Saturday, July 7, 2012

Maine - Acadia

After spending a great week in lower New England it was time to move north. Our next wish list destination to fulfill - Acadia National Park. This was another of those places that we've wanted to visit for many years. From our Connecticut campground we drove up I-95 to Bangor and headed east to our next campground that was just east of Ellsworth and about 13 miles from Acadia. We did an overnight in the Target parking lot in Augusta so we could make a visit to the Maine state Capitol. Unfortunately this one was not open on the weekend so we had to settle for an outside visit. The stop was fortunate because a nasty thunderstorm came through that we would not have wanted to be driving in anyway. After the walk around the Capitol we nestled into a restaurant and let the storm rage. The next morning we took our time while the rain finished up and drove the last 100 miles to our campground.

Carriage Road
 Over the next two weeks we made numerous trips into the Acadia to sight-see and hike.  We visited some  places more than once to see at different tide levels. We had a lot of rain while here but we had some wonderful weather too and tried to take advantage of it. The loop drive is great with lots of great shore views. We walked/climbed along the rocky shoreline almost every time we went into the park. A great place to park is one of the parking spots between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole and then walk the trail and shoreline in each direction for miles. Another activity we enjoyed was walking on the carriage roads. These roads are a bikers (pedal) dream but they are great for walking also. These roads are very well built, smooth and just overall great. There is a really neat story of how they came about which is best read on this webpage rather than me trying to explain. The bridges they constructed as part of this road system are pure art and worth biking or walking to see. From this link you can also click on Park Home to explore more information about Acadia.

Carriage road bridge
Acadia has an interesting situation regarding the relationship with private land. There are towns and privately owned land intermixed with the park. Therefore there are a number of roads that pass back and forth through parts of the park and private land. There are a number of small towns, such as the famous Bar Harbor, on Mount Desert Island and most of these are just tiny fishing villages. As you drive around the island, and especially the harbor towns, you see piles of lobster or crap baskets everywhere reinforcing the huge industry.
Shoreline south of Thunder Hole

Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mtn

Bar Harbor

Bass Harbor

View of Sand Beach from
Great Head loop trail

View from Great Head loop trail

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