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Mambo Minnow posted 08-30-2012 05:48 PM ET (US)   Profile for Mambo Minnow   Send Email to Mambo Minnow  
I wanted to post a short narrative about my recent family excursion to Down East Maine. My family and I had the opportunity to travel last week in conjunction with my oldest daughter's visit to the University of Maine.

Our journey to Acadia began in Bangor, which was the epicenter of our excursion and base of operations. The farthest I had ever travelled in the state was Oqunquit, which a real Maine local would tell you it not the "real Maine". Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until1830, but they do not like to be reminded of that historical tidbit!

Acadia National Park has a 27 mile loop that proceeds along the rocky shoreline, the land donated to the National Park System by Charles Eliot, a former president of Harvard University. It was originally known as Sieur de Monts Park, but an additional land donation on Schoodic Peninsula had the donor's stipulation to rename the park, since he was a confirmed Anglophile.
1,530 foot Cadillac Mountain still retains some Francophone connection that Detroit residents would understand, as Samuel de Champlain first explored the area extensively for France, before the English established firm control.

The Park includes Sand Beach, one of the few such shorelines in an otherwise entirely rocky coast in the state. The boys braved the water, which rarely exceeds 55 degrees. However, we had warm (85 degree) sun and and cloudless skies which helped us make the plunge. There are several lakes within the Park, however no boating or swimming is allowed which is a shame for boaters. They are over 150 feet deep and used for a drinking source.

The top of Cadillac Mountain can be hiked or driven to the top by auto. We were fortunate to have fantastic views of Frenchman's Bay, the open Atlantic and approaches to the Bay of Fundy leading to Nova Scotia. There was a constant source of wind, which makes this an ideal sailing location. On the landward side of the mountain we could see the entirety of the seaside village of Bar Harbor, which we were determined to visit at the end of our tour. There were several large sailing yachts and one motoryacht that was in the Donald Trump class of the yachting lifestyle tied up pierside.

Bar Harbor has a beautiful seaside inn of the same name, which I would recommend to anyone that could afford it. There are a multitude of bed and breakfasts in the area as well. The number of piers and transient slips appeared rather limited. This is still a working port, with several trawlers returning at the end of the day. The USCG cutter was moored offshore.
There was a small inner coastal cruise ship tied alongside, so regional, seasonal cruise tours are available for those without a Whaler. I regret to inform I did not take either of my two trailered Whalers as I had some unanticipated surgery at the end of June that I am still recuperating from. So, this seaside trip was a small consolation for my greatly diminished summer plan of recreational boating!

I will post photos later when I have more time to transfer to Photobucket. In the interim, I thought others might benefit from this short report, similar to Tony's summarization of his recent Alaska trip.

Mambo Minnow posted 08-31-2012 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Pictures posted here
Mambo Minnow posted 08-31-2012 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow
Mambo Minnow posted 08-31-2012 10:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
Sorry, added a few more photos and broke the link Acadia%20National%20Park%20August%202012%20trip/
newt posted 09-04-2012 09:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. Acadia is on our bucket list for sure, but really any part of coastal Maine is a treat to drive through.
tombro posted 09-06-2012 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Nice pics of a nice place. We visited in 1989, and spent 3 nites in the Bar Harbor Inn. It was a trip that also included 3 nites at the Boothbay Harbor Inn and 3 nites at Leens Lodge, which is way downeast in Washington County. Sorry to say, I have not been back to Maine since, but do intend to visit at some point in the near future.

I have spent quite a few vacations up there, since childhood. Places ranged from the Washington County lakes to the coast (from Perry to Belfast) and the Belgrade Lakes. Great fishing and boating everywhere.

Tom W Clark posted 09-07-2012 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK is a National treasure and should be visited by anybody visiting the area. My wife and I were there last summer on our Downeast tour of Maine: 526404195&type=3

199213 posted 09-12-2012 08:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for 199213    
I disagree with Tom. We've visited Acadia for 3-5 days in August for 12 out of the last 15 years. This year we arrived at the campground at 8:50AM in a thunderstorm to find 15 cars already in line waiting for less than 10 campsites expected to free up that morning. We witnessed rangers issuing tickets for double parking all along the loop road. The parking lot at the top of the mountain was full. Hiking up Penobscot mountain we had to wait nearly 5 minutes at one point for two large groups to come down the mountain, not to mention the MANY smaller groups. The wait at the pond house restaurant was 90 minutes at 3:30PM! On the road beach parking started 1/2 mile before the beach and more than 2 miles past the beach at 4pm! There were 15 people other people in Anemone Cave when we went and that hasn't even been on the park map for 25+ years!

So, don't go. There are too many tourists these days. Or go in June or September when the crowds are similar to those before the economy tanked and everyone decided to take regional camping trips instead of long distance cruises to tropical islands. :-)

Mambo Minnow posted 09-12-2012 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mambo Minnow  Send Email to Mambo Minnow     
There were many cars, but the park is so large it seemed to absorb most of the visitors well.

Parking lots were full, but the only place we really had a problem was Sand Beach. We parked down the road in a side lot and had a nice walk along the craggy shore line down onto the beach.

Jordan Pond restaurant is a choke point, as it is the only dining option located in the park. They NPS could remedy this by allowing one of two concessionaire food stands, perhaps one at Sand Beach.

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