Bicycling the Schoodic Loop Road at Acadia National Park

January 6, 2019by Thomas Tash
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For bicycling enthusiasts, there are few places as beautiful, quiet, and bicycle-friendly as the greater Downeast Acadia National Park and Schoodic region. Starting with the Schoodic National Scenic ByWay at the gateway sign by the Hancock-Sullivan Bridge on Route 1, a bicyclist can explore coastal Route 1 to the Schoodic Peninsula, down to the Schoodic Loop Road in Acadia National Park, and then on eastward along the 211-mile Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway. For this article, we will focus specifically on bicycling the Schoodic Loop Road at Acadia National Park.

Bicycling the Schoodic Loop Road at Acadia National Park

Where to Rent a Bike at Acadia National Park’s Schoodic District

Seascape Kayak & Bike is a popular and convenient, locally-owned kayak and bicycle rental shop in Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula. The business has two bicycle locations, one at the Schoodic Marine Center and its main location on Duck Pond Rd. across from the entrance to Acadia.

We personally recommend renting from the Schoodic Marine Center location, as this is a stop on the free Island Explorer shuttle bus Schoodic route. Since the shuttles have bicycle racks, if you run out of steam before you finish the loop, you can hitch a ride back to the Marine Center on the shuttle!

Contact Seascape Kayak & Bike
Phone: 207-546-1064
Main Office Address: 8 Duck Pond Rd, Winter Harbor, Maine 04693
Marine Center Address: 88 Sargent St., Winter Harbor, Maine 04693
Email: seascapekayaking@gmail.com
Bicycle Rental Cost: $20/Day

Bicycling Rules for Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Peninsula

  • Much of the Schoodic Loop Road is one-way, this applies to bicycles
  • Segways, eBikes and hoverboards are considered motorized vehicles meaning use is banned on the park’s carriage roads. Violation of this policy can result in $130+ fines per person. eBikes are also prohibited on Island Explorer shuttles. (Courtesy NPS)
  • Fat tire bikes are prohibited on groomed winter carriage roads.
  • Cyclists must yield to all users on the carriage roads. Everyone yields to horses.
  • The Schoodic Loop Road is full of sightseers, be prepared to stop suddenly at all times.
  • Cyclists keep to the right of the Schoodic Loop Road and provide clear warning before passing on the left.
  • When stopping along the Loop Road, cyclists must move to the side of the road
  • Wear a helmet and carry water, at least 20 ounces (.6 L) and more on warm days.
  • Practice “Leave no trace” guidelines and remember to carry out what you carry in.

Popular Destinations for Bicycling the Schoodic Loop Road at Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Welcome Sign

A great place for a quick stop to hydrate, check on your fellow cyclists, or just grab a selfie by the landmark national park sign. There is a small dirt pull off large enough for a passenger vehicle on the front side of the sign. Keep in mind that vehicle traffic may be looking to pull in as well. We recommend parking your bicycle on the back side of the sign during your stop, and be aware of vehicles and shuttles driving by along this straightaway.

Schoodic Woods Visitor Center

The Schoodic Woods Visitor Center is a beautiful rustic log building with outdoor concrete patio area, clean restrooms, water fountains, maps, and knowledgable park rangers. This is a must-stop for those looking for tide and weather updates, scenic places along the loop road, and even wildlife sightings. Grab a hard copy of the Schoodic Peninsula trail map for $1 or other free Acadia National Park Maps. The Visitor Center is also a stop along the Island Explorer Shuttle Schoodic Route. Refill your water bottles here.

Frazer Point

Just 0.9 miles south along the Schoodic Loop Road from the Visitor Center is Frazer Point. Frazer Point is a spacious picnic area with room to breath and take in the views of Frenchman Bay and Mount Desert Island. There are restrooms and parking spaces for vehicles. Pull your bike into the grass picnic area or use a picnic table to enjoy a snack, or have space to perform any pre-loop bicycle maintenance.

Ravens Nest

Once you turn back onto the Schoodic Loop Road, travel 1.6 miles to a small unmarked gravel pull-off on the left side of the road. Be sure to secure your bicycle far enough to the side of the road so as not to block traffic. The trail to Ravens Nest can be seen on the opposite side of the road. It is short and unmarked. Use Caution when visiting Ravens Nest as the cliffs are steep and ledges can be slick when wet.

Schoodic Institute

In partnership with the National Park Service, the Schoodic Institute supports science and education initiatives throughout the Park. At the entrance to the Institute’s campus is a small ranger station where you can learn more about things to do on-site, including visiting the visitor center at Rockefeller Hall, or hiking the trails on the property.

Schoodic Point

The most popular destination on the Schoodic Peninsula is Schoodic Point. Here you can park you bicycle, sunbathe, enjoy a picnic lunch, or use the restroom facility on site. Schoodic Point is a stunning natural wonder of time-shaped granite where the land meets the sea.

Schoodic’s Non-Motorized Gravel Bike Paths

In addition to the Schoodic Loop Road, there are 8.3 miles of gravel bike paths that cut through the wooded, hilly center of the peninsula. These paths can be accessed at multiple point near the entrance to the schoodic section of the park, at the Schoodic Woods Visitor Center, at the intersection across from Frazer Point, or on the east side of the peninsula at multiple points near the park’s exit.

Nearby Bicycle Trails in the Downeast Acadia region include:

  • The Downeast Sunrise Trail – This off-road section of the East Coast Greenway is the longest from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine. Beginning in Ellsworth, the trail follows alongside Route 1 for 85 miles towards Eastport.
  • The Bold Coast Scenic BikeWay – a 211-mile on-road bicycle route that runs right by Acadia East Campground (a great, bike-friendly tent campground on US Route 1 in Gouldsboro near the Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park).

Book your stay at Acadia East Campground while you’re Bicycling the Schoodic Loop Road at Acadia National Park! Click Here

 

Thomas Tash

Tom Tash is the Founder and Co-Owner of Acadia East Campground and Pocket Parks Campgrounds. Tom began his career in Outdoor Recreation at the University of Maine at Machias before joining the City of Portland Recreation Department and becoming the Recreation Director for the Town of Bridgton. Tom became deeply invested in the national parks as the Marketing Director for a national park travel guide company. He co-founded Acadia East Campground in 2017/18.

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