We spent a week on Mt Desert Island enjoying the trails, carriage roads and scenic drives that wind along the shore and in and out of Acadia NP, which is the heart of the island. We chose to stay in a campground on the ‘quiet side’ of the island – Southwest Harbor, away from the crowds of Bar Harbor, especially since we were there during the Labor Day long week-end. To our delight most of the crowds left after the week-end and we enjoyed the beauty of the area without having to fight for a place to park.
At the recommendation of a fellow traveler we arrived at the very popular Jordan Pond House and immediately put our name on the reservation list for dining. The wait time is usually 2-3 hours for walk-ups and after we had our name on the list we headed off on the 3.4 mile walk around the lake. It was a beautiful walk, a bit tricky in some places with huge boulders to scramble across and a 3/4 mile of planks to traverse. We had Laia the wonder dog with us and our reward at the end of our hike was a beautiful lunch on the lawn of the Jordan Pond House, which lets dogs stay on the lawn with their owners. Laia was so exhausted she laid down and slept and ignored all the other dogs around (we finally learned the trick although it’s hard to wear her out!)
Forty-five miles of rustic carriage roads, the gift of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr and family weave around the mountains and valleys of Acadia NP. Rockefeller, a skilled horseman, wanted to travel on motor-free byways via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island. His construction efforts from 1913-1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape.
The last time we visited Acadia NP was 25 years ago and we didn’t get a chance to fully explore it, so this time we were determined that we would have the time to see it all and we still didn’t. We met people who return every year and now we know why, it is a beautiful place and would be spectacular during the fall colors. Hmmm, sounds like another trip to plan!