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by Renee Wormell

Celebrating a very successful 2015 season, Granite State Carriage Association is joyfully planning for 2016.  All 2015 events will be held again and at least two new events will be added;

a drive in Sanborton, NH and a Fun Day of Cones in Brentwood, NH.  We are also hopeful that the Northeast Kingdom, VT multi-day event will be back if an alternate staging venue can be found. GSCA also plans to implement an educational program in 2016 to promote carriage driving for new drivers and those returning to driving.  

Two of GSCA’s most scenic multi-day venues rounded out the season in 2015:

THE ACADIA EXPERIENCE— Enjoying Maine by Carriage   AcadiaCarriageRdSmlrClassic Acadia Carriage Road on
"Around Mountain" loop

In September, Granite State Carriage Association members— Connie and Rick Moses, Pat and Taryn Pearson, and Annie Schneider and friend Mick— were found driving and riding the carriage roads in Acadia National Park, Maine. Many other GSCA members visited Acadia at various times during the 2015 season. Days were spent taking in the forest and ocean views or exploring the area, and convivial evenings were shared around the campfire under spectacular dark night skies.

Folks in our club have discovered the singular beauty of Acadia National Park via carriage or horseback. Located near Bar Harbor, Maine on Mt. Desert Island, Acadia offers many miles of carriage roads for drivers and riders to explore; walkers and bicyclers share the roads, plus there are hiking trails up the mountains and around lakes.

There is a Park “Loop Road” for automobiles with scenic stops, including an auto road to the summit of Cadillac Mountain (purchase of a Park Pass is required to travel full length of the Loop Road.) There are regular bus routes on the park roads and in Bar Harbor. The area offers numerous activities, sights, shopping and dining in Bar Harbor and surrounds.

“Carriages of Acadia”, based at Wildwood Stables within the park, features commercial horse-drawn wagon tours of the carriage roads and bridges —   www.acadiamagic.com/wildwood-stables.html  The history of John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s construction of the carriage roads and their donation to the country is quite interesting. The 50-mile carriage road network features several unique stone bridges made from native stone. The routes— built specifically for carriage driving and skirted with secure coping stones above steep dropoffs— take advantage of scenic vistas around Mt. Desert Island.   www.acadiamagic.com/carriage-roads.htm

Folks bringing horses can access the carriage road system and rent stalls at Wildwood Stables through “Carriages of Acadia.”  You must tend your own horse; shavings and hay can be brought in or purchased there. Stall renters can also rent rough campsites on the Wildwood grounds, or choose from area inns, motels, B&B’s, camping or p rivate home rentals. PLEASE NOTE:  There is no horse veterinarian on the island; farriers can be found in the area, as well as feed/grain stores on the mainland.

Wildwood Stables generally is open from Memorial Day weekend into early October. Wildwood also accommodates trailer-ins with day parking. Horses are not permitted on the park auto roads. In 2016, GSCA will feature two Acadia meet-ups; see club Calendar at  http://granitestatecarriage.org/index.php/activities-photos/gsca-calendar. Stall reservations should be made well in advance through CARRIAGES OF ACADIA - 877-276-3622    WEBSITE— www.carriagesofacadia.com    EMAIL— This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   (also find on Facebook.)

SHELBURNE FARMS, VERMONT OUTING:

For GSCA'S last scenic multi-day venue of 2015, see Blog Post:  Shelburne, VT Outing at Shelburne Farms and Meach Cove Farm

We are happy to report that the Shelburne, VT event is on the Calendar for 2016 and once again, riders and carriages will be welcomed at Meach Cove Farms, while only carriages may drive at historic Shelburne Farms.

WINTER PROGRAMS:

There is no need to sit idle all winter – Touchstone Farm will be again hosting “Fireside Chats” in anticipation of Driver Immersion Week in March. GSCA members can prepare for CAA proficiency evaluation.  Also, mark your calendars for the GSCA Annual Meeting to be held on March 6, 2016 at Chen Yang Li.  Now is the time to gather some terrific items for the silent auction.  Please plan to attend.  Details will be forthcoming in the newsletter and at the GSCA website.
GSCA is dedicated to the promotion of safe, recreational, pleasure driving.  Single day and multi-day driving events are held all over New England. Riders are welcome at most events.  Dues are a bargain at only $25 a year (for $1 more, also become an affiliate member of Maine Driving Club!). Participation in most events is free, except for stabling or camping fees or catered meals if applicable. 

Find out more about GSCA...

See GSCA's Calendar of Activities and find us also on FaceBook – GSCA Granite State Carriage .

RECAPS thanks to Renee Wormell, Sec. GSCA

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