We went to Acadia National Park this weekend! Around my 30th birthday, I decided that I wanted to visit all of the 58 National Parks. So far, I’ve been to Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Zion, Yosemite, and now Acadia. In August, I’ll be visiting Olympic, Mt. Rainier, and Crater Lake!
This weekend we drove up Maine’s coast, about 5 hours total. On the way up, we stopped at the Redhook brewery in Portsmouth, NH, and Frosty’s Donuts and the GIGANTIC LL Bean store in Freeport, ME. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of beer or donuts, and have learned my blogging lesson.
Our last stop before the Blackwoods Campground was to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory. The observatory is 42 stories tall, built into the bridge, and the “crown jewel of Coastal Maine.” The views were pretty great, and we could even see Cadillac Mountain in Acadia off in the distance.
After we set up our campsite, we went up to downtown Bar Harbor for lunch, and walked out to Bar Island on the sandbar. We took a quick hike to the summit, stopping to “smell” the lupines, and seeing a great view from the top.
We hiked back down just in time to make it across the sandbar before the tide came back in. A very friendly local told us a story about some tourists who unknowingly parked their car on the sandbar, kayaked out, and mysteriously couldn’t find their car when they returned.
We drove around Park Loop road to see the park, and called it a night after making burgers and smores on the campfire, and drinking a few beers.
The next day we set off to hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain from Blackwoods Campground—a moderate 8.4 mile round trip, 1,500 ft elevation gain hike. Challenging but not too difficult with beautiful views on 80% of the trail, this was one of my favorite hikes ever. I left my good camera at camp because I didn’t feel like carrying the extra weight, and I figured we’d just drive back another day. Another lesson learned, but the iphone photos aren’t half bad either.
Our last day together we did some short hikes and drove around the rest of the park. The highlight was hiking the Beehive trail, which included steel ladders secured to rocks. This is not my favorite kind of hike, but I’m glad I did it and the views were pretty great. Definitely biggest bank for your buck. I think it was about a mile round trip but you’re pretty much rock climbing the whole time on cliffs.
Overall we had an amazing long weekend exploring northern Maine, camping, hiking, eating, drinking, and taking photos. Look out for some great Milky way shots from my workshop soon!