Acadia’s carriage roads close for mud season

BAR HARBOR — Carriage roads are closing to all users starting March 19 as “mud season” opens across Acadia National Park.

Warmer weather and wet conditions soften the carriage roads and make them susceptible to damage. Walking, bicycling and riding horses in such conditions can cause ruts and potholes that channel water and exacerbate erosion. Visitor access will resume once the gravel surface dries out and becomes firm enough to prevent damage.

“We’re asking all visitors to help protect the historic carriage road system and prevent costly repairs by cooperating with this temporary closure,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider.

The 45-mile network of carriage roads, along with the associated coping stones, gatehouses, stone-faced bridges and other features, are the best and most extensive example of broken-stone roads in the United States.

In the meantime, the National Park Service encourages visitors to explore Acadia’s hiking trails and Park Loop Road, which remains closed to motor vehicles until April 15.

When hiking, be prepared for icy conditions and carry traction devices for your shoes.

When walking or biking closed sections of the Park Loop Road, exercise caution around closed gates, watch for park vehicles or equipment, and be prepared to encounter lingering snow, ice and winter storm debris.

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