Please note: Some “day off” events have limited availability and require signing-up
Bar Harbor, location of Acadia National Park, is where riders take a breather. Though officially a “day off,” most will find it a day to pursue activities unique to this “summer colony” steeped in history, natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and science. The Host Community section within the Rider Handbook offers an overview of Bar Harbor attractions and opportunities. A few require signing-up in advance because of limited availability or the need to accurately gauge participation. The four activities requiring advance sign-up are:
Kayaking in Bar Harbor: Thanks to the generosity of our founding sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine, BikeMaine registrants can take a complimentary two-hour, professionally guided sea kayaking trip along Maine’s famous rockbound coast, where you are likely to see harbor seals, porpoise, osprey, and bald eagles. No kayaking experience is necessary, but reservations are required.
Space is limited to 20 kayakers per session and reservations will be taken for each of the 3 sessions on a first come, first served basis. Those registered for the kayaking tour must be at the Aquaterre Headquarters at One West Street in downtown Bar Harbor 30 minutes before the start of your scheduled session to sign waivers and be fitted for gear. For more information about what to bring, please go to the Aquaterre website.
Ferry to Winter Harbor (cost – $ 30 round trip per person; $5 for bike ) – Take a 45 minute ferry ride from Bar Harbor past lighthouses, mountains, fishing villages, mansions, and lobstermen hauling traps, to Winter Harbor, an iconic Maine fishing village named for its harbor’s fisherman-friendly characteristic of not freezing-over in winter. This town of just over 500 residents, offers panoramic vistas, numerous art galleries and studios, and a great opportunity to shift from biking legs to sea legs. Bring your bike and you can enjoy loop rides from 5 miles to 42 miles in length through the Schoodic Point portion of Acadia National Park, which people claim is the most scenic, least crowded, part of the park.
Sign-up Procedure: Please send an email to Zach Schmesser by August 15 with name and phone number, along with you preference for the 9:30 or the 12:30 ferry from Bar Harbor.
Acadia by Bike (cost for renting trail bikes – $16 half day, $20 full day)– Acadia National Park is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi. At its heart are 50 miles of hard-packed gravel carriage trails (click here for a map) and 17 granite bridges financed, designed, and constructed by John D. Rockefeller. Established to preserve the peace of Mount Desert Island by creating a car-free sanctuary, once for carriages and now for bicycle travel, this network of trails through exquisite and diverse landscapes is a one-of-a-kind biking experience. If you’d like to give your road bike a rest and explore the trails on a trail bike or comfy-seat bike, this is your opportunity. We have arranged bike rentals through our friends at the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop at the discounted rate of $16 half-day/ $20 full day, for BikeMaine registrants. Availability limited depending on bike size selected.
Jackson Laboratory Tour (no cost but limited availability) — The non-profit Jackson Laboratory is world renowned for its support of global biomedicine through precise genomic solutions. Put another way, if you’ve ever wondered where laboratory mice come from and the role they play in disease research, management, and eradication, look no further than Jackson Labs. To date, 26 Nobel Prizes are linked to Jackson Lab mice. With more than 1,400 employees (over 1,250 in Bar Harbor), including more than 350 scientists, researchers, and doctors, Jackson Labs remains a significant Maine employer and major contributor to genetic science.