We have spent the last two days in beautiful Acadia National Park. Acacia is one of the smallest U.S. National Parks but still offers 125 miles of great hiking trails.The park spans most of Mount Desert Island in Maine and can be divided into two parts, the east side with the Park Loop Road and the west side. Our first day in Acadia was a sunday and we had the impression that a lot of other tourists were pouring into the park. So we decided to leave the famous Park Loop Road for monday and start with some hikes on the west side of Mount Desert Island.
We decided to climb Acadia Mountain first. When we parked at the beginning of the trail, we noticed a sign saying the entrance to the trail was closed. We had to take a detour by walking down the street to the next parking area. It was when we arrived there that we noticed we had to climb St. Sauveur Mountain first to reach Acadia Mountain from this direction. As the other trail was closed, we had no other choice, but in the end I have to admit that we were lucky that we had to take the detour because this longer hike was extraordinary beautiful. It went straight uphill from the beginning. And you need to know that you have to climb rocks at some points when doing this hike.
But the scenery is very rewarding. You’ll find a lot of small bushes with red leaves as well as pine trees and – of course – red and yellow maple trees.
Well, and then there’s the view from St. Sauveur Mountain… 🙂
We LOVED it up there! In my opinion, that’s the best place with the most stunning view in the park!
But we were not done after St. Sauveur Mountain, we still had Acadia Mountain in front of us. This meant we had to climb 679 feet (256 meter) back down, until we were on sea level again, and then another 681 feet (208 meter) up in order to reach the summit of Acadia.
The only downside of the hike was that it had rained the last two days so the track was extremely wet and slippery. Sometimes it was flooded as well and we had to climb a little waterfall. Well, good thing that we have reliable hiking boots and cloths 🙂
Back on sea level, we found a nice waterfall (a real one, not a flooded trail ;-)) that led directly into the ocean.
From now on, the trail led uphill again and there was some more climbing…
… until we reached the summit of Acadia Mountain…
… and enjoyed another stunning view.
It took us around 2.5 hours to do the whole hike and we were mainly following the blue signs (even though they were sometimes hard to spot…)
Our next stop was Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.
I love lighthouses but I was a bit disappointed by this one, because you could not really see much of it.
We did a tiny walk afterwards, the “Wonderland”. It basically just leads you to a rocky beach and back, but it was still nice to do and we liked the wild ocean there very much. And hey, that was the first time, we were on a beach on our trip!
Now we were hungry! We went to a picnic area called “Seawall” and had lunch on a bench overlooking the ocean. Aaaaah, could I please take this view back home to Stuttgart with me for my lunch breaks there? Pleeeeease!! 🙂
After lunch, we did one more hike, but this time on the east side of the island: We circled the Lower Hadlock Pond. This is a very easy hike around a little lake,…
… leading mainly through a forest,…
… that even crosses a little waterfall.
Well, didn’t I tell you the trails were very wet?? 🙂
So that was our first day in the National Park which we spent on the west side of Mount Desert Island. Today, we took the Park Loop Road on the east side.
On our way into the park, we stopped for some pictures on the road,…
… at Sand Beach…
… and at the Thunderhole, which was however not very impressive as there were no waves splashing in and making loud thunder noises.
As the weather was only nice before noon, we did only one real hike, the trail leading to Gorham Mountain. This hike is again very steep and includes some climbing:
On top of the mountain, we found these awesome red bushes again:
What else was there…? Right, the view! 🙂
Gorham Mountain is only 525 feet high (160 meter) and the hike took us not longer than 1.5 hours, but it is very steep and you have to climb several rocks. But finding the trail is easy, you either follow the blue signs or the four-rock cairns.
As is became very cloudy and windy around noon, we decided to drive up Cadillac Mountain (which actually is a shame because there is also a hiking trail leading up there that is said to be extremely scenic…) to take some pictures.
The view from the summit was stunning. However, we did not stay very long because is was freezing cold and quite windy.
But it was only early afternoon so we decided to head into Bar Harbor for a little stroll and souvenir shopping.
Bar Harbor is a little town with nice houses and shops and a park overlooking the ocean…
… but it can get seriously crowded when cruise ships arrive, and believe me, they are arriving frequently!
Oh, I nearly forgot: While exploring the National Park and driving around the island, we found another remarkable Halloween decoration, this time in the outdoor display of a garden center! 🙂
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