NEMPQ: Acadia National Park

Visit Dates: September 9-10, 2023

I thought I knew that Maine has the longest coastline of the lower 48 states. As we drove north along the coast I could see why that could be: instead of a straight shore running for miles that you find in, say, Long Beach Washington, there are hundreds of inlets, bays and harbors. In addition, there are hundreds of islands just off the coast. But what I thought I knew I did not. This Wikipedia page ranks the states using 2 methods. Not including tidal inlets, Maine ranks 9th with 228 miles – just below Oregon with 296 miles. But if you add in the tidal inlets – and why wouldn’t you – Maine jumps up to 4th place with 3,478 miles while Oregon drops down to 17th place with only 1,410 miles. Alaska kicks beach sand in the lower 48 states’ collective faces. It has 6,640 miles of coastline measuring with method 1 and 33,904 miles measuring with the second method.

Our visit to Acadia National Park would highlight that 3,478 miles for us. The island perimeter and Somes Sound in the middle of the park certainly adds miles for that 4th place showing. We drove around both the east and west halves of the island.

Acadia National Park overview

We arrived at our hotel in Bar Harbor (the tan area on the right side of the island on the map) and didn’t spend much time hanging out before taking one of the shuttles to the hopping downtown. We stopped in for wine on the lawn at the Ivy Manor Inn.

Enjoying a glass of wine on the lawn of the Ivy Manor Inn. Bar Harbar Maine

I don’t remember what we had to eat for dinner; but I do remember delicious ice cream cones from CJ’s Big Dipper. Yum. While licking our cones we walked down to the waterfront at Grant Park where we took in Balance Rock.

Balancing Rock – Bar Harbor Maine

After wandering downtown a bit more we took a shuttle back to our hotel. We heard that the morning view from Cadillac Mountain (see the pin on the map above) was spectacular. Vehicle entry to the park is restricted much like the Road to the Sun in Glacier National Park; so, pass in hand, we got up and moving early to the mountain. Though we missed the sunrise (spending my whole life on the west coast I still can’t get used to the sun rising over the ocean in stead of setting) the view was spectacular.

Cadillac Mountain Overlook. Acadia National Park

Terry and Jim are quite photogenic and I couldn’t resist making them pose.

Terri and Jim on Cadillac Mountain. Acadia National Park

New Hampshire is the Granite State, not Maine; nevertheless, there is plenty of granite to go around. Most of the granite in this area are erratics – pushed and pulled here by the glaciers of the last ice age. There are walking paths all along the ridge. Here’s another view that points out why I thought Maine has such a large coastline.

Cadillac Mountain View Point. Acadia National Park, Maine

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I highly recommend the park. Going in September is nice because you miss the summer crowds. Our next stop was Jordan Pond ( the lower lake on the eastern half of the island in the map above).

Jordon Pond. Acadia National Park

There is a path that goes around the pond but we just went a short way. I thought the two humped mountain in the background of both of these pictures was Bubble Rock. But coming home and researching, I’m not so sure. Pictures of Bubble Rock have a balancing rock on the top. It could be that the balanced rock is too small to show up in the picturesBut they do look like bubbles, don’t they? . If you know, please leave a comment at the end of the post.

Jordon Pond. Acadia National Park, Maine

Back in the car we headed north up along Somes Sound then cut over to the western coastline. We stopped for lunch at a little cafe where I had a delicious lobster roll; but didn’t think to take a picture of it (to show the New England split top buns) until all that was left was the paper tray it was served on. After lunch we headed to the southern point to see Bass Harbor Head Light Station.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Acadia National Park, Maine

This picture shows the limitation of the iPhone lenses and sensors. The original picture I took had a dramatic keystone effect that makes the tower look like it’s falling backward. But Adobe Lightroom to the rescue; I used the Geometry tab to straighten things out a bit. Even after the correction, you can see the tower looking like it is leaning back and left. My RX100M7 wouldn’t have had such a big problem and a full frame sensor would have been best – but way, way to heavy and bulky for my liking on a trip like this.

We headed around the building and started down the slippery, rocky shore to get a picture from the other side but I chickened out; calling it good after getting a glimpse of the lighthouse.

Bass Harbor Head LIghthouse. Acadia National Park, Maine

Back in the car we completed the circumnavigation of the island and returned to our hotel and spent another evening in Bar Harbor (Yes we had ice cream again). Acadia National Park is small enough to be able to take in lots of sites in just one day while large enough to have a variety of scenes. We recommend 100%.

A reminder note on the NEMPQ shorthand on the post title. That stands for our destinations: New England, Maritime Provinces and Quebec. If you look at the summary post from the homepage, or at the bottom of the whole post you’ll see a set of keywords. Black letters with a gray background. Click the NEMPQ and you’ll get a list of all the posts from this trip – the number of posts will grow as I continue sharing our journey. Or, you can find the “search” function in the left hand panel (desktop) or the “Show” menu (mobile) and type NEMPQ to find the posts.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.