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Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

Cleveland, Ohio
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Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

Hi All -

I'll be making my first trip to Bar Harbor (and Maine) and we are arriving Sept 5th in Portland, staying a night and then driving to Bar Harbor where we have accomodations at Aysgarth Station Bed and Breakfast. I've read some posts and recommendations on what to do and I'm pretty sure we'll do Cadillac Mountain for sunset, Acadia Nat'l Park hiking, do some sea kayaking, and perhaps a whale site seeing. With almost 4 full days, are there additional activities you would recommend in Bar Harbor or within a couple of hours (we have a rent-a-car)?

Also, I read that there was a star gazing hike or something like that every September. Is that a specific day or week or does it take place all month?

Thanks in advance for your help

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Mount Desert Island, ME
Cadillac Mountain
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Acadia National Park
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Mount Desert Island, ME
Bar Harbor, Maine
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1. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

There also is Cadillac summit for sunrise and Jordan Pond for tea and popovers on the lawn. There are those who fill a week just with hiking (some 115 miles of trails and paths) and walking or cycling the carriage roads (about 45 miles of them). You could explore the other parts of MDI, including the trails of Wonderland and Ship Harbor.

In terms of off-island activities, Schoodic Point, also a part of ANP, is an easy day trip. A longer but doable day trip is to Lubec and West Quoddy Head.

You must be referring to the ANP Ranger program "Stars over Sand Beach."

It is held most nights that visibility is good (e.g., no overcast, no moon). See the ANP site for more details on the various Ranger programs:

http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm

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2. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

The narrated Nature Sea Princess tour from Northeast Harbor to Little Cranberry Island is very nice and informative. We saw seals and eagles.

Cleveland, Ohio
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3. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

Thanks for your responses. One other thing I forgot to ask is regarding the kayaking we'd like to do, I've seen a couple of different outfitters that provide 1/2 day trips. Anyone have advice as to whether we'll need to book in advance and/or if one is better then the others?

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4. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

Check with the owners of Aysgarth about this. Generally, it is a good idea to book a day in advance.

There are three major outfitters that operate out of Bar Harbor. Aquaterra Adventures launches from their own facility right next to the Town Pier. They concentrate on the Freanshman Bay area near Bar Harbor, including the Porcupine Islands. The other two, National Park Sea Kayak Tours and Coastal Kayak Tours, will transport you, launch, and paddle from various spots around the island depending on wind and tidal conditions. All three are staffed by experienced paddlers who have earned their Maine Guide certification in kayaking and kayak touring.

I have heard and read (here) various opinions on which is best. To me, it boils down to whether you want to see another area of the island (weather conditions permitting, as I noted above) or simply jump into a kayak and get going.

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5. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

There is also the Acadia Night Sky Festival in September. This year it is September 22 - 26. I think you'll miss that.

http://www.acadianightskyfestival.com/

You will be in good hands with Jane and Steve at Aysgarth. They will have maps and menus and lots of informed opinions on where to hike and dine.

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6. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

Have done Cadillac Summit for both sunrise and sunset -- would recommend sunrise as the more impressive of the two if you're making a choice... Of course, weather will also be a factor so you may have to decide after you get here -- neither sunrise nor sunset is very impressive if the fog rolls in...

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7. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

I would recommend sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. After all, during the fall and winter, it's the first place to see sunrise in the U.S. But be sure to dress warmly - see tips detailed here:

http://ouracadia.com/blog/?p=643

And, for sunset, I love going to the western part of the island, the so-called "quiet side". Maine State Kayak does a great kayak tour in Western Bay. (I like Aquaterra's kayak tour in Frenchman Bay in the morning). There is more information about each below:

www.ouracadia.com/outfitters.php?pg_id=3

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8. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

We just returned from our first Maine trip and I agree with cwvoigt's ideas. popovers, sunrise (i regret that we didnt). i will try to write a trip report soon, but our favorites were hiking (just easy or moderate hikes, per acadiamagic.com) and kayaking.

we went with acadia park kayak. it is a 2 man outfit, with only one doing the guiding this year. he was phenomenal. it was the highlight of our whole trip. porpoises cavorting nearby. lots of nature, history. http://www.acadiaparkkayak.com/Home_Page.html

things i would do if we return: schoodic, take the NPS boat trip to baker island, rent bikes for carriage trails, more hiking.

we were in camden for 2 days, and sailed on schooner olad. it was fantastic. if the weather forecast is good, reserve a sail for mid-drive up to bar harbor. or there is a schooner in bar harbor-check their reviews. unless you have no prospects of being in a better whale watching place, i'd skip that. apparently, you spend most of the time motoring to and from the place where you might see whales. you'll have NO problem filling 4 full days.

enjoy!

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9. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

I really loved renting bikes and cycling around the carriage roads. You're in the heart of the park and you can cover a lot of ground in a day, while still going slow enough to appreciate the scenery. We cycled past/around Eagle Lake and Bubble Pond (both very pretty, especially Bubble), and then stopped at Jordan Pond House for popovers. Then we cycled the around the mountain loop - it's one of the more difficult routes and I wouldn't do it if you aren't willing to break a sweat and be a little tired, but I was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting it to be harder. The views of Somes Sound on this route are incredible.

We did the sea kayak tour of the western side of the island. It was enjoyable, although I also think I had set my expectations a little too high from all the reviews I read. The trip was mostly a relaxing paddle close to the shoreline. It's quiet on this side of the island, so there are no cruise ships or whale watching boats going by. They say there is more wildlife to see here (this was the best part of the trip for me) - we saw a porpoise from afar, two bald eagles and their nest (we could hear but not see the baby), and quite a few seals that were somewhat inquisitive and kept popping their heads out of the water. I did think that the scenery might be more impressive on the eastern side of the island, because on the western side it's pretty flat, at least in the area we were paddling. We booked ahead for our tour because they only take 12 people at a time and it was July 4th weekend. Not sure whether you would need to book or not.

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10. Re: Bar Harbor - Sept 6th-10th

We're in Bar Harbor visiting on the same days as you, staying at Coach Stop Inn. Our first visit to this area. We're enjoying and appreciate the replys to your query -- sounds like there is plenty to do in four days. E

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Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor
Mount Desert Island, ME
Coach Stop Inn Bed and Breakfast
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