When we woke up at Acadia, I was immensely glad that we decided to stay an extra night. It meant a relaxed morning with breakfast and not having to worry about breaking down camp and figuring out which route to take to the next location. It also gave us some time to explore this place that we had traveled so far to see.
Following that advice that we were given from the ranger, we decided to do the scenic loop on the eastern part of the island. This starts near Bar Harbor and continues around a scenic one way loop that passes Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Point and all circles around Cadillac Mountain, with scenic overlooks all along the way.
After a scenic overlook or two, our first stop along this route was Sand Beach, one of the only (if not the only) sandy beach on the island. If you’ve ever been to Bondi Beach in Australia, this reminds me of that, but smaller and with more rocks around the outside. Basically you walk down to a clearing between two large rock sidewalls where there is a concave sandy beach. This pictures will do much more justice than my description.
There was also what looked like a tide pool on the back side of the beach which had a hill as a background – the water was quite warm and was shallow so that a child could easily wade out into it.
After goofing off at Sand beach for a while we decided it would be time to carry on and check out some other areas. We continued around the loop, not stopping anywhere in particular unless we saw something that piqued our interest. Eventually we decided that it was time for some hiking, so we went to the top of Cadillac Mountain and looked around at the scenery and found some trails.
Casey and I, well prepared of course, set off on the trails down the summit of Cadillac mountain and up Dorr Mountain, south along Dorr and back down Dorr and up Cadillac again, only to take another longer stretch back up Cadillac. The order of the trails we took were the Cadillac Mountain Summit/Dorr Trail, Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail, Canon Brooke Trail, then back up the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail, as can be seen on the map. If you are in the area and like hiking I would highly recommend these, although they are rather difficult and aren’t marked the best.
On the descent from Cadillac Mountain, you are effectively going down a rocky summit where if you were to ascend it would be all scrambling – rather slow going but challenging with some quite beautiful views. Well we were going down this, into a small canyon between the mountains, and back up Dorr Mountain, which was more scrambling up a rocky ascent. Once to the top of Dorr Mountain and on the South Ridge Trail, it was a longer, more cross country type hiking that went from rocky mountain top to a mountainous slow sloping downhill with a decent amount of vegetation, eventually to a dense forest trail.
Once in the forest, we came to Canon Brooke Trail, where we turned back towards Cadillac Mountain and passed a number of waterfalls of varying sizes and slopes. At this point to get back up onto Cadillac Mountain and the trail to where we started, we had to scramble up rocks and a long meandering waterfall. This was unlike any hiking I had done before, and Casey and I both agreed that when it said difficult, it meant it. Also, Casey being Casey decided that the regular trail isn’t exciting enough for him, so he needed to climb up any alternate path he could find. This wasn’t a problem for me as I was just interested in making sure we were on the original path, marked out by a series of blue paint marks.
Once to the top of Canon Trail, we came upon a pond on the mountain, where we decided to take a rest and listen to the symphony of bullfrogs who decided to sing while we were there. Maybe it was the exhaustion from the hiking, but it seemed unreal to have that many frogs in one pond.
After resting, we headed up the long but not so steep rocky uphill back to the top of Cadillac Mountain, meeting an older couple along the way who were hiking a few miles back to their campsite and showed us a number of pictures from their trip, giving us recommendations on other places to go. It’s a shame we weren’t able to stay longer as the sunrise photos as well as other scenery they recommended were quite fantastic looking. Overall it was about 4 hours of hiking for maybe 5 or 6 miles.
Once we returned to the bikes, there were a couple of other motorcyclists who were arriving as we were changing from hiking clothes to riding clothes that we chatted with for a while, and we decided to head back and find a place to eat dinner. After looking at some reviews of places online, we settled on a lobster roll place near the campsite. We stopped and saw the astronomical prices, and consulted the phone again to see where else we could try, and found a spot about a 10 minute ride away on our side of the island but off the beaten path to eat. We were both famished from the day, and I hadn’t really eaten anything earlier, so we ordered tons of food – for Casey, a burger, a lobster roll, and a grilled cheese, while I settled on a large lobster roll, a grilled cheese, and a slice of raspberry pie.
When the food runners brought the food out to us, they were confused as they wanted to know if all of that food was for us! They were expecting a party of five to eat that amount of food, and excluding the 6 bags of chips that came with our meals we were ready for what we had ordered. Although, since I hadn’t eaten that day, I had to take half of my food home and eat it when we got back to the campsite as my stomach wasn’t ready for such an influx of food.
After this, we were both properly exhausted and headed back to camp to go to sleep.