Tag Archives: Mount Desert Island

Acadia National Park Centennial In July 2016 Three-Years Too Premature!

by Anura Guruge


As I posted here 2-days ago the ‘National Park Service’ (NPS) on their Website has this banner proclaiming ‘Acadia National Park‘, 1916 — 2016, Centennial.

That, however, is a bit of poetic license — and I am sure the NPS knows that Acadia has NOT been a National Park for 100 years — as yet!

On July 8, 1916 the area south of Bar Harbor was established as the Sieur de Monts National Monument. Not a park, but a Monument — as is the case with ‘Canyon de Chelly‘, one of my most favorite places in the world, ever. See below for the distinction between the two.

It only became a park on Wednesday, February 26, 1919.
[Kind of ironic. Though this ‘creation’ would have happened in Washington, D.C., this would have been the dead of winter at the Park per se.]

It was the SAME DAY that the ‘Grand Canyon‘ was also established. So that is special.

But it was NOT called ‘Acadia’ in 1919! That only came to be 10 years later, on January 19, 1929. It was created as ‘Lafayette National Park‘. Here is the NPS brochure to ‘Lafayette National Park’ from 1921.

On page 3 of the brochure you can see this:

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Interesting description of the Park. Doesn’t make it sound that appealing to visit.


Wikipedia sums it all up quite succinctly.

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Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link above to access Wikipedia entry for the Park.



Distinction between a National Monument and a National Park.

Click each image to ENLARGE and read here.

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What the ‘National Park Service’ says. At: http://www.nps.gov/cong/faqs.htm

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The ‘Sierra Club’ has a ‘better’ description. From: vault.sierraclub.org/planet/199611/nationalpark.asp


Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

1921 National Park Service Brochure For Acadia — When It Was Still Called ‘Lafayette National Park’

by Anura Guruge


acadia1921a

Click to download 16-page PDF (5MB).


Interesting read. Has a good history of ‘Mount Desert Island‘ at the start (i.e., page6).

Not too many pictures. Here are two that do appear.

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Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here.


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by Anura Guruge

Map Of “Mount Desert Island”, Maine (Primary Home Of Acadia National Park) From 1887.

by Anura Guruge


MountDesertIsland1877

Click to ENLARGE.


From the U.S. “Library of Congress“.

This map was created in 1887 by George N. Colby and J. H. Stuart as a part of series showing landownership in Hancock County, Maine. It shows all of Mount Desert Island. The Park, which was still 29 years away, is not shown.


Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

Fatal Fall At ‘Acadia National Park’ — One Of The ‘Few’ Deaths Each Year.

by Anura Guruge


From ‘WCSH6‘ TV in Portland, Maine.

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Use link above to access original.


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From Google Maps. Mount Desert Island. Click to ENLARGE. Area where he fell is marked. From ‘Google Maps’, of course — who else.


We can, of course, relate to this. Though not funny, both kids on hearing this news from Deanna, ‘commented’ that that could have been ‘Dad’. Yes, we have clamoured about the rocks in this very scenic area to take pictures. Devanee had a fall just above ‘Sandy Beach’ last September. So this was ‘close to home’.

On our second visit to Acadia in June 2014 I had asked some Park Rangers as to what the casualty figures were for Acadia. They were reluctant to comment but in the end admitted that it was around a ‘couple a year’. But they pointed out that those were deaths that occurred within the Park. They did not count those that fell into the Ocean — even if it was from the Park! So per the National Park Service this death will NOT count as having happened in the Park. He would have died when he fell into the Ocean and that is outside of the Park.

This picture taken during our June 2015 visit is from roughly that area. Click to ENLARGE.


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by Anura Guruge


Winter Comes To “Acadia National Park”, Maine — Road Closures Kick In For 2015.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Somesville.
>> Isle au Haut
>> Bass Harbor Light
>> Thunder Hole …

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Refer to ‘Acadia’ master index page at TOP ↑ ↑


Officially, per the National Park Service, it is now winter at the ‘Acadia National Park’ though they ruefully note “As of Tuesday, December 1st: We have yet to receive any snow in the majority of the park. There is some ice on the tops of mountains and trails”. To be fair to them this is probably atypical. Per tradition road closings, in particular the iconic ‘Park Loop Road’, kick in on December 1 (irrespective of actual road conditions) and stay in effect until April 14.

And that is the case now, and I received an ‘alert’ as such from my ‘Acadia’ APP on my Android Pad.

