When we arrived in Bar Harbor I immediately gave a sigh of relief. No more city, no more stress, no more travel, we were really on a break from everything. It had finally set in. Five years ago my family came up to Bar Harbor together for the first time. We did a lot of “tourist” types of things…lobster boats tours, giant sailboats, Cadillac Mountain, etc. All of those are great things when you’ve never been somewhere or you’re dealing with foot issues (my poor momma) and can’t walk constantly. But this time, we all felt great, there were no foot problems (yay!), and we definitely didn’t want to be tourists. We were ready to get into the park!
Acadia is simply beautiful and the back story about the details of the park are very neat. There are miles and miles of carriage roads throughout the entire park, funded for construction by Rockefeller between 1915 and 1940. Park guests can still take carriage rides throughout the park and up to Jordan Pond House. It’s a unique experience that reminds me much of being in Europe. I love the fact that a successful entrepreneur like Rockefeller cared about the accessibility and perseverance of the land and it’s still being utilized today. If you have never read about the history of Acadia, its native people, or the development of the carriage roads and national park, it is definitely worth the read.
Five years ago we stayed at a bed and breakfast called Moseley Inn. My dad absolutely loves victorian era craftsmanship, so there was no question about staying at a bed and breakfast for this trip. (I attempted to convince them to camp in the park but it didn’t work…this time.) Well, funny enough, we stayed at the same one again in the same room we were in before. It was perfect.
After settling our things we asked Pam, one of the owners, for some suggestions on hiking and food, the two things we were going to do all week–hike and eat!
Sunday afternoon’s hike was Sand Beach and Great Head. As we set out on the trail, we soon encountered some rather large granite obstacles. Little did we know, that’s pretty much how all the trails are in Acadia. We were quite used to hiking across boulders by the end of the week, which was such a contrast from the Smokies, the park we have done the most hiking in over the years.
The humorous part though was the trial markers. This trail got us accustomed to “following the blue,” that is, the blue marks on the granite rocks that tell you you’re still on the trail. The humor came in when we got up on Great Head and started feeling like we were just going in circles because we saw the same guy at least three times and he kept giving us bad directions. But, we knew to follow the blue and that ended up being the only thing to get us back to where we started…
“[The carriage roads] were built so that people would be able to experience the beauty and majesty of Acadia as part of remembering their essential, fundamental relationship with the natural world.” -John D. Rockefeller, Jr.