Visiting Acadia National Park? Try biking the Schoodic Peninsula, a quiet section of the park with fewer crowds and fantastic ocean views.
Acadia National Park. Do those words give you visions of a solitary retreat, a place to get away from it all and just be alone with nature?
Well, I'm happy to tell you that the park can be those things. But it's also (understandably) growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.
So where can you go to have the best chance at that quiet refuge you're looking for?
The Schoodic Peninsula might be your best bet. An hour's drive away from the main section of Acadia, it has way fewer visitors than the main part of the park. Parking is easier too!
And the scenery is gorgeous. Think granite ledges, breaking waves, evergreen forests, lighthouses, and seagulls — you get the idea!
While most of Acadia is located on Mount Desert Island (and other smaller islands), the Schoodic Peninsula is part of the mainland.
The adventure we were most excited about was bicycling, something the peninsula is famous for!
We opted to head to the Schoodic Peninsula on a rainy day, with our bikes strapped to the back of our car — just in case the weather cleared up.
Best Path for Biking the Schoodic Peninsula
The Schoodic Loop Road is a one-way, broken loop road.
It's a double lane road that's very bicycle friendly, with slow speed limits and lots of room for cars to pass the bicyclers in the left lane.
Because it's a broken loop, and doesn't end where it starts, you'll need a plan to get back to your car.
Island Explorer buses regularly traverse the peninsula and carry visitors (and bikes!) during the summer, so that may help you get from one point to another.
Instead of biking on main roads the entire time, we opted to cut across some of the Schoodic Peninsula's gravel bike paths.
How Long Is This Bike Ride?
The paved Schoodic Loop Road is about 6 miles long. Make sure to add the distance on for whatever route you take back to your car.
For us, this ended up being about a 9-mile bike ride.
Is This a Difficult Biking Path?
When researching the Schoodic Peninsula, I read an article that called the biking "leisurely."
However, I'd just spent the last few days hiking, so my legs were tired. Also, I'm relatively new to biking, so a 9-ish mile ride was long for me.
I found the road biking section to be fairly easy, but by the time we reached the gravel bike paths, I was exhausted.
Are you just getting into biking too? Here's a guide to mountain biking gear for beginners, which will help you get ideas for things like half-finger biking gloves and the REI men's Trail 25 pack or REI women's Trail 25 pack for carrying water.
But if you're a biking pro with seasoned biking leg muscles, this path just might be leisurely!
Biking the Schoodic Peninsula
On the Schoodic Loop Road, the scenery was incredible.
Frazer Point is at the beginning of the one-way section of the road. It features a picnic area, as well as a rocky tide pool that some visitors like to explore at low tide.
From Frazer Point, the road follows the coast south.
When you near the southernmost end of the peninsula, make sure to take the short detour to Schoodic Point!
You'll be biking uphill to get there, but it's worth it.
The coastal scenery was breathtaking, but we also stopped to enjoy the flowers along the way.
I especially liked the wild roses and rose hips.
Keeping an eye out for the small details, like cool-looking mushrooms, was part of what made the trail fun.
The Schoodic Peninsula Bike Paths
The main road sticks pretty closely to the shoreline, but we decided to also try the bike paths across the center of the peninsula.
The official bike paths were made of somewhat loose gravel and were my least favorite part of our biking trip.
We ended up walking on part of the uphill section, but found the downhill parts to be pretty fun!
The bike paths were clearly marked and well maintained.
Biking the Schoodic Peninsula took us a little off the beaten track, which was exactly what we were looking for at Acadia.
If you're looking to get away from the crowd, this might be your spot!