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Acadia's Carriage Roads by Robert Thayer

By Robert Thayer

The 3rd identify within the Acadia nationwide Park consultant sequence, Acadia's Carriage Roads covers the background, geology, and biology of the world. It comprises sensible suggestion and maps to assist viewers get the main from their excursions of the roads, even if taking walks, by way of bicycle, or on cross-country skis. With their work-of-art stone bridges, those crushed-rock carriage roads — the results of a long time of attempt through philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. — are identified through the international for his or her good looks.

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Both she and Rockefeller agreed that the plantings should be native so that the building would blend with its surroundings. The Historic Resource Study of the Carriage Road System, completed in 1989 by William Rieley, compares the gate lodge at Jordan Pond to those in Europe. “European gate lodges, after which this was modeled, served two functions: to welcome people to the grounds of the estate and to house the gatekeeper. It was a pretentious building with a humble function ... ” Acadia’s gate lodges were also intended to serve a dual function: to control the flow of traffic onto the carriage roads and to house a gatekeeper.

Each of the arches is faced with granite, and the sides have an interesting mixture of large “quarry­faced” (rough-finished) blocks combined with smaller pieces of granite and occasional cobblestones. The upper deck has fine-tooled railings (parapets) that rise to a peak at the center and flare with the road at the approaches. On three sides, each parapet ends with an elaborate stone edifice, while on the fourth side is a viewing platform. Much of the bridge’s landscaping can still be identified as that selected by Beatrix Farrand.

Continue straight toward Bubble Pond. The road winds through the wooded valley between Cadillac and Pemetic Mountains, ending at Bubble Pond Bridge. Fog is a frequent visitor to Mount Desert Island. Its cool, wet blanket provides an ideal climate for the ferns, mosses, and evergreens that inhabit the exposed coastal forest. Created where the warm waters of the Gulf Stream meet the cold Labrador Current, fog creeps onto the land when the wind direction is favorable. Fog may limit the view, but it is not a deterrent for enjoying the carriage roads.

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