• Eagle Lake covered in snow nearing dusk


    National Park Maine

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Carriage Roads Closed

    All park carriage roads are closed until further notice to prevent damage during the spring thaw. For more information: (207) 288-3338

  • Trail Closures: Peregrine Falcon Nesting

    Precipice Cliff and Valley Cove areas are closed to all public entry until further notice for peregrine falcon nesting season. More »

  • Blackwoods Campground is open

    Blackwoods Campground is open and is sites are available by self-registration at the campground. More »

  • 2014 Season Openings

    Park Loop Rd, Cadillac Mountain Rd, & Hulls Cove Visitor Center is open. Call (207) 288-3338 or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AcadiaNPS) for more information More »

  • Jordan Pond boat ramp parking lot is closed for construction

    It's scheduled to reopen on June 28. There may be intermittent openings at the discretion of the contractor. The North Lot parking area will remain open for access to the Jordan Pond House Restaurant & hiking & biking trails.

Carriage Road Management

Carriage Road

Carriage road from above

Biking on the park carriage roads grew enormously in popularity in the 1980's thanks to the advent of the mountain bike. Complaints from visitors and residents about crowding and problem behaviors led the park to apply the Visitor Experience Resource Protection (VERP) Framework, a carrying capacity planning process. Dr. Robert Manning of University of Vermont conducted social science survey research on carriage road users from 1994-1996 to gather information to support the VERP process and carriage road management decisions. Many journal articles from this research are listed below.

A 1997 NPS summary report covers the research, application of VERP to the carriage roads, including indicators and standards, and subsequent management decisions. This document serves essentially as a management plan. Carriage road monitoring reports are also available from 1997-present, with a few recent reports provided below. Other reports describe the development of a second regression estimator for carriage road use, attitudes about equestrian use of the carriage roads, and the establishment of new indicators and standards for behaviors (2006 monitoring report).

Monitoring thus far indicates no violations of standards for crowding on the carriage roads. Carriage road visitation was flat for the period 1997 - 2003. Since 2004 there has been a steady upward trend in use that may be the result of the Bicycle Express van to Eagle Lake. We are planning another round of censuses in 2014-2015 to develop an updated regression equation. We will then apply the new equation to past years to determine if the upward trend is still present. Data also indicate some concerns regarding the four problem behaviors as more violations of established standards than were expected occurred in 2010; 2013 monitoring showed few problems however.

A carriage ride on the carriage roads
Concession carraige ride

Jacobi, C. 2014: Monitoring Visitor Capacity for Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: 2013 (crowding and behaviors).
Jacobi, C. 2007: Monitoring Visitor Capacity for Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: 2006 (crowding and behaviors).
Jacobi, C. 2007: Carriage Road Visitor Attitudes about Equestrian Use on the Witch Hole Pond and Eagle Lake Sections of the Carriage Road System (2006).
Jacobi, C. 2003: Developing a Regression Equation to Estimate Acadia National Park Carriage Road Use Using Censuses and Electronic Trail Counters: 2001-2002.
Jacobi, C. 1997: Applying the Visitor Experience Resource Protection Process to Acadia National Park Carriage Roads: A Summary of Research and Decision-making.
Manning, R. and W. Friemund 2004: Use of Visual Research Methods to Measure Standards of Quality for Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
Manning, R. et al 2000: Crowding in Parks and Outdoor Recreation: A Theoretical, Empirical, and managerial Analysis.
Manning, R. 2001: Visitor Experience and Resource Protection: A Framework for Managing the Carrying Capacity of National Parks.
Manning, R. et al 1999: Crowding Norms: Alternative Measurement Approaches.
Manning, R. et al 1998: Standards of Quality in Parks and Recreation
Wang, B. and R. Manning 1999: Computer Simulation Modeling for Recreation Management: A Case Study on Carriage Road Use in Acadia National Park, Maine USA.

Did You Know?

Image of the Guide's Guide cover

The Guide's Guide to Acadia National Park, originally created to share important information about the park's facilities and natural and cultural resources with commercial guides, is available to the public on this website. The guide contains everything you would want to know about the park. More...