Yen's Blog

Lens, Wheels, Skates, Keyboard

Acadia National Park

Jewel of the Northeast

The rugged coast of Maine is home to the only National Park in the Northeast. Acadia is a beautiful name, and the park does not disappoint its visitors. Situated principally on Mount Desert Island, Acadia is made up of cragged mountains and hills, green forests, clear lakes and ponds, and rocky shorelines. It preserves the feel of pristine wilderness, yet is sufficiently well developed and maintained to permit the new visitor a chance to explore all it has to offer.

For those looking to get away from the rat race, at least for a while, Acadia is a wonderful destination.

Cadillac sunset

Sunset on Mount Cadillac, the highest peak on the eastern seaboard, is not to be missed. From the rugged granite peak you’ll get a sweeping views of the park, the Porcupine Islands, the town of Bar Harbor. In the fading light, even the ordinary mottled boulders can turn golden…

Huff, puff and ogle

The Carriage Roads are the best way to explore the park. Originally built to support horse-drawn carriages, the roads now see only foot and bicycle traffic. It’s a good thing for bicyclists, too, because the wide and even avenues, packed with small gravels, are perfect for an exploration on wheels. The strenuous uphill climbs can be a little hard on the cardiovascular system, but those who persevere will be rewarded with spectacular panoramas.

Fondest memory: You can rent a bicycle at one of many bicycle shops in Bar Harbor. From the rental shop to the park entrance is only a few short kilometers. But the ride is most fun on a tandem bike. Once you get a handle on them, they’re quite a joy to ride, and much easier to go uphill than on a single-seat bike.

Crustacean lovers rejoice

Maine is most famous for one thing (if you don’t know what it is, perhaps you should change travel agent?) The best lobsters are the ones they the steam for you right out of the tank. Beal’s Lobster Pier in Southwest Harbor is my favorite place to sample Maine’s succulent crustaceans.

I can’t tell you how to get there, because I don’t remember myself. I’d know where to drive once I get there. Then again, SW Harbor isn’t very large to begin with. The place is literally a pier. You go in and point to a lobster you’d like. They’d take the poor creature out (I tried not to look into its eyes), weigh it, and take it away. Next time you see your lobster, he’s a steamy chunk of meat bathed in golden butter sauce. It’s almost enough for me to, um, swallow my guilt. Lobster come in 2 varieties, hard- and soft-shell. The hard-shell ones are fatter; I think my last one weighed almost 2.5 pounds. Yum.

Favorite Dish: Lobster, duh. They also have clams, mussels and scallops. All fresh of course.

Nightlife, what nightlife?

This being rural Maine, everything closes at 7pm. The “Other” activity means sleeping. Look on the bright side, if you go to bed at 9pm, you’d be able to get up and get going at 5am!

Pros: Scenery,beaches,good hiking and biking trails, great campgrounds Cons: Long drive from large cities; the water’s cold! In a nutshell: Don’t miss it if you visit the Northeast.