After Old Bennington Cemetery Jeff and I continued on our route to Maine. The second big stop of the trip was going to be Acadia National Park. While researching I had read a post somewhere written by a park ranger that if you only had one day in the park you should do Park Loop Road so that was our plan. We have a pretty bad habit of not giving ourselves enough time in National Parks and this time was no exception. But hey, visiting for only a few hours is better than never visiting at all, right?
One half of the loop is one way traffic and the other half is two way. We ended up taking the two way traffic route, getting to the bottom, and realizing that the one way traffic half of the loop was in the opposite direction of what we were heading. We were already tired from being in the car all day, not to mention the fact that traffic was pretty bad on the way into the park. No phone service coupled with poor signage meant it took a very long time for us to find our way back into the loop at the top. I wasn’t even sure if we’d end up trying to do it again just because we had wasted so much time. Eventually we made it in, the correct way, and the beautiful scenery was so worth it.
Our first stop in the park was Thunder Hole, a natural inlet where waves crash in with a thunderous boom. We didn’t actually get to see Thunder Hole because holy tourist city!! but the surrounding area was everything I dreamed Arcadia would be. It was beautiful! Just like the Grand Canyon*, I was kind of surprised how you were just allowed to go wherever you wanted. Some parks are so strict, do not leave the path, but following the lead of just about everyone around us we climbed around on the rocks for a while.
After finally making our way around the loop successfully we kiiiind of got trapped inside and made a second full loop. D’oh! Jeff was beyond tired, and we were both ready to just check into our hotel (an hour and a half away!) and sleep but what are ya gonna do?
On our accidental second trip around we stopped at Sand Beach which was just stupid beautiful. I was squatting down to get some shots of the waves when one completely soaked by butt. The water was pretty cold but I couldn’t resist getting the rest of myself wet. The waves were crashing in so I stood in water, about knee deep, and let them hit me. It was perfect. I could have done it hours.
So, Acadia NP could probably label their routes better. I’m sure we’re not the first people to make that mistake, but Park Loop Road is a great way to experience the park when you’re short on time.
*Obviously this is a lot less risky than climbing around at the Grand Canyon but I’m pretty sure it’d still be super easy to get hurt here climbing around.