Carriage Roads

#7 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
Carriage Roads picture1 of 3
Carriage Roads2 of 3
S. Greg Panosian/Getty Images

Key Info

Carriage Roads

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Recreation, Sightseeing, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.0

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The Carriage Roads are a 57-mile long network of paved paths created and funded by John D. Rockefeller Jr. from 1913 to 1940. Over the course of the 27-year project, Rockefeller hand-designed the paths to highlight the best scenery the park had to offer, circling around Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake and Mount Desert Island. After a weatherproofing and modernizing project in the 1990s, the Carriage Roads reopened to the public. The roads (which are off-limits to motor vehicles) are great for those on bikes, horses and inline skates who want to explore some of Acadia's more rustic areas. And unlike most other trails, the Carriage Roads are kept open in the winter to be repurposed as skiing and snowshoeing routes.
Recent travelers said a walk or bike ride here really allows visitors to appreciate the beauty of Acadia, and many highly recommended planning a fall visit just to see the spectacular foliage. Many also suggest booking a horse-drawn carriage ride along the trails for an unforgettable experience; be sure to reserve a spot early though, as they fill up quickly. If you want to avoid the crowds, reviewers suggest you get on the road early and try to visit on a weekday.
You can enter the Carriage Roads at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to the north of Mount Desert Island or by Park Headquarters by Eagle Lake. The Island Explorer shuttle also provides access; Route Nos. 5 and 6 stop here. You can also hop on the Carriage Roads via several hiking trails (the park's more than 150 miles of trails often connect with or cross the roads), including Precipice Trail. Keep in mind that bikes are prohibited on the privately-owned portions of the Carriage Roads, and all visitors should yield to horses as they're easy to spook.

The Carriage Roads are a 57-mile long network of paved paths created and funded by John D. Rockefeller Jr. from 1913 to 1940. Over the course of the 27-year project, Rockefeller hand-designed the paths to highlight the best scenery the park had to offer, circling around Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake and Mount Desert Island. After a weatherproofing and modernizing project in the 1990s, the Carriage Roads reopened to the public. The roads (which are off-limits to motor vehicles) are great for those on bikes, horses and inline skates who want to explore some of Acadia's more rustic areas. And unlike most other trails, the Carriage Roads are kept open in the winter to be repurposed as skiing and snowshoeing routes.

Recent travelers said a walk or bike ride here really allows visitors to appreciate the beauty of Acadia, and many highly recommended planning a fall visit just to see the spectacular foliage. Many also suggest booking a horse-drawn carriage ride along the trails for an unforgettable experience; be sure to reserve a spot early though, as they fill up quickly. If you want to avoid the crowds, reviewers suggest you get on the road early and try to visit on a weekday.

You can enter the Carriage Roads at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to the north of Mount Desert Island or by Park Headquarters by Eagle Lake. The Island Explorer shuttle also provides access; Route Nos. 5 and 6 stop here. You can also hop on the Carriage Roads via several hiking trails (the park's more than 150 miles of trails often connect with or cross the roads), including Precipice Trail. Keep in mind that bikes are prohibited on the privately-owned portions of the Carriage Roads, and all visitors should yield to horses as they're easy to spook.

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