Mount Desert Island Journals

Acadia Nat'l Park (Mount Desert Island)

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A June 2000 trip to Mount Desert Island by Constance

Cadillac Mountain Photo, Acadia National Park, Maine More Photos
Quote: Mount Desert Island was once the summer retreat of only the very rich. Lucky for us, some of them donated their property to the National Parks Service. Acadia National Park is nothing short of paradise.

Acadia Nat'l Park (Mount Desert Island)

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Overview

Quote:
There is so much natural beauty on the island. Be prepared to be constantly amazed. Take a camera everywhere! Bring binoculars with you and be on the lookout for seals, puffin, bald eagles, racoon, deer, etc. Wildlife is everywhere if you pay attention. During low tide walk across the gravel bar that leads to Bar Island. Just pay attention to the tide. In 90 minutes it will be high again and you'll be stuck with no accomodations. Contact the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce at 800-288-5103 for more information.Quick Tips: Pack layered clothing. The days can be very hot and the nights very cool. The shore line can be 10 degrees cooler than inland so bring along a windbreaker. As al...Read More

Jordan Pond House Restaurant

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Restaurant | "The Jordan Pond House"

Jordan Pond House Restaurant Photo, Bar Harbor, Maine
Quote:
The Jordan Pondhouse is a must! An island tradition from 1847, where the elite would come to sit by the lake on the lawn and enjoy afternoon tea and popovers. The restaurant is open and airy and full of windows to make the most of a wonderful view. You can still sit on the lawn if you choose but the architecture gives you that 'outside feeling' no matter where you sit. They have a full range of extraordinary cuisine - from 'anything' lobster to filet mignon, pasta or chicken - and the deserts are mandatory! After your meal take the short walk down to Jordan Pond and enjoy the beautiful view of the "Bubbles", two identically rounded mountain that look like.... well, see it for yourself. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2000

Jordan Pond House Restaurant
Park Loop Road 12 Miles South Of Park Entrance
Bar Harbor
(207) 276-3316

Kayaking the Maine coastline

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Story/Tip

Water Sports Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Kayaking is a sport anyone can do. The boats sit low in the water and are very stable, even in the ocean. They are very easy to navigate after a quick training course. Our kayak tour provides us with sights you just don't see on land. We were able to get up close and personal with seals, loons and osprey. The highlight of our trip was spotting 2 bald eagles pearched in a tree 20 feet away. All the gear was provided and the guides were wonderful! The tour is limited to 6 tandem kayaks so you get very personal service. Half way thru the tour, we stopped on a small island to stretch our legs and eat the snacks we each brought along. Although in a group of ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Rock climbing the ocean cliffs

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Story/Tip

A Break From Climbing Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Most rock climing adventures start at the base of the rock. Not here! You'll start out with a short drive and easy hike to the cliffs of Acadia National Park. As the trail ends and the cliffs come into view all you'll see is open ocean. This is where the fun begins! Your guide will explain all the safety issues necessary to get you through the day and take you through some valuable lessons. All the gear is provided and there really is no danger as long as you pay attention. All guides are registered and there to assist every step of the way if necessary. But the challenge is doing the climb yourself. You'll start out strapped into a harness attached to ropes, which the gu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2000

Cadillac Mountain

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Attraction

Cadillac Mountain Photo, Acadia National Park, Maine
Quote:
Cadillac Mountain is the first place the sun hits on the east coast and the highest point on the Atlantic seaboard north of Brazil. If you're a morning person, the sun rises around 4:45 and you can be the first one to see it! Otherwise the sunsets are pretty too. Even in the middle of the day, the 360 panoramic views will astound you and should not be missed. Keep in mind that it is very windy and cool at the top of the mountain and you should definitely bring along a sweater or windbreaker, especially if you're there in the early a.m. before the sun is up. If you're the athletic type, consider biking up the mountain. It features gradual to more challenging slopes going up to it's 1,530 foot su...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2000

Cadillac Mountain
Cadillac Mountain
Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine

Sand Beach

Attraction

Quote:
Sand beach is the only ocean beach with 'sand' on Mt. Desert Island. It's very popular with tourists and tends to get very crowded. Unfortunately the Maine water is cold 365 days a year. It rarely gets above 55 degrees so not many people actually get in it. Children love to splash around in it but it's too cold for a swim. The winds off the ocean are constant making it a great place to sit on a hot day if you can stand the crowds.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 5, 2000

