I first visited Acadia National Park last October for one day, but it was not nearly enough time. It was a rainy, windy autumn day, and I didn’t get to see the ocean side of the park at all. An extended trip to Acadia was very necessary. Having a free weekend after I moved into my apartment for the semester, but before classes started, I decided to book a campsite in the park for two nights for maximal hiking and sight-seeing.
I prematurely booked the trip without considering who would be available to accompany me. While I have no fear of traveling alone, I am pretty skeptical of hiking and camping by myself. My boyfriend and best-outdoors-loving-friend ended up being unavailable, so I turned to my Maine-friends. At last, my friend, Anna, agreed to go on this adventure with me!
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and decided to walk along Ocean Path and take in the views of Sandy Beach, Otter Cliffs, and Otter Point. Our campground was very close to the coast and easy to navigate from. We went to bed early (it might have been before 8pm) to get up the next morning to hike before the inevitable afternoon downpour.
Our plan was to hike Precipice trail which is supposed to be the most strenuous path in Acadia. After, we were going to return to the car and head to the Beehive, for a shorter hike. As we descended Precipice, it became obvious that all of the paths were somewhat connected, and we managed to find our way to the Beehive. By this point, the trails were packed, and it was like waiting in line at Disneyworld to ascend the short route. Beehive ended up disappointing us; it was basically a shorter, easier Precipice. The view on both, however, were breathtaking.
As the clouds started rolling in, we headed to Jordan Pond House for some of the famous popovers. They were warm, delightful, filled with air, and very overpriced. As the rain fell, we bummed around Bar Harbor in our un-showered state before dinner. We had ice cream twice and went into what felt like every single souvenir shop (without buying anything might I add). We had a decent dinner at Lompoc Cafe, a nice alternative to the peanut butter sandwiches we’d been eating. We nestled back into our tent for another early bedtime (I don’t think it was quite 8pm, but definitely before 9).
After we packed up our camp on our final day, we headed toward the summit of Cadillac Mountain (not a very tall mountain). Anna tried to convince me to hike it, but I had had enough for one weekend, so we drove to the windy top. Though my hair was a greasy mess, the views were incredible. I love the ocean and wouldn’t stop excitedly yelling “La Mer” all weekend. We grabbed bagels before we left and headed back to Anna’s hometown of Portland.
Anna was an excellent partner-in-crime and made me very excited to head back to Smith and to our rowing team for the Fall. Acadia National was my first National Park less than a year ago and was definitely a contributing factor into my current obsession with this country’s public lands. I’ve seen so little of the beauty Maine has to offer, but I’m enthusiastic to return!