Wander With Us | Acadia National Park

A little known fact about me, I grew up in the wilds of Maine…okay, that is a slight dramatization.  But I grew up in the middle of Maine, where we had to drive over an hour to get to a movie theater, clothing store, or mall.  I spent so much time outside with my brother, exploring, building dams in the stream in our backyard, and picking wild blueberries.  We spent lots of summers vacationing in Acadia, the only thing I really recall is the wind at the top of Cadillac.  My husband and I decided to make a trip to Acadia last year, I hadn’t been almost two decades and was so excited.  Also, in my type A/ OCD vacation planning, I researched all the best things to do there!  One of the best choices we made was to stay at the Mount Desert Campground, this place is GORGEOUS!  It is set on the harbor amongst the tall pine trees, and all of the sites are stunning….especially the waterview sites!  It is only about 10 minutes from the gate to Acadia, so it made our trips into the park super easy!

After our trip last year, we decided to plan a week long camping trip this summer, the weather approaching our trip looked ominous…rain forecasted every day.  Thank goodness, we only had rain one night and lots of fog….I looooove fog, it kept us cool on hikes and made from some stunning undercasts!  I really hate crowds, and national parks are notorious for big crowds in the summer so we planned lots of hikes off the beaten path.  The first day we just did the park loop drive, and stopped at the Thunderhole, which my daughter has claimed is her favorite place in the whole world.  We also love the cobblestone beach, no one knows about it 😉  We were one of the five people on the beach and my boys love building with the rocks!

 

After heading into Bar Harbor and talking to a sweet local girl, she gave me a list of great hikes.  We spent the next day on the quietside of island doing Mount Mansfield, it was breathtaking.  My kids love any hike with ladders, so they were happy as clams!

We got up early the next day to do the notorious Beehive Trail, my kids have done this twice already so we weren’t worried about the ladders or heights.  But this is a must do hike if you are an adventure seeker, it is fairly short with lots of ladders and iron rungs on the side of the mountain.  Make sure to get there early though, the rungs get hot in the sun and waiting in lines of people stinks!  After the Beehive, and a quick stop at the Bowl to take in the fog…we headed over to Jordan Pond.  The parking was bananas, but we really wanted to do the Jordan Cliffs Trail…well, little did I know that this trail was close because of falcon nesting.  We took another trail up Penobscot, and I was in love….this was my favorite hike of the trip!  It is very similar to the west trail of Cadillac with lots of granite climbing, but doing the hike through the clouds was magic!

The next day was our rainy day, so we spent the morning at the Dor History Museum, holding cockroaches, sea cucumbers, and star fish.  Perfect rainy day spot, and the team there was so patient with my kids.  We had lobster and mussels from Thurstons Lobster Pound for lunch, because there is nothing better in Maine than the seafood!  On the way back we stopped at Wonderland, home of the best tide pools on the island.  The tide wasn’t quite out far enough, but we climbed all over nevertheless.

Then we took in the sites of the campground, the kids got crab nets and caught crabs for hours.  My oldest took off paddleboarding in the Harbor, and we just enjoyed the rainy Maine day.

The next day was my kid’s favorite hike of the Park, the Precipice.  Usually this is closed in the summer, but it was surprisingly open this time and we were super excited to do it again!  This one is not for the faint of heart of the unprepared….please, bring water and proper footwear on hikes…I couldn’t believe the number of unprepared folks on the trail.  The views from the top were phenomenal!

The next day we did the Gorham mountain loop, this was a fun trail.  It is so versatile with the cliffs at the beginning, the granite climb at the top, and the ocean walk at the end.  I feel like this hike encompasses everything that Acadia has to offer!  We had to head on home after this one but we can’t wait to get back to Maine soon!

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