• Mat

A Journey In Acadia National Park - NPS Centennial

Last week my girlfriend and I had the opportunity to explore and enjoy one of our beautiful National Parks, Acadia, in celebration of this year's National Park Service Centennial. Our National Parks never cease to amaze me and we are all incredibly fortunate to have so many amazing places to explore in this country. Below you will read a little bit about our trip in the park as well as some of my favorite spots where we explored or grabbed a bite to eat. So without further ado. Enjoy!

It's not a proper visit to Maine without making a stop to have some of the finest lobstah around. Fueling up at Bar Harbor Beerworks before heading to camp and exploring the park.

The top of Cadillac Mountain and the surrounding areas are very popular and can be very busy anytime of day. Look closely and you can see everyone catching a glimpse of the sunset. Who can blame everyone when the rewarding views are abound on this mountain. Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak along the North Atlantic seaboard. It is also the first spot to catch a sunrise in the U.S. between the months of October and March. Absolutely awesome!

That's not to say you won't get a chance to take in solitude, breathtaking views and snap some photos without others around in them. All it takes is a little exploring to find that perfect spot. Here's one of my favorite overlooks from the summit during this trip. Looking out toward Mt Desert Narrows, Frenchman Bay and towering peaks off in the distance.

This trail may be short but it is equally strenuous as it is exhilarating. It has instantly become one of my favorite trails on the east coast and in Maine. Here's why...

I like a good challenge. Right from the start this trail gives you just that. As you make your way along this stony pathway you eventually make a small climb to this:

This is where the fun begins, but don't forget to hike with caution to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. If it has rained or is going to rain you'll want to save this spot for another day. It can be slippery even on sunny days due to the salty air hitting the weathered and exposed pink granite.

The views begin and never disappoint. Here's a view from the trail overlooking Sand Beach down below.

Watch your step. Here's one of your crossings along the edge of the trail.

Rungs are then provided in multiple spots to provide you with leverage and security to help aid you along the trail to the top. Some spots along this trail are almost completely vertical and will require some scrambling.

Get through that and you'll be making your way to the Beehive Summit. The views from there are worth the climb.

Here's one of them.

As we continued down to The Bowl, we then followed a short boardwalk path by the pond itself and continued up toward Champlain Mountain.

If you choose to continue your hike here as well, you'll have a few ups and downs to the peak. Quite a bit of this trail is so exposed to the elements once painted blazes can take quite a beating. To help with additional navigation, we used the Bates Cairns. These small stone structures are easily noticeable and placed not only to help with direction, but to ensure foot travel is not made on the fragile plants you can enjoy viewing during your hike.

The summit of Champlain. The views from atop here are everywhere just like the top of Cadillac Mountain. I'll leave those for you to enjoy should you decide to make the trip to this peak. Just look for this marker though and you'll know you're there.

Overlooking The Bowl on the way back down. The Beehive is to the left and Gorham Mountain to the right.

Who doesn't love the ocean? We had to make a stop to Sand Beach to enjoy the sights and smells of this classic Maine coastline.

I am really proud of this shot. During our time on the beach here, I tried taking a couple of pictures of a seagull in mid flight but to no avail. As we began our hike back I saw one making its way toward us and just threw my camera up and snapped a photo. Luck was on my side this day.

Another one of my favorite spots visited during this trip was in the Heart of Acadia, Jordan Pond. Here we took in the views of The Bubbles, surrounding Penobscot & Sargent Mountains and the popular Jordan Pond.

Looking out onto Jordan Pond with the very distinctive Bubbles in the background. These well-rounded granite peaks sit at the north end of Jordan Pond. There is plenty of hiking around here, with mountains on either side of this prominent feature or you can even climb The Bubbles themselves. We couldn't help but get a little bit of everything in, in this area.

This was taken near the start of the hike around Jordan Pond itself. I love the unique look this has and the proof that nature always adapts to change and continues to persevere. Something I feel we can all apply to our lives.

After passing some of nature's artwork we came to another boardwalk that leads you through dense woods and along the pond for a good length stretch.

Here's a bridge crossing we made to continue along the trail.

We were also able to see some loons which I always love seeing on kayaking trips so this was a privilege.