An Acadian in Acadia!

Not all Cajuns are Acadian, but I just happen to be both, so I truly was an Acadian in Acadia! 

At the top of Cadillac Mountain

I rolled out of the parking lot of the hotel in Bar Harbor on a gloriously warm, sunny day.  After two straight days of cold haze, mist, and rain, it felt like summer had returned!  Acadia National Park is spread out over numerous islands and peninsulas, so it took me about 40 minutes to get from my hotel in Bar Harbor on the east side of Mt Desert Island over to Seawall Campground on the west side of it. It seems funny that such a lush place as Acadia would have a desert name, but according to the NPS website, the island where most of the park is found was named by a French colonizer in 1604 based on his observation that the summits of the mountains were all “bare and rocky.”  I don’t know in which season he made the observation, but my short time on Cadillac Mountain revealed a great deal of flora.  At any rate, Acadia claims more than 20 mountains and nearly 65 miles of coastline that is chock full of vegetation of all types.

Black Chokeberry on Cadillac Mountain

Click HERE to see a map of Acadia National Park to give context to the photos that follow.

First up on the tour of the park is Seawall Campground.  It’s on the west side of Acadia, what the Rangers all referred to as the “quiet” side, which is great for those of us who like our sleep 🙂  One of the other interesting attractions on the west side is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.  According to a placard at the lighthouse, up until 2020, a Coast Guard family was still stationed there.  I certainly wouldn’t want any part of living on a cliff overlooking the ocean this far north in the winter, but it would definitely be a notable duty station to add to a Coastie’s career assignment list!

Breakfast in Seawall Campground before heading out for some riding and sightseeing
The actual seawall outside the campground
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Park Loop Road is back over on the east side and provides easy access to most of Acadia’s major attractions.  As with most major sights that have single road access in National Parks these days, the Park Service now requires a pass to drive up Cadillac Mountain (whereas in previous years it was not regulated and prone to traffic jams).  I was able to go online with my phone and reserve my pass the same day and rode my motorcycle up Cadillac Summit Road.  I’m sure I would feel different if I would’ve been unable to get a pass, but it was really nice to be able to ride up there and hike around without a ton of people or traffic.

View from atop Cadillac Mountain
Almost no traffic at all on the rides up and down the twisty Cadillac Summit Road

After spending a little time hiking around the trails at the top of Cadillac summit, I rode back down to Park Loop Road and followed its one-way clockwise direction around the park.  I spent a little time at Thunder Hole mesmerized by the way an underwater cave shoots incoming waves back into the air.

The “thunder” at Thunder Hole
Views at Thunder Hole

Back on the Loop, I stopped at Otter Cove, then continued on to Jordan Pond for lunch.  The “pond” is actually a 187-acre lake with a max depth of 150 ft.  The water is unbelievably clear, and quite cold!  I walked part of the 3-mile loop around the lake and saw a momma Hooded Merganser duck with two little ducklings. The amateur birder in me rejoiced at seeing this lifer bird (it’s the first time I’ve ever seen that particular species).    

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond House sits on a hill overlooking the pond and has been a fixture in the area since 1893.  Though the original house burned down, the replacement continues the tradition of tea and popovers.  I’m not much for tea, but I certainly partook in a popover with my lunch!

Jordan Pond House restaurant seating area overlooking Jordan Pond
Famous Jordan Pond House popover! Delicious!

There was just so much to see and do in Acadia that I would’ve had to spend at least a couple of weeks to even start to do it justice.  There are a ton of trails and carriage roads to hike and bicycle plus all the other islands I didn’t make it out to.  I knew when I embarked on this trip that I would not have enough time to really experience each place I visited, but Acadia really highlighted that I’m only able to skim the surface this summer.  That “return visit” list is really starting to grow. . .

2 thoughts on “An Acadian in Acadia!

Add yours

  1. I Knew it would be BEAUTIFUL but it looks even prettier!
    Saw bad weather up there.
    Did you happen to over night a few of those popovers to Our House. I’ve got some jam that would go good with it!
    You know how much I Love Lighthouses! Thanks for sharing that one and all the history!
    Can’t wait to wake up to see where we will be tomorrow!
    Love you much ….

    Liked by 1 person

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