September 20, 2008
For our second day in Bar Harbor we had planned to visit Acadia National Park, obviously. We rose at 7am (as we did every day so far), bought some groceries and then drove to the park’s Visitor Information Center. We bought a 7-day-pass ($20) and drove on the Park Loop Road down to Otter Point. A ranger had recommended for us t take the Ocean Trail (hiking), which we did. At first it was easy, near the coastline (and the road), without any differences in elevation. After we looked at Sand Beach we crossed the road to continue the trail. Boy, did it get rugged. Immediately the number of people on the trail dropped to about zero and so did the speed with which we progressed. We finally managed to mount the summit of Mount Gorham (elevation 168m) and took some nice photos before heading down the other side. When we arrived back at Otter Point it had taken us about 3 hours (about 6 miles) and a lot of strength. On the Park Loop Road (which is one-way at that point) we headed on and stopped again at Bubble Rock, where we climbed the South Bubble (took us about an hour and was much easier than our first hike that day). Our last stop was on Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest mountain on the US atlantic coast and, thank god, paved all the way to the top (you certainly could tell by the sheer amount of tourist, of the type you didn’t encounter on any of the hiking trails). Since it was to early to take the quickest route back to Bar Harbor we took the 233 East and then Route 3 which goes around the southern end of the peninsula.
Putting the beauty of this national park in words is hard, it’s simply georgeous, unbelievably pretty. It’s hard enough not to take a photo after every bend and not to stop the car at every possible scenic point. The park looks small on the map, and even smaller compared to other parks (like Baxter), but it is really more than big enough for a few days worth of discovering. One thing you should never, ever do (I’m glad we didn’t) is to rent a bike. The distances are still pretty big and the road just goes up and down all the way. Have a look at the photos, or better yet, visit it yourself if you can manage.