It’s been great spending time here in Maine. There’s not been much to do during the week since we work, but we’ve had plenty to do on the weekends. This weekend we decided to go to Acadia National Park.
The main area of Acadia is along a loop road on Mount Desert Island. It’s not very big at all and you can probably drive the entire loop in an hour if you don’t make any stops at the major sites. There’s really not much to say about Acadia, so this post will likely be filled with tons of pictures instead.
When we entered the park up near Bar Harbor, we started driving the loop going counter-clockwise. The entrance station is actually on the other side of the park and so we didn’t have a map at the time. With no map, we didn’t know that the west side of the loop around Acadia is the only section of the loop that allows for two-way traffic. So we ended up having to turn around.
Here are a few pictures from our drive as we were heading south to the Stanley Brook entrance where we had to turn around.
Before turning around, we decided to check out Seal Harbor. This was a tiny little beach with very few people. So if you’re in the mood for swimming in cold water, this would be a great place to check out. We stayed just long enough to get our feet wet and muddy before heading back into Acadia.
Here are a few more pictures along the western section of the loop drive as we made our way back towards where we initially came in.
Once we got to the one-way section of the loop, there were tons of places to stop along the side of the road. First was Sand Beach. We actually didn’t stop here. Our friends we’re staying with told us that you hike DOWN to the beach…which means you have to hike UP to get back to your car. We opted not to do that this time, so we kept going and stopped just before Thunder Hole.
We didn’t go to Thunder Hole right away. Instead we took some trails off the main path to get us down to the rocks where the waves were splashing over them. This was a really beautiful area. I could’ve just stayed there all day listening to the sound of the waves crashing over the rocks.
We had missed the best time to view Thunder Hole due to the tides, but we still wanted to scope it out anyway. It was pretty interesting watching the waves come into the cave under the rocks and make big splashes and sounds of thunder. We plan to try to go back and time it better next time.
Next stop was Otter Cliff and Otter Point. Well, scratch that…we didn’t stop at Otter Cliff because Brent missed the turn-off to park. So we decided to park at Otter Point and just hike to Otter Cliff. Well, scratch that too. We only did part of the hike. Why? Because Brent snagged tickets to drive up Cadillac Mountain.
We had about an hour and a half until our reservation for Cadillac Mountain, so we decided we wanted to try to see Jordan Pond on our way around the loop and go into Bar Harbor for some ice cream before our drive up the mountain.
Jordan Pond has a pretty view, but there’s no swimming allowed in the pond. There’s a hike all the way around the pond which would’ve been pretty nice to do, but we just didn’t have time. So we took a few pictures and headed off to Bar Harbor.
Bar Harbor was definitely a cute, but insanely packed, little town. I loved that the ice cream shop was right across the street from the harbor and the grassy area where we could sit and enjoy our sweet treat. The view was great, the flowers were beautiful, and the weather was just right.
Finally, it was time for our drive up Cadillac Mountain. It’s said that this is the first spot in the United States to see sunlight each morning. I know I mentioned we snagged tickets to drive up the mountain. Due to limited parking, you have to reserve tickets in order to go up the mountain, so be aware of that should you ever head to Acadia. Here are some photos from our drive up and the hike at the top.
After we were done, we drove to the other side of Mount Desert Island. I saw on the map we got from the entrance station at Acadia that there was a lighthouse on that side of the island. The parking lot is so small for this lighthouse that traffic along the dirt road leading to the lighthouse gets backed up. We had to wait probably about 30 minutes to get a parking spot, but it turned out to be a great time to view the lighthouse.
Pro tip: You can view the lighthouse by following paths on either side of the parking lot. When facing the lighthouse, the path to the left gets you amazing photos of the lighthouse sitting along the rocks and ocean. The path to the right will get you closer photos of the lighthouse itself.
That was it for our day at Acadia and Mount Desert Island. It was a very beautiful national park and I could spend all day sitting by the ocean listening to the waves, but other than that, there’s just not much to it. We’ll go back before we leave Maine and see what else we can do there.