it lacks the requisite steep side walls, it’s
now considered a fjard, or drowned glacial
The park also offers oceanside paths,
woodland trails, two sandy beaches (one
freshwater, one saltwater), and an island
that can be walked to at low tide across a
natural gravel land bridge ( 90 minutes is
the max stay to avoid getting stranded by
the tide!). No wonder the official visitor
count last year was 2. 81 million, with many
folks repeat visitors who come again and
again to soak up all the wonders.
With so much to see and do, a good
visit takes planning. Aside from the Park
Service’s excellent website, author and photographer (and Maine native) Greg Hartford
has built an encyclopedic and user-friendly
online guide called AcadiaMagic.com, with
some 2,000 pages of photos, maps, tips,
historical facts, and tourism information.
“This is where the mountains meet the sea,”
says Hartford. “It’s rugged Maine but with
Hartford loves all parts of the place,
but when pressed cites a magical moment
at dawn on the top of Cadillac Mountain.
The rising sun broke through a layer of fog
below, casting the people in front of him into
silhouettes against the blazing orange. “It
was almost tribal,” he says.
He also likes the fact that cellphone
reception can be poor in the park. “It’s
great to see people lift their faces from their
screens, get focused, and really see what’s
in front of them.” Sounds like paradise.
after helping to form the trust that put much
of the land that is today Acadia National Park in
the public realm, George B. Dorr (above, far
right), with the Path Committee at Jordan
Pond in 1923, became the park’s first
superintendent. Visitors stop on a stone path at
Sieur de Monts Spring (facing page).
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