Sand Beach
Park Loop Road
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Biking The Carriage Trails Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Thanks to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. we have over 45 miles of interconnecting carrige roads on Mt. Desert. All vary in levels of difficulty so there is something for every rider. The routes closest to Bar Harbor tend to be the most crowded, especially during the summer so I recommend renting a bike rack and venturing away from the crowds. The stone roads are well maintained and offer a wonderful escape from the paved roads. You'll cross over beautiful granite and cobblestone bridges and have views of the untouched park. It's so beautiful you'll forget it's exercise.

The carriage roads are also great for running and hiking.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2000

Biking The Carriage Trails
Carriage Roads
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company

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Attraction | "Whale Watching"

Quote:
Seeing the whales up close is wonderful. I went out on the Friendship V, a 112' catamaran propelled by water jets. The boat goes up to 40 mph and travels the 25 miles out to sea quite fast. Along the way you'll see harbor seals, puffin, harbor porpoise and other sea life. Whale sightings are guaranteed or your money back. The trips last 2-3 hours with 1 hour being whale watching. We saw several humpbacks on our trip. They allow the extra hour in case they have to travel to different locations to find the whales. The trip wasn't rough and the only time I was aware of the motion and felt a little sick was when I was enclosed inside the galley. I recommend staying outside and enjoy the feeling ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2000

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company
1 West Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
(207) 288-2386

Bark Harbor

Attraction

Quote:
If you own or love a dog or cat you'll love this store. They have great specialty items for dogs and cats and collectibles for their crazy owners. It's a fun store to browse. I was amazed at the stuff they sell for animals! They also have a drinking bowl for thirsty dogs outside the store.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2000

Bark Harbor
200 Main Street
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Thunder Hole

Attraction

Quote:
Thunder Hole is really just a narrow granite cave during low tide. Not much to see then. But visit during high tide and it's a whole different story. The wind blows the crashing waves up inside the cave, trapping air inside. As the air is pushed forcefully out a loud sound of 'thunder' escapes. Hence, 'Thunder Hole'. It's especially impactful and loud during storms. You won't be able to get close enough to view the actual cave then, but the water will crash and spray all the way to the road if you're adventurous enough to stick around.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2000

Thunder Hole
Park Loop Road
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Traditional Lobster Bakes

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Story/Tip

People Bake Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
We've all seen the 'Amazing 5 Pound Lobsters' advertised at some point in time. Trust me... you DO NOT want to eat one of these and you won't find one in Maine. It's the equivalent of eating a very old cow. All the lobster are caught fresh daily and must be a certain size to be 'legal'. Anything too small or too big must be thrown back. The most tender lobster are between a pound and a quarter and a pound and a half. Be prepared for a messy experience. Most restaurants will provide you with a bib and plenty of clean up supplies. You'll even get special instructions on how to eat it if you ask, so you won't look like a tourist. A traditional lobster dinner usually features a lobster, mussels,...Read More

The Park Loop Road - #1 priority

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Story/Tip

Otter Cliffs Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Drive the Park Loop Road which 'loops' along the National Park from the coast to inland. It's a 20 mile journey of bliss. The sights are simply breathtaking and you'll find it easy to pull your car over and walk to any of the sites for a closer look. You'll start out passing a beautiful lake complete with a beaver dam. From there you see large granite mountains, rocky cliffs and sweeping ocean views. If you only have one hour on the island use it to drive the Park Loop Road.
Quote:
Bar Harbor was originally known as Eden was incorporated in 1796. In the mid 1800's artist came to capture the beauty of the island in their work. This brought on the 'tourists'. By 1880 Bar Harbor had 30 hotels and was known nationally for being a summer resort. The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Fords and Pulitzers all began summering here. Over 17,000 acres were lost in 1947 after a 10 day fire swept through Bar Harbor. More than 60 summer mansions were destroyed. While many remaining are still private homes, some are now B&B's and Inns and can be enjoyed by everyone. Learn more about the town at the Bar Harbor Historical Museum at 33 Ledgelawn Avenue (207) 288-0000