Two sections of the ‘Park Loop Road’ are however open. A short section, known as ‘Ocean Drive’ between Sand Beach Entrance Station and Otter Cliff Road and Jordan Pond with access from the ‘Stanley Brook Entrance‘ at Seal Harbor. The ‘Ocean Drive’ section will give you access to ‘Thunder Hole‘.

All the carriage roads are OPEN and Route 3 that cuts across the Park and then then traverses the western perimeter of the eastern section of the ‘Mount Desert’ part is open.

We have never been to Acadia in Winter. The latest we have been is September and the earliest, June. I would like to go and I know the kids will jump at it. They are Acadia addicts. I don’t think we can do it this month or in early January. Just too much going on. But I might try to get up there, for a quick weekend break, in late January or February. Of course I will share with you. I know that most of the Bar Harbor hotels, including our now preferred ‘Wonder View Inn‘, is closed for the Winter. But I am sure there are a few open and then there is always Ellsworth — Maine’s fastest growing city.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Somesville.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Isle au Haut
>> Bass Harbor Light
>> Thunder Hole …
>> “Wonder View Inn”

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Somesville‘, a year-round residential village, is not within Acadia National Park per se (as is also the case with Bar Harbor and the other two ‘Harbors‘). But its is adjacent and you will have to really go the very long way if you don’t go through it trying to get to the western section of ‘the Park’ (on Mount Desert Island).

Somesville, as reflected in the name, is on the shores of the majestic ‘Somes Sound‘, the large fjord that neatly cleaves the Island in half — this also the ONLY fjord on the East Coast. Though small in comparison to ‘Northeast Harbor‘, ‘Southwest Harbor‘ or even ‘Bernard’ you really can’t miss Somesville. It hits you, VISUALLY, with impact of a 2×4 smacking you between your eyes!

It starts with an arched white wooden bridge across a small lily pond — very reminiscent of a Monet. And then you run into the blankets of vivid color, either side of the road, from cleverly planted and expertly tended beds of annuals. It is like ‘Christmas Light Wars’ done with aplomb with flowers. It is breathtaking. Very friendly place too. The residents, quite rightly, are very proud of their village and, of course, realize that they are very lucky to be able to live their — in this wonderland.

These pictures really don’t do adequate justice to this delightful place. YOU have to go see it yourself — ideally in August or early September when the blooms are in their full glory.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Acadia nude beaches
>> “Wonder View Inn”
>> “Acadia View” bed & breakfast
>>  
Cromwell Harbor Motel

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This quintessential New England lighthouse, still operational, is in Acadia National Park — though at the extreme southernmost tip of ‘Mount Desert Island‘, about 45 minutes away (if you can force yourself to drive there without stopping to savor the views) from the Bar Harbor/’Park Loop‘ area which is what most people still think of as ‘the Park’. This ‘Light’ is definitely worth going to since it will also force you to drive through absolutely picture postcard picturesque ‘Somesville‘ and ‘this-is-Maine-at-its-best’ Southwest Harbor. This was (at least) our second trip to this ‘Light’. We typically spend at least 40 minutes there. So please add it to your list.



“Acadia National Park”, Maine — Isle au Haut.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Acadia nude beaches
>> “Wonder View Inn”
>> “Acadia View” bed & breakfast
>>  
Cromwell Harbor Motel

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Refer to ‘Acadia’ master index page at TOP ↑ ↑


Click to ENLARGE.

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The scenically gratifying and emotionally cleansing ‘Acadia National Park‘ (in Maine), rather than being one big park, is made up of three geographically dispersed sections. Most people think of ‘the Park’ as being the small area bounded by the famous 27-mile ‘Park Loop Drive’ on Mount Desert Island — with Cadillac Mountain in the middle and bustling Bar Harbor to the side. Well, even on ‘Mount Desert’ there is more Park than what is accessible from ‘the Loop’. And then there are the two outlying sections — Schoodic Peninsula to the east and Isle au Haut to the southwest. We did Schoodic Peninsula last September and revisited it again this June.

Isle au Haut is the most remote section of the Park and you can only get there by boat. There is a ‘Mail Boat Ferry’ from Stonington — but it is relatively expensive, i.e., $129 for the 4 of us. Isle au Haut is rugged and solitary. You can go for hours without seeing anyone else — other than lobster boats, if you are lucky, in the distance. If you like solitude, this is the place to go.

