Acadia National Park – Tips and Images

 

Acadia National Park – Tips and Images

Bar Harbor, Maine

October 2019

I had the pleasure and privilege of taking a road trip with my daughter earlier this month from New York to Maine. We’ve been anticipating this trip for years, ever since she moved there in 2014. We finally made it happen!

Acadia National Park Tips and Images

Acadia National Park
Bar Harbor, Maine

I have such a love of national parks and Acadia National Park has been on my bucket list because of the beauty and unique experiences available there. Planning our itinerary was a little tricky since this is a completely new area of the world for both of us. I purchased two books from Amazon that helped me.

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I purchased and love!

These were both very helpful in guiding our plans. We did have the advantage of visiting the park during the off-peak season and this was a huge blessing!

We drove from New York to Portland, Maine on the first day. This allowed us most of an afternoon and evening to explore the town of Portland. We spent most of our time walking around the Old Port, looking in shops, drinking coffee at Bard Coffee, and eating a potato doughnut at Holy Donuts. It was a lot of fun.

The next day we drove up to Mt. Desert Island where Acadia National Park is located. We went straight to the visitor’s center to gather information and maps.

Official Link to Acadia National Park: National Park Service.

Acadia october 2019 jordan pond popovers

It had been a rainy day so we knew we probably wouldn’t get any hiking in so we opted to drive to Jordan House for tea and popovers. They are famous for their popovers which are a pastry that they serve with jam and butter. Yum!

IMG_7213

Plus, the restaurant overlooks Jordan Pond and a beautiful lawn and garden. I can imagine in the summertime this is a busy place because we were told that many times you need to make reservations in order to get a table. The garden is probably much more colorful in the summer too so I would highly recommend visiting this part of the park during any visit.

IMG_7226

We were able to walk a short way around the pond because it had stopped raining. I’m so glad we could take in the beauty of this place and there were no crowds. The autumn color is pretty from this area and the drive to and from the Jordan House is well worth the time.

IMG_7231

I would like to mention here that there’s a free shuttle system in Acadia National Park that will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go. The system is easy to figure out and there’s a brochure you can pick up at the visitor’s center to determine which shuttle bus you want to take to reach your destination. We were pretty good at using the shuttle by the time we left.

IMG_7232

The second day we were in Acadia National Park the weather was dry and comfortably cool. We decided to walk the Ocean Path from Sand Beach to Otter Point. So many gorgeous views! There is a very well kept trail and you can opt to take a shorter hike and hop back on the shuttle in a couple of spots along the path.

Acadia october 2019 ocean path

We were able to hear and see the ocean at Thunder Hole. We stopped at one spot and ate our lunch with an amazing view of the rocky shore and water.

After our hike, we hopped back on the shuttle bus and went to Sieur de Monts where there’s a beautiful native plants garden and spring. From there we took the Jesup Trail and saw the most beautiful autumn colors of the whole visit.

IAcadia october 2019 jesup trail

There’s a boardwalk for most of the trail and then when it opens up onto a meadow, the path takes you under the brilliant leaves of the trees. Amazing!

Acadia october 2019 cadillac mountain

Our last stop of the day we had to drive to ourselves since the shuttle doesn’t go there. We wound our way up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Most people opt to go at sunrise but because of the rain and clouds, we decided to go closer to sunset. It was a busy place and we were told that you need to get there about 1 ½ hours before sunset to get a parking place! The view was worth the effort. You could see for a long way from the top and if we had more time we would probably have opted to hike up there instead of driving.

Acadia october 2019 bass harbor lighthouse

On our way out of the park, we made the trip over to the quieter side of the island to Bass Harbor to see the lighthouse. It looked just like you’d imagine a Maine lighthouse would look like, perched up on the rocky cliffs.

We were really impressed with this part of the island and if we ever came back, we would probably opt to find a place to stay in the Bass Harbor area.

Acadia october 2019 wonderland trail

We decided the weather was perfect for a coastal hike so we stopped at the Wonderland trail in Bass Harbor. What a great way to end this Acadia National Park visit!

I felt like we did a little of everything during our stay and we made lots of memories.

Acadia october 2019 hiking

I will think back on this trip and try to remember the fragrance of the balsam fir and sea air.

 

Additional Tip and Information

  • There’s a $20 entrance fee that you need to pay at the visitor’s center. We used our National Parks pass.
  • I highly recommend staying in Bar Harbor and taking advantage of the free shuttle that picks you up at the town square. It takes you right into the park and comes frequently.
  • If you’re hiking in the park, make sure to pack a lunch or snacks!
  • I would plan on at least 2 days to get the most out of your visit.
  • Take the park loop road at least once, stopping at some of the turnouts to take photos.
  • There’s camping available in the park and I noted that one of the campgrounds is on the shuttle system.

 

 

 

 

 

You can read more of my national park entries by following these links:

 

Comments

  1. Hi, Barb. We would love to get more National Parks under our belts. We just got back from a 4-day camping trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It was amazing! For us Texas folk, we are proud to claim Guadalupe Peak (at 8751’ elevation) as our highest mountain :) . My oldest had been talking about going there for 3-4 years and climbing the peak. He was ecstatic to finally get there! He and my husband camped out one night up top. Anyway, just wanted to make a plug for our home state national park! Blessings.

  2. Barb,
    I’m glad you made it! Looks like you had a good time. Reminds me we need to get back there. So many places to visit, so little time!
    Sarah

    • Barb McCoy says:

      I have been meaning to email you and tell you thank you for all of the great tips you shared during our planning stage. We definitely didn’t get to do everything we wanted to do but Acadia was amazing! I truly appreciate your help and support of this trip!

  3. Hi Barb!

    So glad you had a fun trip in New England, to an especially lovely place.

    Your daughter looks exactly like you

Add Your Comment

*