Located in the heart of Downtown Bar Harbor, the Acadia Bike Shop is only a block away from the Island Explorer Bus Depot at the Village Green. The Island Explorer provides free shuttle service for you and your bike to one of the trailheads on Acadia’s carriage roads.
Check them out at www.acadiabike.com.
Bike Rental Recommendations
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the different options available, don’t worry we’re here to help. For years we’ve been assisting guests with their vacation plans and we have found a few simple recommendations on how to rent bikes and hit the trails…
If you don’t want to drive your car or don’t have one, walking to the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop is the simplest option. From the shop, you can pedal to Acadia via West Street Extension*. Then take Duck Brook Road to Duck Brook Bridge where you can enter onto the carriage roads.
*Just a warning, the ride from the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop up West Street Extension is mostly uphill.
If you want to start your day of riding on an easier note, grab the Island Explorer from the end of our driveway and take it to the Village Green. Walk one block north along Rodick Street to Acadia Bike. There you can grab your bike and gear then head just one block back up Rodick Street to the Village Green. Get a ride out to Eagle Lake on the Bicycle Express. This will start your ride on the trails and save some energy by utilizing the Island Explorer.
In summary, if you wish to do your own thing and not have to rely on the Island Explorer just walk down to the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop and go from there. If you don’t bike that often or want to take an easier approach, just grab the shuttle from the Highbrook and catch a ride. Be sure to check out our Biking Tips and Helpful Resources to get even more advice on how to plan your days biking in Acadia.
Carriage Road Access Point
Shuttle Bus Depot
Credit: Icons provided by Map Icons Collection https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com
At many trail heads along Acadia’s carriage roads, you’ll find a box with maps of the carriage roads. If you would like a copy before hitting the trails Click Here.
The Island Explorer Shuttle Service provides many routes that can serve you during your biking adventures in Acadia. Check out their website www.exploreacadia.com to find out schedules and information about their service. We have paper copies of their schedules in our lobby as well.
If you plan on utilizing the Bicycle Express to go between the Village Green in Downtown Bar Harbor and Eagle Lake, click on the link to see it’s schedule.