After lunch, we examined our choices for one more hike before the end of the day. I thought it would be fitting to explore the Carriage Roads in honor of the 100th anniversary of Acadia National Park. There is an excellent book called “Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park” that gives detailed directions describing 12 loops ranging from a little over 1 mile to 11 miles. I examined this little gem and decided we could accomplish the Jordon Stream loop which was about 4 miles. I also persuaded my husband that the Carriage Roads would not be that strenuous because they were relatively flat. Boy would those words come back to haunt me.
We parked at the Jordon Pond parking area and proceeded to walk past the overcrowded Jordon Pond Teahouse parking area towards the Gate House and the beginning of our adventure. At the first signpost, the road crossed over a stream. Not for from the road, a planked bridge crossed Jordan Stream. This allowed the more adventurous hikers to follow the Jordan Stream Trail (not to be confused with the Carriage Road).
All the signposts along the Carriage Roads are numbered, which the aforementioned book uses to describe the loops. Therefore, it is impossible to get lost with these directions; “starting here turn right at  then take a left at .”
On one side of the road, Jordon Stream trickled below us, as we proceeded uphill. This is where I disagreed with the book that describes a “downhill run”. It was nothing of the sort. In fact, by the end of 4 miles I don’t know how many times I heard my husband murmur that “it will be easy, she said. Carriage roads are flat, she said”. I do have to say that neither one of us has ever walked a loop that seemed to go uphill its entire length. But, maybe we were delusional after 2 hours.
At post 24, we turned right, crossing the Cobblestone Bridge. We studied the bridge for a bit and watched the stream flowing underneath before moving on. Soon after, the trees thinned out and we had an excellent view looking out over water (Little Long Pond perhaps?).
We continued our climb, but at some point we had to sit on the stones lining the road to catch our breath. As two cyclists passed us, one commented that “the only way we were going to catch up to you is if you stopped”. So yes, the road still went uphill. Ironically, once we continued our journey, we discovered we were not far from the next turn that would take us back towards Jordan Pond. At this point, we had gone 2.7 miles. By the time we reached Cliffside Bridge we were both pretty tired but we still had a mile to go, so we stopped to take in the views. The downside of my little Carriage Roads book was that it was written 20 years ago, so “the wonderful views of Jordan Pond House and Little Long Pond” were no longer visible. Within another 20 minutes we were back at Jordan Pond and ready to call it a day.