"The first national park east of the Mississippi, Acadia, on Maineís rugged southeastern coast, is still the only one in the northeastern U.S. Thanks to John D. Rockefellerís desire to ride his horse over car-free byways, Acadia is blessed with 45 miles of carriage roads, 16-foot-wide thoroughfares that are open only to horses and bicycles. Rockefeller himself engineered the roads to follow the natural course of the land ó roadsides were landscaped with native plants such as blueberries and sweet fern ó yet not be too hilly for casual riding. The network traverses 17 hand-cut stone-faced bridges that pass over streams, waterfalls, cliffs and car routes. Donít pedal too fast through the natural beauty or youíll miss some of humankindís most exquisite contributions to this idyllic environment."
Having been there prior to being into cycling I can unequivocally say that it is a wonderful place and I'm so eager to return with my bike. Not only does it have the carriage roads to ride but add in Cadillac Mtn and its hard to beat.
I rode the carriage roads this past Sept for the first time, getting in a 20 miler, on what was one of the most enjoyable rides I've ever done.
It was totally random, as I had my touring bike with me on vacation, with 28mm tires and was planning to ride the paved roads around Mt. Desert Island. I detoured to a carriage road at a spur of the moment and had a wonderful ride. I also missed a turn and went "Around the mountain" on a long climb with some exceptional views.
FWIW, I found the riding surface appropriate for the bike and tires. Most folks were on hybrids or rented mt. bikes, which I was passing constantly. I had to be a bit more cautious around the downhill turns on gravel, but for the most part, the road surface was hard packed dirt, very smooth, with a bit of gravel.
I've gone there over 12 years. During each time, I've enjoyed riding the carriage paths, pedaling up Cadilac Mountain without stopping, and training for long treks that were to come. During my first visits, only a few other people bicycled there as I did. Now dozens of other bicyclists have come. It's a great place to visit and ride.