Bicycling

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A bicyclist wearing a helmet rides under a carriage road bridge
Explore Acadia on miles of carriage roads available for bicycling

NPS Photo/Christie Anastasia

Acadia provides different opportunities for bicycling on carriage roads, bike paths, gravel roads, and paved roads. There are various options based on experience, elevation change, type of bicycle, and destination.

Carriage Roads

Winding through the heart of the park, the carriage roads have crushed rock surfaces perfect for bicycling. Use a carriage road map for orientation and distances between intersections Before venturing out, review the expectations for carriage road etiquette:

  • Cyclists share the carriage roads with horses and pedestrians. Everyone yields to horses and bicyclists yield to everyone.
  • Class 1 E-bikes are permitted on carriage roads. Class 2 and 3 are not allowed.
  • No bicycle may exceed 20 mph on the carriage roads.
  • Bicycling is not permitted on hiking trails or on privately owned carriage roads.
  • During winter where carriage roads are groomed for skiing, bicycles are not permitted.
  • In the spring, carriage roads often close to all traffic during mud season, typically March and April. Please respect all posted signs and notices. To stay updated on temporary closures, visit http://go.nps.gov/AcadiaAlerts.
 
Bicyclist on a windy, paved road surrounded by trees
The Park Loop Road is open to bikers, but there is no shoulder on the road.

Photo by Ashley L. Conti, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Park Loop Road

The Park Loop Road offers scenic views, but it is winding and narrow and may be congested with vehicles. There is no shoulder on the road. Biking the Park Loop Road is not advised during the busy part of the day (generally 10 am to 4 pm). You must bike with the traffic flow on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road. The road up Cadillac Mountain is very steep and can be dangerous.

Do I need an entrance pass to bike on the Park Loop Road?

  • Yes, bicyclists must have a park entrance pass to ride in the park. This includes the Park Loop Road, gravel roads within the park, and carriage roads. If a park entrance pass is not on you, please be able to provide proof of your pass on a parked car.
  • When approaching Sand Beach Entrance Station, queue in line with vehicles and do not bypass the fee booth.

Where does the traffic flow change on the Park Loop Road?

  • Before biking the Park Loop Road, familiarize yourself with one-way and two-way traffic sections and safety information. Bicyclists should use caution when riding on any park road. See the Park Loop Road biking map for details.
 
Map showing color coded sections of a road for bicycle use
Before bicycling on the Park Loop Road, please review rules and safety information for various sections.
 

Gravel Roads

Western Mountain Roads (Seal Cove Road, Western Mountain Road, and Lurvey Spring Road) are also open to biking. Bicyclists should exercise caution, as some ruts are very deep and traverse the entire width of the roads. Some unpaved roads also have downed wood across all or part of the road. Always check road closures and alerts before biking.

 
Orange yield sign with pedestrian, bicycle, and horse
Cyclists share the carriage roads with horses and pedestrians. Everyone yields to horses and bicyclists yield to everyone.

Bicycling Rules and Safety

Before heading out, cyclists should familiarize themselves with carriage road courtesy and safety:

  • Bicyclists yield to all users on the carriage roads. Everyone yields to horses, which can be startled by sudden movements.

  • Slow down. Speeding can be hazardous.

  • Be prepared to stop. Sudden stops are dangerous on loose gravel.

  • Stay to the right. Give a clear warning before passing on the left.

  • Move to the side when stopped.

  • Wear a helmet and carry water, at least 20 ounces (.6 L) and more on warm days.

  • Leave no trace. Carry out what you carry in.
  • Bike single file, not abreast.
 

Bicycle Express

Island Explorer Bicycle Express ferries cyclists from the Bar Harbor Village Green to Eagle Lake and across the carriage road system. Please note the following when using Bicycle Express:

  • Island Explorer buses have two to four racks to accommodate bicycles.

  • Some nontraditional frames (recumbent, tandem, etc.) may not fit.

  • Island Explorer does not accept E-bikes at this time.

 
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    Last updated: October 19, 2020

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