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Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Winter Park, Florida
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Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Our family, including myself, my husband and 2 boys 21 and 22 will be visiting Acadia National Park and would like to get advice on the best itinerary. We have 5 days. We like to hike but need some rather easy trails as I have had a knee replacement in the last 6 months. We like history, everything outdoors, fishing, hiking, biking, good food, music, art, etc. Are there day trips from Bar Harbor? Should we stay in one location or travel to other places? We are from Florida :-)

Wolcott, Connecticut
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1. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

You'll find plenty to do at Acadia over the course of 5 days. For hiking...the carriage paths are great. They are wide; some are totally flat; some have some grades but nothing too strenuous. They're beautiful. You can also bike them. Easy trails...Bar Island; Wonderland; The Shore Path in Bar Harbor; Ocean Drive Trail; there's a short trail across from the Beech Mountain parking lot (forget the name) that has some grade but it's short and the views at the end are stunning;

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

There definitely are some low-impact hiking options in the park, as well as the shore path, as mrsomes has noted. Wonderland is an excellent example and Ocean Drive Trail is very popular. The one at Beach Mountain is the Beach Cliff Loop, a short loop that takes you from forest to the cliffs overlooking Echo Lake, Acadia Mountain, and much of the northern half of the island. The Valley Trail (also accessed by the same parking area) might also be worth exploring, although you might not want to do that entire loop.

In addition, the network of trails that includes Jesup Path, Hemlock Road, and the Wild Garden Path is low impact. There are however, some stepping stones to negotiate where the loop ends at The Tarn. This network can be accessed from the Loop Road or from the Sieur de Monts Nature Center.

The carriage road system also provides lots of opportunities for low-impact walks. There are a few fairly substantial hills (as the cyclists will attest) but the surface (crushed stone) is good---and there is no vehicular traffic.

I recommend that you stop at the Visitor Center in Hulls Cove (there is a handicap access road that will allow to avoid the 50 or so steps up to the center from the main parking lot). The center includes a large 3-D model of the park, which can help you see what best would suit you. The staff there is very knowledgeable and helpful.

Enjoy..

Edited: 28 May 2014, 14:07
Bar Harbor, Maine
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3. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

To answer some of your other questions: I think staying in one location would be the best idea. Anywhere on Mount Desert Island (Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor) would be convenient to Acadia. Bicycles can be rented a number of places. Biking on the carriage roads is the best plan, although one can also bike the Park Loop Road. The free shuttle buses will be operating while you are here. They transport bicycles as well as people. They have several routes, all of which start from and return to the Village Green in Bar Harbor.

There are several places that have music at night. Side Street Cafe is the most popular with the locals. The better restaurants in town are Mache Bistro, Havana, Fathom, McKay's, Galyn's. The best deal on lobster is the Early Bird Special, which is offered by Poor Boys Gourmet and West Street Cafe, among others. Red Sky is a very good restaurant in Southwest Harbor. A reservation at most restaurants need only be done the night before, although in July and August it can be hard to get into either Mache or Red Sky. Lobster dinner at Thurston's, on the other side of the island from Bar Harbor, is a fun thing to do. The lobster is good and it is served on the water, where the lobsterman bring in their catch in Bernard. It's the sort of place where you place your order at a window, pick a table, and the bright red whole lobster is brought out to you on a tray.

There are good boat trips that you can book out of Bar Harbor or Northeast Harbor. One, sponsored by the Park, is out to Baker Island, where you transfer to a smaller boat and land on the island for a look at the lighthouse and the granite shelf "beach". You can also take the mail boat out of Northeast Harbor to Isleford and have lunch at the one restaurant on the island, on the dock. Martha Stewart likes to dine there because she can get away from it all in her picnic boat.

If you run out of things to do in Acadia, there are several day trips that are worthwhile. You can go down to Deer Isle and take the ferry out to Isle au Haut. Half of that island is a detached part of Acadia National Park. The drive there is interesting, through blueberry fields, to Stonington, a very scenic village built on a spent granite quarry. Stonington itself is worth the trip, even if you don't also take the boat out to Isle au Haut. Nothing much out on the island except hiking trails, a small grocery store, a few homes, and a good chocolate shop - Black Dinah chocolates.

You can also go northeast, to what is called Downeast Maine. Tourism pretty much ends at Ellsworth. But the little towns of Machias, Lubec, and Eastport are interesting. Eastport, Maine was once a huge shipping town. Lubec has an interesting lighthouse and also a short bridge to Campobello Island, home of the Roosevelt summer house, where he contracted polio. The house is open to tour, complete with a "tea with Eleanor". Campobello Island is in Canada. So be sure to bring your passport if you want to do this.

Not as far as Lubec, but in the same direction, is Schoodic Peninsula, another detached part of Acadia National Park. There is a nice loop road out there with a spectacular point of granite and crashing waves.

You could also do a day trip to Camden, Maine, a lovely sailing harbor with cute shops and a very walkable village. The views from Mount Battie, just to the north of Camden are lovely.

Winter Park, Florida
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4. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Thank you so much for the information. We cannot wait!

Winter Park, Florida
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5. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Thanks...great ideas

West Chester...
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6. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Also check out the many activities that are run by the national Park Service in Acadia. They do some very good boat trips to offshore islands and are not very expensive. Also lots of morning walks and talks alond the shore. Could check their website before you go for schedule. Great way to see sealife and birds. There used to be a good lobster hatchery in Bar Harbor, think it is still there or otherwise on the island. There are also some amusement type places between Bar Harbor and Ellsworth on the mainland that would be appropriate for 20 year olds. Parts of the park are also on the mainland and north of MDI there are places with very large tidal shifts. Not far from Ellsworth there is Bucksport with a Civil War era fort site looking down the river.

Winter Park, Florida
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7. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

Thanks! I love Civil War History

8. Re: Acadia National Park Visit 3rd week of June

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