Amphitheatre Bridge

Line drawing of a masonry bridge along Acadia\'s historic carriage road system
Amphitheatre Bridge

Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, J. Shannon Barras, 1994

Quick Facts

Scenic View/Photo Spot

Amphitheatre Bridge (1931) is the largest of 17 bridges constructed along 57 miles of carriage road on Mount Desert Island between 1917 and 1940. It carries Amphitheatre Road (Asticou-Jordan Pond Road) -- which itself had been abandoned for ten years due to the objections of summer residents -- near the Little Harbor Brook waterfall.

The masonry-arch bridge is 245-feet long and 27-feet at its highest point over the Little Harbor Brook. The asymmetrically curved plan and 32-foot arch was specifically designed to retain two large trees and align the axis of the arch with the waterfall.

It is constructed of quarry-faced, random-coursed ashlar granite over a reinforced-concrete substructure. Each elevation displays two vertical rows of large projecting rectangular blocks. The parapet walls gradually slope to a peak above the arch and are pierced with horizontal rectangular openings below heavy capstones with dressed edges. A turret with a viewing balcony overlooks the bridge and ravine at the east end of the south parapet wall.

Acadia National Park

Last updated: October 20, 2020