Top Ten U.S. Road Biking Routes

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park, Maine
  |  Gorp.com
Acadia National Park
Cyclists on a carriage path in Acadia National Park (Jeff Miller)

There is a soft luster and mossy pace to Maine. The earth's natural redolence finds slow and sweet expression in its long and fertile stretches of field and forest. The people, many of whom tend to the land in a fashion as flexible and firm as a willow, know what they know and know that they need to know no more. Even the animals, domesticated and wild, have woven themselves calmly and authoritatively into the fabric of the Vacationland state.

Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island about two-thirds of the way up the coast, draws more visitors per acre than any other national park in the United States. This may make it sound crowded, but it isn't. And it is a joy. An elemental country where land and sea have collided to bring about the best of natural splendor, Acadia is as much the dry heights of Cadillac Mountain as it is the goo of the sea-fed tidal basins.

Cycling in Acadia is worth every bump you take, and with more than 120 total miles of hiking trails in the park, including 43 miles of bikable carriage roads—car-free woodland roads—you have an opportunity not to suffer the burnt fossil fuel fumes and aggravation of the car-bound. That said, the 20-mile Park Loop Road, a two-lane one-way car avenue of slow-moving traffic, provides an unparalleled dramatic ride (especially if you make the seven-mile added puff up to the top of Cadillac Mountain).

Come for an extended weekend and mix and match the trails. You will never tire of the terrain, the tug of the air, or the tweeting of nature.


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