After our stay in the Freeport/Portland area, we moved on to a new RV park closer to Acadia National Park. I was excited to visit Acadia, a place I had heard about but never visited before. Acadia is known as a park with a lot of diversity as it has miles of rocky shoreline that rises to big mountains and includes forests, lakes and ponds. It is a great place for the outdoors with many hiking trails. I had heard that Acadia could be crowded and since we were visiting at the height of the tourist season in July, we certainly found the park to have many visitors. This made it difficult to drive the park roads and find parking. Acadia is on the list of the top ten most visited national parks in the past few years. If I was planning a trip just to Acadia and not traveling full time, I would probably plan to come here in the fall when summer crowds have dwindled. But alas, we were traveling through Maine in the summer to escape the heat we would have found in many states to the south. So, we just had to do the best we could with the situation.
Crowds aside, the park is just stunning and not to be missed. One of our first objectives was to drive up Cadillac Mountain, not only the highest point in the park at 1,530 feet but the highest point on the North Atlantic Coast. This is one of the most popular places in the park and a road winds rather steeply to the top. We were lucky and found a parking spot. Although the parking lot on top is not large, the area to walk around once parked is huge! Lots of different vantage points to see all those remarkable views. It really felt like we were on top of the world. Above is a picture of one of Acadia’s lakes that we enjoyed seeing during a stop on our way up the mountain.
Above is one of our first views from Cadillac Mountain with the small town of Bar Harbor visible near the water. In the late 1800’s a cog railroad brought visitors to the summit where a hotel was located. The railroad and hotel are long gone and other than a small gift/snack shop, the mountain is only a place to roam and enjoy far off views.
We were fortunate to have a sunny, clear day as the weather can change quickly with clouds and fog common. My favorite was how the clouds covered over the small islands in the Bay, almost as if they were coated with wisps of cotton or gauze. Here is a closer view of the cloud covered islands below.
Cadillac Mountain is a popular place for sunrises and many people come here well before the sun starts rising to get a parking spot. That is a little too early for Mark and I to make the drive from our campground as we would have had to start around 3:30 a.m. We are not known to be early risers and are more likely to be gazing at the midday sun at noon.
After seeing Cadillac we connected with the 27 mile one-way park loop road which is the primary access to the main parts of the park and gives a good overview of the sights. Along the way there are pullouts and parking areas (most of which were packed full). At a few stops we were out of luck for a space and just had to move on. I wanted to walk part of the ocean path for views like above and we managed to squeeze into a space along the road. People love climbing around Acadia and there are numerous rock formations to scramble or relax on. I also saw people taking rock climbing classes.
Thunder Hole pictured above is a popular stop for visitors who hope to see the ocean rush in to the narrow inlet located on the right of the rocky steps. During times of high tide, water comes in with great force causing a loud booming sound with waves soaring high. It was an interesting stop although I wasn’t able to see it at the best time. Below is another stop on our scenic drive showcasing ocean and cliffs. Before we left the park we decided to drive up to the top of Cadillac Mountain again to see how the view had changed.
I wanted to return to Acadia a second time and walk more of the ocean path/trail which extends two miles along the coast with almost constant views of the shore. Although this is not very far to walk, it is easy to get distracted because there are many dirt paths you can take off the main trail to walk a short distance for more expansive views. It was hard for me to pass up all these little paths and different view points, like the rocky path below.
The paths lead to views like the one pictured below. My second day at Acadia was a little foggy and gray, not sunny and bright like our first visit. But in a way I was glad, because I got to see the park in two different settings.
I spent more than three hours walking the trail each way and the time seemed to just fly by. As someone who loves to walk, the Acadia Ocean Path is one of the best walks I have done in my travels with spectacular scenery the entire way. There were many people of all ages and abilities enjoying this trail. I have to say that I was most impressed with an elderly lady who was on the path with her walker accompanied by a friend or family member. This path could be uneven at times and I admired her spunk! Here is another photo from my walk.
Thanks for stopping in and reading about our Acadia travels!