The Carriage Roads of Acadia is a feature I have not yet written about. Sherry has written a great post about them here, so why re-invent the perfect wheel when she has done such a good job explaining :-)?. When our work day started ending at 4PM, it was time to get out and start exploring the carriage roads as best we could, of course at Chelsea's pace!
The carriage roads are America's best example of broken-stone roads commonly used at the turn of the 20th century. They are true roads, approximately 16 feet wide, constructed with methods that required much hand labor. Road crews quarried island granite for road material and bridge facing.
Speaking of bridges, there are 17 stone-faced bridges, each unique in design spanning streams, waterfalls, roads and cliffsides. This is Hemlock Bridge.
Waterfall bridge, with a very tiny trickle in the background. It had actually been dry for a couple of weeks when we took the walk here :-).
The bridges are steel-reinforced concrete, but the use of native stone for the facing gives them their natural appearance. Over time, the stone cutters became very skilled, and were asked by Rockefeller to not cut the facing too perfectly, losing the rustic look!
Casey always enjoys his walks.
Large blocks of granite line the roads serving as guardrails. Cut roughly and set irregularly, the coping stones add to the rustic feel of the roads. They are affectionately known as "Rockefeller's teeth".
The roads were aligned to follow the contours of the land to preserve the line of hillsides and save as many trees as possible.
The roads are also graded so they were not too steep or too sharply curved for horse drawn carriages. That was the original intent behind the carriage roads; Rockefeller was very disturbed by the advent of the automobile intruding upon the serene beauty of the Island. In an effort to keep the automobile as far away as possible, he had these carriage roads built so the wealthy "cottagers" would be able to continue their travels across the island by carriage.
I always like this view of the "Bubbles" across Jordan Pond.
Cobblestone Bridge, the only bridge that is completely faced in cobblestones.
The workmanship is beautiful.
There are also two Gate Lodges in the system. This one is at Jordan Pond, the entrance to many of the carriage roads.
All in all there are over 45 miles of these rustic carriage roads, the gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and family. His construction efforts from 1913 to 1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape that endure today. Each year, the Friends of Acadia contibutes more than $200,000.00 for carriage road maintenance. Their use is still strictly maintained for pedestrian, biker, and horseback rider use only. We have found them to be wildly popular with the visitors here at Acadia. Even though we always have other people using the roads, though, the sense of quiet and peacefulness is always there.It has been a wonderful place to take our afternoon walks!