To be fair Isle au Haut is very much an option for the diehard or for those, like us, who want to be sure that they have covered everything the Park has to offer. In terms of scenic beauty what you experience on the Isle is pretty much the same as what you can see in Schoodic — and Schoodic is so much easier to get to.

But we are glad we did Isle. It was quite the adventure. 4 hours of solid hiking much of it over some strenuous terrain. We also like to go out on the water when we are at Acadia. So the trip to au Haut also took care of that, though the 75 minute trip is not as much fun as a nature cruise on Frenchman Bay. But, this is definitely something memorable. Not sure we will do it again anytime soon. The kids liked it. They will remember it. It was the Saturday of what proved to be a picture perfect Labor Day weekend. Not a cloud in the sky. Temps. in the high 70s. ‘The Loop’ as we found out on Sunday would have been packed. That was one of the reasons I chose Saturday as the day we took the ferry. At most 16 people got off at the Park dock on Isle au Haut. Once we started hiking we rarely ran into anybody else. You really have the place to yourself.

In case you are wondering it takes about 90 minutes to get to Stonington from Bar Harbor. So there is at least 3 hours of driving and 2.5 hours on the ferry. So factor that all in. 




‘Thirsty Whale’, Bar Harbor, Maine — Great Family Eatery When Visiting Acadia.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Yes, Yes & Yes. They do live up to their motto.

Yes, Yes & Yes. They do live up to their motto.


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by
Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> Tavern 27, Laconia
>>Sep. 4, 2013.

>> My restaurant reviews getting
>> reposted …
 — Aug. 22, 2013.

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This was an accidental as opposed to a serendipitous discovery — and we are sure glad that we found it.

The day before, our first day in Acadia, I was carefully perusing the excellent ‘Menu Guide‘ they have for Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. I had picked it up at the first Visitors Center (cum Chamber of Commerce) we had stopped at — just across the bridge, as you enter the Island. I had seen the menu for a ‘pub’ with a whale’s name, and a very compelling graphic of a whale, that featured appetizers by the ‘pound’. On my low-carb diet, I sometimes just eat appetizers. So this place appealed to me. It was on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor, a main cross road off Main St. On our first night there, our first ever in Bar Harbor, we couldn’t find Cottage Street because we didn’t walk down far enough.

On our second night, driving down Main St. I did find it and pulled in. Deanna immediately spotted a sign with a whale and I assumed that this must be the place. Never occurred to me that there would be TWO ‘whale’ pubs on the same street — 5 units apart, #30 & #40. We found a legal parking spot close by (no mean feat) and ambled up to the ‘Thirsty Whale’. There was a couple with two kids standing outside. I asked them if they were waiting for a table. They said ‘yes’ but that they didn’t think it would be long. It wasn’t. They were called as we were talking. I walked in. I was greeted by a very friendly, older lady from Maine. She grabbed my arm and assured me that she will get me a table within 10 minutes. We had a table, a good table at that, within 5 minutes. She was very nice.

Bubbly, happy place. Kind of like a sports bar with some big screen TVs, but not loud or boisterous. Lots of families with kids.

I noticed that the menu did not have the appetizers that I had seen the night before. I assumed they had changed the menu. Didn’t realize that we were in a different restaurant.

Very reasonably priced drinks. Wine at $6 a glass (though I don’t know how big the glasses are because, for a change, I didn’t order my doctor’s orders, medicinal, glass of red). Instead I had a single malt, neat, for $6. That was good. I used to be a big whiskey drinker but that was the first shot I had had in over a year.

Interesting menu. They had a kid’s version of surf & turf: chicken strips and fish nuggets. Teischan had that and ate most of it.

Deanna and Devanee had lobster rolls and I did not hear any complaints — and that must mean that it was better than ‘OK’ since Deanna is the daughter of a Maine lobsterman. Devanee considers herself a lobster connoisseur.

I had the spicy shrimp corn chowder (which was lip smackingly good) with a blackened blue cheese burger (sans the bun which Devanee ate). It was GOOD. Very good.

Service was cheery, no-nonsense and fast. Prices were good.

Definitely going back.

Then when we were having our postprandial stroll we saw the OTHER whale sign. The Finback Alehouse. That was the place with appetizers by the pound. Next time we will try them.
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Deanna’s lobster roll with salad.

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My spicy chowder and burger sans roll.