Acadia National Park - Page 2
Maine, USA
July 2003

Acadia boasts varied and dramatic scenery including a coastline of chiseled granite, the ocean dotted with islands, 17 mountain peaks (together constituting the highest headlands along the eastern seaboard), close to a dozen glacial lakes and ponds, and Somes Sound, the only fjord (a glacially carved, u-shaped valley bordered by steep cliffs) on the East Coast of the United States.

In shape, Mount Desert Island resembles a lobster claw. Many of Acadia's best-known attractions are on the eastern side of the "claw," which is separated from the western side by Somes Sound. The park's western half features five mountains, numerous salt marshes and nature trails, and some of the best bird-watching in New England. The remainder of Acadia National Park consists of the dazzling Schoodic Peninsula and several offshore islands, including Baker Island and remote Isle au Haut.

Many of the following natural attractions are found along Park Loop Road, a 20-mile, two-lane thoroughfare that winds through the eastern half of Mount Desert Island. It is accessible from the Hulls Cove, Cadillac Mountain, Sieur de Monts and Stanley Brook entrances. While you can drive the loop in under an hour, most visitors find that it takes at least a half of a day to take in all that this scenic route has to offer.

To Cadillac Summit.
Whether driving from Park Loop Road to the top of its 1,530-foot summit or hiking up one of the trails, most visitors consider Cadillac Mountain the high point-both literally and figuratively-of their trip to Acadia. Not only is Cadillac the park's highest peak, but it is also the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil.

On a clear day (visibility is best during fall and winter), the views Cadillac commands are panoramic and unparalleled. Spread out below are island-dappled Frenchman and Blue Hill bays, the whole of the park, and beyond that, much of Maine itself. Some visitors arrive at dawn, for Cadillac is one of the first places in the United States to see the sun rise, others prefer the mountain's equally dazzling sunsets. Most visitors spend hours clambering over the bald granite dome as we do in the picture above,

Otter Cliffs.

In this otherwise rock-bound park, Sand Beach (above) is a graceful anomaly. Located at Newport Cove, 10 miles from the visitor center, this is the park's only sand beach on the ocean. Swimming at Sand Beach is not for the faint of heart, ocean temperatures seldom climb above 55F. (Warmer waters for swimming can be found on the western side of the island at Echo Lake, Acadia's other beach site.)
The text materials in this page came from the official park guide.