Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Off Island, Pie and Carriage Bridges

Thursday-Saturday                                                                                            Most Recent Posts:
June 15-17, 2017                                                                                               Walking to Wonderland
Narrows Too Campground                                                                                  First Real Day in Acadia
Trenton, Maine


seawall to narrows

 We make the 16 mile drive from Seawall Campground on the Southwest of MDI and cross the “Narrows” which separates MDI from the Mainland to our home for the next two months.   We pull into our site next to Nancy and Bill Mills.   Both sites are designed to pull in, not back in.   Since we’re going to be here for an uncommonly long period of time, we set up our screen room and put the picnic table in it and the anti gravity chairs and set up our original smaller one too and put the hammock in it.  We are set for relaxing.

But we also hope to do a lot of hiking and some kayaking on all the lakes and ponds of Mount Desert Island.








Did you ever see a more friendly face?




Nancy has actually got the best views of our site.  This one is from her  bedroom window.  Clearly in this campground you’d better be parked next to people you either know well or want to know very well.




Here’s our front window view.  It’s nice and green.



Looking down the campground road from our site we can see “the narrows”.  Bill and Nancy have a view from their patio but only until the sites beyond them are taken.  Still, it’s nice for a while.



As you saw our sites have a little grass.  If you want to be on the water, no grass for you.   Although further toward the bridge on the water are the most expensive seats.  Road noise but nice privacy.  Not sure you can rent this for a month.




The only public access to the water is at the campground’s kayak put in.




Here’s the view from there today.  The tide is up.  I’m not sure what mountains on MDI here we are looking at here.  Maybe Nancy will chime in if she knows.




Looking a little more east along the coast I can just see the edge of the opening of the Narrows into Eastern Bay.  I think I’m going to love being able to walk down here at will and be near the water.   It really is lovely.





blueberry pie

Since our drive was so short, we didn’t tow the car and I was able to stop on our  way through the little town of Southwest Harbor at Island Bound Treats and pick up a home made blueberry pie.  It’s chocked full of Maine Blueberries and seems like a great way to start off our stay in Acadia.

I’m afraid the self timer caught Nancy by surprise when I interrupted our pie eating to get this picture.  But she’d been all smiles when David served it up.   And clearly she was a good girl and cleaned her plate.








2017-6-17 12 Maine - Rainy - Hike  to Carriage Road Bridges & WaterfallSaturday is a very moist and cloudy day so hiking to see the views at one of the numerous peaks on the island is problably not happening.  But Nancy has a good idea instead.  The last time we were in Maine, David and I were able to bike or hike to see all 16 carriage road bridges.  Nancy says she saw most of them but this year she wants to see them all.   Saturday we head out in search of 3 bridges she has mapped us to.

David and I check out the map at the Parkman Mountain entrance to the carriage roads where Bill has parked and though the map shows the trails, the carriage roads and the mountains, the bridges are not marked on it.  Unless you have the map that has the bridges labeled, you’ll just stumble onto them as you bike or walk the carriage roads and guess which ones you are seeing since they aren’t named at the bridge.  BUT the year each was built is somewhere in the gorgeous stonework for you to discover.




We arrive on the carriage road and our leader checks out the sign and his information to make sure we know which way to go.  The signs of course do not mention the bridges.   But in a flash he figures it out and off we go.   Beautiful scenery and bridges ahead.IMG_3836IMG_3840


The air is thick with moisture, the plants covered with droplets






Having ridden the carriage roads extensively the last summer we were here in 2013, I can attest to the fact that you miss a lot of the little things, like the plants, and this sweet scene on the way to your destination.   Sooo foggy today.  This is such a good choice of where to be in this sort of weather in Acadia.






Even on a bike, you won’t miss this, it’s known as the Hemlock Bridge



We discover its date right in the middle.  I always love to look down the waterway below bridges.  Hemlock bridge spans one branch of Hadlock Brook.   You can see from the ravine why a bridge is necessary especially in your carriage, which by the way you can still ride in.  Wildwood Stable in the park will take you on a two hour carriage tour of 3 of the 16 bridges for $38 each.




There is usually a way down to see the bridge from beneath.



I don’t seem to have any luck getting this group together for a picture.  Nancy has the charm so thanks to her.



2017-6-17 25j Maine - Rainy - Hike  to Carriage Road Bridges & Waterfall - Hemlock Bridge 1924


Here’s the brook at eye level.  There is something about the sound of running water.




IMG_3888It was about 3/4th of a mile to Hemlock bridge but only 1/10th to our next bridge known as Waterfall Bridge becasue it crosses Hadlock Brook just beyond Hadlock Falls.    It doesn’t look like much from above but notice the two curve outs on either side

From partway  down to the brook you can see that they resemble turrets.  I just love that these bridges were built specifically to be beautiful.  Do we do that anywhere with our buildings or bridges these days?  Art has taken such a back seat in our lives, our work and our funding.


Nancy starts down to the base of the falls and takes a  picture of the three of us standing in one of what I’m calling the “turrets”.  I take one of her on the way down.





2017-6-17 26d Maine - Rainy - Hike  to Carriage Road Bridges & Waterfall - Waterfall Bridge 1925




Steps and hand rail provide a relatively erosion free way to descend.



Nancy on the footbridge downstream from the Waterfall carriage road bridge.




Under the bridge she goes to get a stream level picture of the Hadlock Falls.  On this wet day, the rocks are slippery and we cannot safely step out into the middle for a full on shot of the falls.





This is the best we could do from below but we can tell the recent rains have really made the water flow in comparison with pictures we have seen from other years.




Back on top of the bridge we can see the falls nearly in its entirety.



We locate the year of the bridge 1925 and Nancy gets our picture again.


2017-6-17 26h Maine - Rainy - Hike  to Carriage Road Bridges & Waterfall - Waterfall Bridge 1925



All along our walk today we’ve passed multiple trail heads.  Bill has always carries a little notebook in his waist pack and today he’s been making note of all the trail heads.



Our last bridge requires that we either walk a 4.2 mile loop with no bridges on it or that we turn around and walk back past Hemlock and past our entry point about 7/10th of a mile to Hadlock Brook Bridge.  Finally, the one named for the brook over which all 3 have been built.  It’s a humble little bridge compared to the other two.



Easy to take a photo of the full bridge.  Not far to go to reach the brook.



We are able to find the date of the bridge, 1926 so today in order we have seen bridges built in 1924, 25 and 26.  Boy those bridge builders were busy.







We  don’t have far to go back to the car and along the way we spy this narrow fellow in the grass.   He’s a ‘common gartersnake’.  I suppose the ‘common’ means numerous or ordinary but I think he’s beautiful.  He’s totally not harmful to humans.






Nancy and I are the dawdlers today.  By the time we reach the parking lot those two are out of sight.  Wonderful wet day on the carriage roads.  Thank you Mr. Rockefeller for your generosity and foresight.