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Acadia National Park - Maine   
by Ron Cloer


There is more to Mount Desert Island than Bar Harbor or “Baa Haaba” though.  Corralling Bar Harbor into a tiny corner of the island is the ancient and beautiful, Acadia National Park. 

 
Acadia National Park is one of the most spectacular places that you are ever likely to visit.  Before describing the place you have to describe a man, John D. Rockefeller.  A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Mr. John D. Rockefeller who donated huge amounts of the land and finances to make it a reality.  He helped build the 45 mile carriage road system that loops through the park, which is perfect for biking.  Along that road you can find 17 unique bridges that were made with incredible craftsmanship.  The hiking trails are even more extensive with over 125 miles of trails available for your hiking boots to stomp.  With all these miles of trails that meander through the park unveiling beauty around each corner, break in the hiking boots now.  If you’re taking kids don’t be afraid to take on one of the smaller mountains on foot.  I took my small 10 year old on a hiking adventure up one of the two Bubble mountains and could have easily taken my 6 year old too.  (Read the article here)

The tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard can be found in Acadia National Park as well. (Cadillac Mountain) From the windy heights of Cadillac Mountain there are wonderful views of the sea, Bar Harbor and everything else in the area.  At certain times of the year it’s said that the first sunrise in the US can be seen from Cadillac Mountain.  So a strange phenomenon happens during the predawn hours, pairs of headlights can be seen snaking their way up to the top of Cadillac.  On the summit sleepy eyed folks with coffee and companions watch the first rays of the sun explode over the horizon. 
 

As you drive the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, stop at Otter Cliff, it is a sheer cliff face that plunges over 100 feet to the ocean below. 


On the Park Loop Road you can also find Thunder Hole which can be cool if you see it at the right time.  The most dramatic time to see Thunder Hole is mid-tide not high tide as you might think. 

Seriously you can pull off the road and take a picture anywhere in Acadia.  Don’t believe me...take a look.

 

 If you want to eat while in the Park there is only one restaurant, Jordan Pond House Restaurant.  Because it’s the only restaurant you are likely to wait a while to eat.  But as you’ve heard the popovers are delicious and the view is awesome.  At times you can eat outside, sitting on an open lawn near Jordan Pond with the pine covered Bubble mountains as a backdrop.  It’s gorgeous. 

There is a small fee to enter the park but it’s a 7 day pass so you can go back for days and enjoy the beauty.  Most people who visit Mount Desert Island think of Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor but there are several other small towns…


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