Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bridges Of Acadia National Park

 Duck Pond Bridge - Acadia National Park
June 19, 2012

Prior to arriving in Maine and visiting Acadia National Park, I did not know about the bridges!  On the day of our first bike ride around Eagle Lake via the 57-mile network of carriage roads, it wasn't long until we came upon the first one.  It was only after reading the sign below which was placed at the entrance to the loop, that I found myself wanting to learn more about the bridges.

To my utter amazement, I found that there were 17 of these bridges spanning the 57-mile carriage road system and EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS UNIQUE!  The quest to find them all was born.  If the others were at all like the Eagle Lake bridge, it was something I didn't want to miss.  A scan of the hiking map I'd purchased told me that each bridge was identified on the map in a very understated way (perhaps why I hadn't noticed it before since I'd been pouring over that map for days!!).   17 strokes with the orange highlighter and I went into full strategic planning mode.   We only had three days left, but utilizing both hiking trails and the carriage trails, we could find and photograph all 17 plus get some really good exercise in the process!

I am happy to say that we did just that only falling one short.   There's a perfectly good reason for that.  It's the one most difficult to reach.   We were headed towards it late Wednesday afternoon and almost simultaneously realized we were both just exhausted.   Yes, I can be pretty focused when I'm working on a goal, but I also have enough sense to know when the goal becomes obsession.  We'd seen some stunning architecture, walked over 15 miles in two days and biked even more.   We had another several miles to walk/bike on Thursday.  It was time to let one of them go.

I'd like to share the bridges with you.   While making our way through the woods and along the carriage roads, there was lots of time to think.   And I thought a lot about bridges.  Always in anticipation of what the next one would look like while still appreciating the variety of what we'd already seen.  Some things kept coming to mind as I thought about the different kinds of "bridges" we travel as we make our way through life.   I was reminded that life has gone on while we've been away from home.   Lots of people have crossed, are getting ready to cross or may be looking forward to a future of "bridges" leading to new and exciting aspects of their lives.  Others have experienced deep sadness and crossed "bridges" forcing them to navigate life in a way they hadn't anticipated right now.  Both of us usually settle into a period of deep introspection near the end of our Summer Adventure when we feel deep gratitude for what we've experienced, yet look forward to returning home and rejoining the lives we love and the people whom we miss.

So the journey of discovering the bridges was a fitting finale to our wonderful time here in Maine as we say good-bye and turn our hearts toward home.   As I share the bridges, enjoy some of the thoughts I had about different ways I'd like to build stronger bridges in my life.   There's no great depths of material here - just some thoughts that flitted across my mind.   Add some of your own!!

1)   Bridges beginnings!

 Amphitheatre Bridge

2)  Bridges to................the future!

 Bubble Pond Bridge

3)  Bridges to.................a better understanding of and more patience with each other!

 Cliffside Bridge

4)  Bridges to..................deeper relationships!

 Cobblestone Bridge

5)  Bridges to..............a healthier lifestyle!

Deer Brook Bridge

6)  Bridges to..............greater acceptance of those who are different!

 Hadley Brook Bridge

7)  Bridges ideas!

 Hemlock Bridge

8)  Bridges to...........experiencing greater depths of love.

Jordon Pond Bridge

9)  Bridges to...........eliminating the tendency to judge others.

 Jordon Pond - Seal Harbor Bridge

10)  Bridges to................better utilization of time!

 Little Harbor Brook Bridge

11)  Bridges to..............letting go!

Stanley Brook Bridge

12)  Bridges to.............a wider worldview!

 Triad - Day Mountain Bridge

13)  Bridges to...............making better choices!

 Waterfall Bridge

14)  Bridges to..................finding contentment!

West Brook Bridge

15)  Bridges to..................knowing without a doubt that happiness cannot be bought!

Eagle Lake Bridge

If you are interested in more information about the history, design and construction of the bridges, here are two excellent articles you might enjoy!

As for us, all bridges are headed towards HOME!!


  1. Loved you photos. Safe travels home.

  2. I am very intrigued. Acadia National Park is someplace I would really love to visit!

  3. Look at all those bridges! I may have to use one or two of those in a painting...

  4. What a fitting end to your trip to Maine and start of the return home!

  5. Cobblestone Bridge has always been my favorite. :-)

  6. From your pictures I'd have to say Deer Brook might be my favorite, but I'd probably have to see them in person to know for sure. I'm assuming it was all local stone, I remember that from the road up to Cadillac Mountain. I love finding stuff like that! All that hiking and biking sounds great, bet you had a great time!

  7. Those are some very interesting bridges. I like the way you gave us something to think about with each one.

  8. Wow Sharon, That is awesome. I love bridges like that ---and those are all different, one from another. I would love to see that sometime... You all see so many interesting things ---and all of them are things we would like also. Love the names of the bridges.. Thanks for sharing.

  9. What a lovely find Sharon. Thank you for sharing your adventure and safe travels home.

  10. I did not know there were 17 bridges in that park. Thanks fro sharing the pictures.I love your words of wisdom for each one. Travel safe home!

  11. I've been to Acadia twice and I've seen a few of the bridges. I'm assuming some of them are on the carriage roads or hiking trails? We want to do another trip up there in 2 or 3 years and I'll have to try to find some more of them. They are beautiful.

  12. Those bridges are so beautiful, Sharon! As are the lovely sentiments expressed with each of them. A feast for the eyes, mind, and heart...thank you! All the best on your journey home...

  13. Beautiful bridges! I love gorgeous parks like that with so many things to take photos of.

    Congrats on your weight loss, as well. I know you can lose the 30!