Taste of Acadia
The most popular way to see Acadia National Park is to drive the Park Loop Road. We did that one of the days we visited the area around Acadia, and I want to share some snippets with you. Just informationally, Acadia is split into 3 distinct areas – Park Loop Road on Mt. Desert Island, another island south of Mt. Desert Island, and Schoodic Peninsula. We didn’t see the area south of Mt. Desert Island, and the Schoodic Peninsula will be covered in another post, but this one is devoted to the Park Loop Road. Let’s get started!
Much of the Park Loop Road is driving along some lovely forested roads like this one. I bet this looks amazing in the fall, but a lot of green looks lovely, too!
Driving on Park Loop Road
There is an area called Sieur de Monts Spring, where a spring flows and keeps plants and flowers there very well-watered. Walking thru that area is like taking a walk thru a lovely, serene garden or small woods. Not that many people (relatively speaking) were there – I guess most were looking for the big views of other areas. I found this area a nice respite from the “maddening crowd” – LOL!
Lushness like this is not seen very often in our home state of New Mexico! It was also nice to hear the gentle undercurrent of the creek gurgling thru all of this – fed by the spring, of course.
Fern Floor Forest
As we moved down the road, we saw this lighthouse, which sits just off shore. Altho not as dramatic as those we saw in the Cape Elizabeth area, the red roof of the keepers’ residence made for a nice pop of color. Interestingly the lighthouse got its name because it sits on Egg Rock. In years past, settlers used to visit this tiny island (it’s much smaller than it appears in this image) to collect the eggs of sea birds that laid them there. At one point, a couple of different varieties of sea birds almost went extinct due to this activity. Needless to say, no egg gathering is currently allowed.
Egg Rock Lighthouse
I’m not certain what the occasion was, but we did see a tall ship sailing in Frenchman Bay, not far from Egg Rock Lighthouse. Again, I love the spot of color the sails lend to the scene, and how lovely it was to see such a magnificent sailing craft.
Tall Ship Sailing in Frenchman Bay
Next along the road was an area called Sand Beach. The parking near the path heading down to the beach was very crowded, so we opted to just catch a glimpse of the beach thru the trees. I actually really liked this view of what was a nice, small beach.
As the road ran close to the edge of the island, around the area called Otter Cliffs, we were able to see a bit of the shoreline that I was hoping to get a view of that makes Acadia famous.
View from Otter Cliffs
Heading inland, one spur of the Park Loop Road headed up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island. About halfway up, this was the view, looking out over the land mass that makes up Acadia. We are looking out over Eagle Lake. I do like the way the sunlight is dappled, due to the puffy clouds overhead.
Dappled Light – Cadillac Mountain View
At the top of Cadillac Mountain, looking off to the north, one can see the Cranberry Islands off shore. These islands are named for the cranberry bogs that were once there. The two largest islands are serviced by ferries and have people living on them year round.
Cranberry Islands from Cadillac Mountain
Looking off in the other direction allows you to see the tourist town of Bar Harbor and off that shore the Porcupine Islands. During the French and Indian War (1754 -1763) French gunboats hid behind these islands to ambush the British vessels. No such activity goes on now – just a cruise boat anchored off Bar Harbor on this day! The island closest to shore (on the left side of this image) is called Bar Island, and during low tide, a sand bar appears, allowing people to walk across the small channel that separates it from Mt. Desert Island. One just needs to be careful not to get stuck there when the tide comes in!
Bar Island off Bar Harbor