In search of ………..bridges
Now that the ice has receded from the carriage roads near and around Jordan Pond, it was time to resume the search for bridges John D. Rockefeller Jr. built along the carriage road system that is now part of Acadia National Park.
It was a spectacular spring day, the sun was bright, the skies were clear, and there was a light breeze. Temperatures approached 45 degrees as I set off at 9:30 a.m.. Clean up was beginning at the Jordan Pond house where I parked my car and began my hike. Thankfully, I was soon removed from the sound of leaf blowers and power tools.
I first passed Jordan Stream Bridge, a small humble bridge that hovers over Jordan Stream where it begins at the edge of Jordan Pond. I had seen this bridge before when hiking around Jordan Pond, but in case I didn’t post a photo from that hike, here’s a pic of this pretty little bridge.
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Today I was able to check off two more from my list (there are 17 total) – West Branch Bridge and Cliffside Bridge. Both of these bridges are located on a stretch of road that is commonly referred to as the Amphitheater road named for the bowl-shaped ravine it encircles. The two bridges were built in 1931 and 1932 respectively.
The West Branch Bridge is a single arch bridge, tucked tightly into the end of a long ravine and offers spectacular views of Jordan Bluffs and Jordan Cliffs as well as views of Little Long Pond and Seal Harbor.
After passing West Branch Bridge and enjoying the magnificent views it had to offer, I hiked approximately another half mile and came to what (so far) is my favorite bridge – Cliffside Bridge.
This bridge has a distinctively “medieval” feel to it. It seems to me to be the “heaviest” looking of the bridges with large entry and exit pillars and two impressive buttresses where riders and hikers can stand and admire the views.
This magnificent bridge design is known as a “modified barrel arch” that springs right out of the rock. It stretches a stunning 230 feet along the cliffs. The views looking over the forest ravine are breathtaking.
I have now found 13 of the 17 bridges located throughout the carriage road system. I thought this was appropriate since I was hiking on Friday, the 13th!! It won’t be too long before the hum of bicycle tires, the clip clop of horse hooves, and the footfalls of hikers take over these beautiful roads. But today, they were all mine!