Acadia’s Stone Corridors

Acadia Carriage Roads

Acadia-June-2016-Cover

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The park’s 45 miles of idyllic carriage roads are the best examples of broken-stone roadways in the country. Created by philanthropist and early park champion John D. Rockefeller Jr., who wanted car-free roads for his own enjoyment, they’re also super fun for runners, skiers, and cyclists. Some background:

 Construction was a bear: The roads are 16 feet wide with three layers of rock underneath. Construction included stone culverts, arched bridges, and wide ditches, and the work stretched from 1913 to 1940.

 Rockefeller was famous for his attention to detail on the project — he reportedly knew the names of all of his laborers and was consulted on even the minutest decisions.

 Large hunks of granite line the roads as guardrails. They’re officially called “coping stones” but nicknamed “Rockefeller’s teeth.”

 The Friends of Acadia organization has an endowment devoted to carriage road maintenance — it gives the park some $200,000 annually just for carriage road upkeep.

Photograph by Mark Fleming

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