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Trip Report Acadia National Park

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Where in the woods can you hear the sound of a buoy softy clang as it bobs back and forth in the water? Acadia National Park. What a unique and lovely experience! As we climbed over and around rocks along the partially wooded Gorham Mt trail the soft sound of the buoy clang was the music we heard as we made our ascent.

Each year DH and I hope to visit a National Park. And while it is my preference to head West this was a pleasant, and different, park experience for us. When we stay inside a park our focus is the park. We tend not to stray from where we land. Acadia NP, located on Mount Desert Island, has no in-park lodging so our focus included the park as well as the surrounding area. This was a fun experience for us as we had never before been to Maine and we love seeing and exploring new places.

Trip planning:

Since the nearest Barnes & Noble is an hour away and our small, local bookstore has a limited travel section I searched Amazon for a guide and purchased the highly recommended, Acadia, The Complete Guide, by James Kaiser which I found to be extremely insightful. In addition, I purchased Frommer’s Maine Coast day By day, and, Frommer’s Maine Coast which helped fill in some information gaps. As always, I found useful information on Fodor’s as well as Fodor’s Forum.

Once we reached Bar Harbor, our home for the week, we found helpful maps, a dining guide, and more at the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce located on the corner of Main Street and Cottage. By far, the Acadia Weekly, The Guide to Acadia National Park proved most useful. It’s FREE and loaded with information from which cruise ships are in harbor, to ferry schedules, a dining out guide, list of current Ranger Programs, boat cruises, maps, church services and so much more! We kept a copy with us every day.

Useful iPhone App:

The Chimani Acadia National Park app is FREE and we used it more than any other park app downloaded to date. We were able to view trail maps and descriptions at any time. The app also includes general park information, a shuttle guide and driving tour. The Ranger Program icon never displayed existing programs but all other applications associated with the app worked great. We were even able to assist a small group of hikers with their route when path signage wasn’t enough to help them with the direction they wanted to go.

Getting there:

Starting on a Sunday, second week in September, we drove 2 hours to Philly for a 1 hour flight on US Airways into Bangor. While DH waited for luggage I secured the rental car. Oh, how I love the small airports where the car rental lot is across the road, easily accessed by foot. We quickly found our car but there was no one to check us out of the lot. So, I scrutinized the car, including the roof, and because there are a few scratches, and a door ding, I called the rental desk to let them know. They told me it wasn’t an issue so we took off for the scenic hour and ten minute drive to Bar Harbor where, for the next six days, we hit the weather lottery.

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