Travel & Photography Trip:
Ellen and Doug took a Travel and Photography Trip to Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island along the Atlantic coast of Maine. We flew from Denver, Colorado to Boston, Massachusetts, rented a car and headed north. After a 2-day drive we arrived at Somesville, Maine, on Mount Desert Island, our home for the next 8 days and 7 nights. We were literally surrounded by beautiful Acadia National Park, with its spectucular scenery, bountiful opportunities for sightseeing, hiking, photography, general recreation and, of course, fresh Maine LOBSTER and other seafood!Website photos, with captions, and slideshows (with music):
Belfast Harbor to Mount Desert Island: After driving north from Boston, a stop-over night and short visit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a leisurely (although in heavy traffic most of the the way) drive up along the coast, we stopped for the second travel night in the quaint little coastal villa of Belfast Harbor, Maine. We stayed at the Belfast Breeze Inn and, in the morning, toured the town and harbor before heading to Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. We spent some time walking around Bar Harbor and stocked up on groceries for the week. Then it was off to Somesville, and our wonderful little Somes Cottage, to settle in for the week's stay. Our charming hostess gave us information on the area, as well as several less known hikes and sightseeing possibilities;
Park Loop Road: The next day it was off to Acadia National Park. We stopped at the main Visitor Center, watched a short orientation and history movie, and spent some with a park ranger, where we got more orientation and tips. Most of the remainder of the day was spent riding a park service shuttle bus (with numerous stop opportunities) on the Park Loop Road, which took us south along the coast, then around and back up north through the interior and to the visitor where we had left our car;
Ocean Path: The Ocean Path runs 3.1 miles along the coast, paralleling the Park Loop Road from Sand Beach to Otter Point, offering varied and stunning shoreline and ocean views. We parked at Otter Point, hiked north to Sand Beach and returned;
Ship Harbor Trail: The Ship Harbor Nature Trail is on the southern end of Mount Desert Island, southeast of Bass Harbor. The trail is listed as a 1.3 miles round trip and is figure-8 shaped, running down along the Ship Harbor shoreline and comes back through interior woodlands. The day we hiked it was overcast and foggy, offering very spectacular and unique views and scenery;
TNC Indian Point/Blagden Reserve: The Big Woods Trail is a wonderful "sleeper" hike that our Somes Cottage hostess pointed out to us. A Nature Conservancy Reserve, it is not in Acadia National Park, but is located on the far northwestern edge of Mount Desert Island, winding through dense forest setting to Indian Point on the coast;
Schoodic Peninsula: Located to the east across Frenchman Bay from Bar Harbor, Schoodic Peninsula is the only segment of Acadia National Park not on Mount Desert Island. It can be reached by car, but a much more scenic and exciting means of getting there is by ferry boat from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor. From Winter Harbor we took a park shuttle bus on a loop tour of the peninsula, which offered numerous stops along the way, affording scenic viewpoints and hikes. We spent most of our time at Schoodic Point, enjoying a leisurely picnic lunch and walking around the point's rocky shoreline;
Wonderland Trail: The Wonderland Trail runs 1.4 miles (each way) out and back, through the woods down to the shoreline near Bennet Cove, on the southeastern end of Mount Desert Island, just east of the Ship Harbor Nature Trail. A special highlight of this hike was an abundance of Wild Roses, with their bright pink flowers and cherry red Rose Hips;
Beech Mountain: On our last full day at Acadia, we hiked/climbed up Beech Mountain, located on the southeastern edge of Long Pond, between Someville and Southwest Harbor. It was a very scenic hike, but steep, winding 2.9 miles up the mountain and gaining almost 600 feet in the process. The views in all directions from the summit (one can climb part way up into a fire lookout on the summit) were well worth the effort.
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