Acadia National Park – Biking and Hiking

This past weekend we made the 3 /12 hour trip down to Acadia National Park/Bar Harbour in Maine.  I first visited Acadia five years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite local vacation spots.

Friday, Chris and our friend Jon C. went to the Precipice area to rock climb. As I had a minor shoulder injury I decided to take a day off from climbing and go biking and hiking.

Acadia National Park has a wonderful system of park roads that wind their way around the coastline and then inland between the mountains. The park road are closed in the winter and re-open April 15th each year.  The closed park roads were perfect for biking.  Kilometres and kilometres of smooth road and no cars to worry about.  It was my first time out biking this year and my legs were feeling it – there are a lot of hills in the park! I ended up biking 21.6 km (13.4 miles) – not bad for my first ride of the year.

Biking is one of my favorite ways to discover an area.  I can cover so much more ground than I can hiking, and it gives me the time to look around and see a lot more than I do while driving.

On this biking trip I came across a family of deer eating on the side of the road.  They were not spooked by my presence at all.  I stood twenty feet from them and took pictures for about fifteen minutes.  They just kept eating and looked at me once in a while as if to say: “Are you done yet?”

After a relaxing visit to the only sandy beach in the park, aptly named Sand Beach, I decided to drive out to the western side of the island to a hiking trail that I’d been wanting to check out for a few years.  Beech Cliff trail is located by Echo Lake (another popular swimming area in the summer) and is 1.2 kilometres return (0.8 mile). It’s a short hike, but one that switchbacks up the mountain side and ends with four iron ladders to the top. Not a trail for those scared of heights, but I’d recommend it to those looking for a shorter moderate hike in the park.

After my hike I picked up the guys, happy with their successful climbing day, and we headed out to our accommodations at Acadia Suites. This is a great spot to stay in Bar Harbour – off-season rates of $75 per night for a one-bedroom (queen size bed plus single-bed), large kitchen and living room with pull-out sofa.

We recaped our adventures from the day and talked about what rock climbs we’d attempt the next day…

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MS Bike Tour 2012

Today I joined the Neon Riders Team which will be biking in the Nova Scotia leg of the 2012 MS Bike Tour.  The event will be held over two days in July – each day we will bike 50 kilometres (31 miles).  We will be biking from Windsor to Wolfville one day, and return the next day.

The MS Bike Tour is an annual fundraising effort for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society.  It has been going on for over 20 years and the funds raised help to provide support and services to those living with MS, their families and caregivers. The MS Society also funds research with three goals: to find a cause and cure for MS, repair nervous system damage caused by MS, and stop MS attacks.

It’s estimated that approximately 55,000-75,000 men and women in Canada have MS, and every day about three more people are diagnosed.  It’s most often diagnosed in young adults, aged 15 to 40. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time in the same person.  Some of the symptoms include impaired vision, memory failure, and difficulty in walking.

One person diagnosed with MS is the Neon Riders’ team captain, Beth Button.  I met Beth through mutual friends a few years ago.  She was diagnosed with MS in 2006 when she was in her mid 20s.  I did not know much about MS before I met Beth and I still have a lot to learn, but I do know that I want Beth to be able to keep riding her bike in the summer and keep skate skiing in the winter, and I feel that the MS Society of Canada can help.

This will be my first year riding with the Neon Riders.  Last year the team raised over $11,000.  This year I’m hoping to help increase that number by raising $500.  If you’d like to help me reach my goal, you can donate online here.

Team Neon Riders is always looking for more members.  If you would like to join us, give me a shout!