Ever since our trip to Acadia National Park last year, we dreamed of going back…it was so incredibly beautiful. You experienced the best of two worlds…the ocean and the mountains. Besides, there were more trails we wanted to hike and carriage roads we wanted to bike.
So, this year we headed back.
On our first full day, we decided to try a one way hike, requiring us to ride the Island Explorer (bus) back to the trailhead where we parked. We were not at all sure how that would work, but decided to give it a try.
So we began on the Champlain North Ridge Trail…
and hiked to the top of Champlain Mountain…
where we continued on the Champlain South Trail…
About noon we stopped for a quick snack…
We then connected to the Beehive Trail. (Which we ended turning back on due to some false information. Next year it will be our first hike!)
Instead, we backtracked and found the Gorham Mountain Trail led to Gorham Peak…
It provided beautiful views of the ocean
and eventually emptied us out onto the Ocean Path Trail.
Now remember my concern with taking the Island Express? It’s the public transit which loops around the park. After waiting for what seemed like forever (or at least it seemed like it, because we were hot and hungry), the bus finally arrived and it was packed. Standing room only.
I was a little self conscious standing next to people I didn’t know feeling all sweaty with my arms up holding onto to the bars, but whatever. We were not at all thrilled when the bus driver announced we had to take a detour due to a road closure.
It took us an hour to get back to the trailhead! (Due to the detour, we discovered Martha Stewart had a summer home on the island. Apparently she spends July and August there.)
We were more than a little excited to finally hop in the vehicle and head into town for a late lunch/early dinner. We found a parking spot (not easy) and stopped at the first place that looked promising: Bar Harbor Beerworks.
The pretzel was bigger than my head and oh-so-delicious. The black bean quinoa wrap…not so much.
And a little wine back at the campsite and I had no trouble falling to sleep that night.
The next day, we decided a big breakfast was in order before hitting the carriage trails for a day of biking. By 8:30 there was already a wait, so we enjoyed the courtyard.
Breakfast at the Great Maine Breakfast did not disappoint! I ate it all.
Now for a funny story.
In order to access the carriage roads from the Visitor Center parking lot, you need to go up this steep incline that goes on for-ev-er. After patting ourselves on the back for making it up without walking (the recommended way), we biked for about 20 minutes or so, not bothering to check our map. After biking the carriage roads last year, we felt pretty confident in our ability to not get lost.
We came to a fork in the road, and decided to take this one (picture from last year):
And guess where we wound up? Yep. Back in the parking lot. (Meaning we had to climb the hill all over again.) Fortunately, we were both very entertained by this. Once we stopped laughing, we turned our bikes around and headed back up the hill.
If you have never experienced biking on Acadia’s carriage roads, you need to.
No cars are allowed on the 57 miles of connected roads.
There are lots of stone bridges…
and signposts…so you know, you don’t get lost.
(And that would be my honey now understanding the importance of verifying where we were on the map…)
After a long day of biking, we stopped at A&B Naturals for a late afternoon snack. I had the PB and Yay smoothie and a cookie.
On our way back to our campsite, we decided to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain…
and walk around…
On our third and final full day at Acadia, we decided to string together a couple of peaks.
We started on the Giant Slide trail which was deceptively easy…
and then we got to the ‘slide’ part. The trail went straight up for just short of a mile. We climbed over and under rocks forever!
First peak: Sargent Peak
Then we connected to the Grandgent Trail…
which lead us to Gilmore Peak.
Next up was Parkman Mountain (which I have no pictures of), and we finished it up by trekking to Bald Peak! Hee hee.
And then we made our way back down one last time. At this point my legs were shot.
After making it back to the trailhead, we went into town for another smoothie. This time I went green.
Our timing was perfect for walking the Bar Island Trail over to Bar Island. The trail is only passable during low tide.
It was so beautiful! The fog hugged the island.
Afterwards, I was craving another big pretzel, so we returned to Bar Harbor Beerworks. This time I opted for the Tomato Basil soup, which was so delicious. Especially with the pretzel dunked into it. And the glass of Malbec wasn’t bad either!
Next stop: the White Mountains in New Hampshire!