Acadia National Park in Maine was extremely high on Hayden’s list of places to visit, so we were very excited we got to spend several days exploring it. The first day we went hiking, the entire area was overcast with dense fog which gave it a really creepy appearance, but also hindered our view overlooking the cliffs. We could barely see 5 feet in front of us! We knew there was an ocean out there, but couldn’t see anything. The first thing we decided to do, was to hike the ocean path which took us along the cliffs on the southeast side of the park.
One of the first areas we came to on the hike was a place called Thunder Hole. Thunder Hole is an area where the water has naturally carved notches into the rocks. When the waves are really rocking, they’ll slam into notches and can shoot as high as 40 feet into the air creating thunderous booms, hence the name. Unfortunately, it was not as active as it could be while we were there, but we still got to experience some crazy swells.
The next stop on our path was Otter Point which didn’t have any signage so we actually walked right past it. We turned around and came back after we finally realized where it was. The cliffs were pretty striking but would have been more incredible had the fog not been around. Luckily, the fog cleared up a little bit as we hiked back, but it was still not very good visibility. We finished up our hike and took off for the day since Aaron wanted to get home for football.
Our second day, the skies were clear and we decided to bring our bikes to ride around Witch Hole Pond. If you plan on doing this, we recommend you go left when the trail splits. We went right and essentially rode uphill almost the entire way until the very end which was a steep, but fun, ride downhill. It was nice to be out in the sun and on the bikes, but it made us realize that the second-hand bikes we have now do need to be upgraded at some point.
After our bike ride, we went back to Sand Beach near the ocean path hike. This time, we decided to walk along the beach and came across a set of stairs leading off into the hills. We decided to follow the trail and scaled up the side of the hill over some crazy rocks to the summit where we had a pretty great view. Continuing down the path on the other side of the hill, we saw a sign that pointed us towards Great Head. We followed that path up to the top and had an incredible view that reminded us of when we lived on the San Juan Islands. However, the view was marred by thousands of lobster traps in every direction reminding us how much humanity destroys the oceans.
One of the things that Hayden had found during her research is watching the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first place in the United States to see the sunrise! Knowing this, we got up at 3:00 am to drive the hour and a half to get out there, get a good spot, and set up the camera gear. The sunrise was nothing less than spectacular and we are so glad we did it.
After the sunrise, we threw all of the chairs and bags back into the truck and set out to do what was supposed to be a leisurely 3/4 mile loop hike at the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we missed the turnoff for the path and quickly realized we were scaling down the side of the mountain at a rapid pace. Once we got to the bottom, we realized that we were going to have to go back up it. Since we didn’t want to go back the way we came, we decided to take the Gorge Path to the road, circle around the side, and climb back up. This ultimately turned into about a 5-mile hike with almost a total of 3,000 feet in elevation change!
Overall, Acadia National Park was absolutely beautiful and we had an amazing time exploring the park. It’s definitely one National Park that is not to be missed!