Acadia National Park: Sep. 27 – Oct. 07, 2016

We drove to Bar Harbor from St. John, New Brunswick. Fortunately, getting through US Customs was uneventful. The agent did come into the coach for a look. We believe he was confirming that we truly did not have any pets in the RV. We made sure that we had eaten, or threw away, all of our fresh fruit, veggies, meats and poultry before we ventured across the border. Therefore, we were not worried about having the refrigerator inspected. After getting the OK from the Customs agent we re-entered the United States. It was a great feeling. We had been in Canada for 6 weeks.

There were two things we missed very much while being in Canada. One was our cellular network. Not having access to it (without a costly plan) meant that we did not have phone or internet readily available. The second thing we missed were grocery and specialty stores like Krogers, Whole Foods, Publix, etc. The grocery stores in the specific areas we visited just didn’t meet my expectations for food selection, cost and/or quality.

On the way to Bar Harbor we stopped for a late breakfast at Sylvia’s Cafe in Ellsworth, ME. It was a quaint place with great food. After lunch and grocery shopping we headed over to Mount Desert Island for our 10 day stay in Bar Harbor.

We arrived at Smuggler’s Den Campground early in the afternoon. We parked the RV and then headed over to the Acadia National Park. Sunset was due to arrive soon so we were limited on what we would be able to accomplish. Therefore, we decided to simply go to South Beach and explore the Great Head trail. It was essentially an uphill trail of boulders. Once we got to the top of the hill we found an expansive view of the beach and ocean. It was beautiful.

The temperature ranged in the upper 60s or low 70s nearly every day, with sunshine. There was only one or two days where it was rainy and chilly. We were quite fortunate, considering that it was October. We took advantage of the great weather by hiking and biking the carriage trails.

There are 45 miles of carriage trails throughout the park, thanks to John D. Rockefeller Jr. He wanted to travel the park on motor-free byways via horse and carriage so he constructed these rustic roads. They provide sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape. Today these trails are strictly used for horses, carriages, hiking or bicycling. We absolutely loved our time spent on these trails, surrounded by nature.

There are 17 stone-faced bridges throughout the trail system. Each one is unique and rustic looking and are perfect for including in photographs.

Sunset at the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse shouldn’t be missed while on a visit to Bar Harbor. We arrived about an hour and a half before sunset. There was already one photographer set up down on the rocks. I joined him and within minutes many more arrived. Soon the rocks were full of photographers waiting for the sun to dip down behind the vast ocean, lighting up the sky and lighthouse just right.

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

I had read that sunrise at Little Long Pond could be picturesque so we headed over there early one morning. It was quite cold when we arrived on site at 5:30am. It was also extremely dark. Having never been there before I struggled to search out the best location for the shot. Shortly thereafter we were blessed with a beautiful sunrise.

long-pond-sunrise

Fall colors were exploding around us more and more every day. I’d always wanted to spend Fall in Maine and was so excited to have timed our visit to align with the colorful foliage. The best way to see the colors was to be amongst the trees so we did a lot of bike riding along the carriage trails. One day we took the trail around Eagle Lake and stopped at the Jordon Pond House for Popovers. These popovers have been served at the Jordon Pond House since the 1890s. They were quite yummy!

fall-colors

carriage-trails

Views from the Carriage Trails:

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From the Jordan Pond House you can view the Jordan Pond, and the Bubbles in the background. Like most of the East Coast this summer, the area has been in a severe drought. All of the lake levels were quite low.

jordan-pond

At this time of the year, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the place to be if you want to be one of the first people in the US to see the sun rise. It is also a nice place to spend sunset. We did both, and the mountain was packed with people on both occasions.

Cadillac Mountain Sunrise over Bar Harbor:

cadillac-mtn-sunrise

 

Cadillac Mountain at Sunset:

Aside from Cadillac Mountain, where it seemed everybody was, the park was pretty quiet. It was a great time to visit. It often seemed like we were the only people out on the trails. It was very peaceful. Our favorite trail was Gorham Mountain. The views were spectacular!

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One day we decided to bike the 5.5 mile loop trail up Day Mountain. The 2 mile ride up hill was pretty exhausting, but well worth it.

In the following picture you can see Beehive Mountain. If you zoom in you will see people on the side of the cliff. There is a trail which you can take on the face of the mountain. I chose not to.

beehive_

Beal’s Lobster Pound was just a few miles down the road from our campground and it was highly recommended by a friend so we decided to try it. We picked out some good sized lobsters and picked out a picnic table along the water. The freshly cooked lobster was fantastic! It was so good that we returned two more times.

Schoodic Point is a part of Acadia National Park. However, it is about an hour to an hour and a half away from the main part of the park. Schoodic Point is only 4 miles from Mount Desert Island, as the crow flies across the water. It is about 45 miles via the coastal roads. The Schoodic Point area of the park has a one-way road around the peninsula, which made for a very nice bike ride. Although it was a long drive getting there, it was nice to experience.

Another highlight of the trip was photographing sunrise at Otter Cliff. There is something about getting to a photo shoot site in the dark, finding the perfect spot to set up the tripod and camera, and then being blessed with beautiful colors of baby pinks and blues in the sky. It is so rewarding, exciting and peaceful, all at once.

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otter-cliff-sunrise-3

Bar Harbor itself is a very nice town to visit. They have great shops and restaurants. One morning I was up for sunrise pictures and ventured downtown to find it very quiet and colorful.

On the way back from Bar Harbor I found the reflections on Echo Lake to be spectacular.

Just driving along the Park Loop Road offers beautiful scenery.

Outside of the park you will come across many fishing villages. It was off season for lobsters so we found many traps on the shore.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia. It was the highlight of our first major roadtrip with the RV. We can’t wait to return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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