Acadia: Thunder Gulch Trail

Acadia: Thunder Gulch Trail

This trail wasn’t even on our radar when we arrived on Isle au Haut. Why not? Simply because it’s not on any maps, so we didn’t know about it. I did find it on a USGS topo map, but it’s not on any published park maps. The trail is maintained occasionally, but it’s off the beaten path and takes time to get to. The trail is 1.8 miles out-and-back from the trailhead, but it takes 2.4 miles along an unpaved…

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Acadia: Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

Acadia: Isle au Haut Town via Duck Harbor Trail

On our second day at Duck Harbor in Acadia National Park, we decided to get a taste of what it’s like to live locally on Isle au Haut.  So we made the decision to hike into town, which is the aptly named Isle au Haut Town.  It’s the only town on the island, and would be a solid day hike to get there and back.  We knew there was a general store and ranger station near the town.  We didn’t…

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Acadia: Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Acadia: Duck Harbor Mountain Trail

Duck Harbor Mountain is the most prominent feature near Duck Harbor Campground.  Rising to an elevation of around 300 feet, the mountain forms the best hike near the campground too.  There are a few loops that can be created via the Duck Harbor Mountain Trail, and we chose a 4.2 mile loop.  The loop starts near Duck Harbor Campground and ascends to the summit of Duck Harbor Mountain, then heads west along the coast, and finally returns north to complete the…

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Acadia: Duck Harbor Campground

Acadia: Duck Harbor Campground

Arriving at Duck Harbor is an experience – you see the dock as you come around Eben’s Head, see the park ranger waiting for you, and all the people getting ready to board the boat to return to Stonington.  But most of all, the view of endless rocky Maine coastline, with mountains in the distance.  And it’s all another adventure waiting to happen. “Kill Nothing but Time… Take Nothing but Pictures… Leave Nothing but Tracks…” – Anonymous (Posted on Duck…

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Acadia: Stonington to Isle au Haut

Acadia: Stonington to Isle au Haut

We like to go off the beaten path, so it’s only natural that we would go to Duck Harbor Campground.  It’s a primitive, remote campground on the sparsely populated island of Isle au Haut, and boasts hiking trails, bogs, and mountains to explore.  About half of the island is part of Acadia National Park.  What’s not to like? Our journey to Isle au Haut began in Bar Harbor, where we had just gone kayaking and checked out of Blackwoods Campground.  We headed…

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Acadia: Kayaking West Side MDI

Acadia: Kayaking West Side MDI

We waffled a bit on whether or not to go kayaking, but only because there’s so much to do in Acadia.  We decided to in the end because we wanted more practice as we plan to kayak at many other parks.  It gave our legs a rest from hiking, provided great views, and was our closest look at some wildlife.  We learned a lot about the park through this experience.  None of the water surrounding Acadia is actually part of…

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Acadia: Pemetic Mountain Northwest Trail

Acadia: Pemetic Mountain Northwest Trail

We started off our third day in Acadia with another iconic hike – Pemetic Mountain. Located on the east side of Mount Desert Island, right near Jordan Pond. There are four trail options to the Pemetic summit, and the northwest path (4.2 miles) seemed most interesting to us. The previous day, we hiked the Beehive, which features iron rungs and a small iron bridge. Pemetic has its own unique obstacles – ladders – which sounded fun. We’ll check out another…

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Acadia: Ocean Path & Beehive Trails

Acadia: Ocean Path & Beehive Trails

There are a lot of trails in Acadia. Since we were only there for 10 days, we wouldn’t have time to hike them all. For our first “major” hike, we decided to combine two very different hikes into a single trip – Ocean Path & The Beehive. You could easily do the hikes individually, but we wanted more of a challenge. The hikes are on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, only 6 miles from Bar Harbor. Ocean Path…

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Acadia: Carriage Roads, Bridges, and Jordan Pond House

Acadia: Carriage Roads, Bridges, and Jordan Pond House

The well-known philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. made many significant contributions to the landscape of Acadia National Park; one was a system of carriage roads along with 17 unique bridges for visitors to enjoy. Our national parks need more people like that! Carriage roads and hiking trails weave together to provide a variety of routes to explore the rivers and bridges on the East side of the park (Schoodic also has a newly-built network of “carriage roads”). Due to time…

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Acadia: Blackwoods Campground

Acadia: Blackwoods Campground

The first night in Acadia, we stayed at the Quality Inn in Bar Harbor (which we highly recommend!). But we were excited about staying in a more rustic spot: Blackwoods Campground. Blackwoods is one of four campgrounds in Acadia, and it’s the only one on the east side of Mt. Desert Island. Thankfully, it was easy to find as we drove on Park Loop Road, and it’s only 5 miles from Bar Harbor.  On our drive to the campground, we…

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