Guide to Acadia National Park: Maine's Coastal Jewel [Documentary] [4K]

Guide to Acadia National Park: Maine's Coastal Jewel [Documentary] [4K]

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Welcome to Maine and get ready to explore the wild and wondrous world of Acadia National Park from stunning landscapes, amazing wildlife, epic adventures, and maybe even learn a thing or two. We'll dive into Acadia and see what makes this one of the best national parks in the States. So buckle up, grab some popcorn, like in this tribe, and get ready to experience the magic of Acadia National Park.

Well, you made it past the intro, and you're still here. That's good. There's a lot to see in this. Roughly 75 square mile national park.

So get cozy. But before we talk about all the wonderful places around Acadia, let's first head back for a less than two minute lesson about the history of this place. I even have a little timer to make it quick.

The story of Acadia National Park tells all this time, or at least as old as the Wabanaki people who first called the area home. Once upon a time, rich folks from the Northeast decided they needed a fancy summer retreat, so they set their sights on the rugged beauty of Mount Desert Island. That may have meant it was gatekeeper for the rich and famous. But luckily, a group of nature loving conservatives led by George Vidor had other plans. They lobby, they negotiated, and they sweet talk landowners until finally in 1916, Acadia National Park was born. The first national park east of the Mississippi.

The biggest expansion to the park came in the 1920s, when the most significant of these expansion negotiations involved the construction of Park Loop Road, a scenic drive that winds its way through the heart of the park. And we'll explore a lot of today. Road was built in the 1920s and required the purchase of several large estates, including the Rockefeller estate. Yes, that Rockefeller, which is now homes the park's popular carriage road system. But it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Park has faced its share of challenges over the years from devastating fires in the 1940s and seventies to overcrowding and climate change today.

But through it all, Kenya has remained a beloved destination for hikers, hikers, birdwatchers and anyone who appreciates a good lobster roll. Today, Acadia National Park covers over 49,000 acres of land and includes several nearby islands, each with its own unique charms and quirks. Now let's head back and check out the best of what Acadia has to offer. Let's start with the Eastern land gateway to Acadia in the beautiful coastal town of Bar Harbor, Maine, nestled on the Mount Desert island. This charming little town is a perfect blend of natural beauty and coastal New England charm. Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor.

Yep. Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor. Okay. Yes. Bar Harbor has long been a favorite destination for artists, writers and nature enthusiasts alike. It's a place with a rugged coastline, meets the quaint streets lined with boutique shops and wonderful seafood restaurants.

Sure to like even the most picky eaters. What's great about Acadia National Park is it is surrounded by these adorable little beach towns with lots of character and lots of restaurants. So after a long day of hiking or whale watching, you can come in and just check out the town. If you're looking for something a little less touristy.

Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia, has several small towns nestled throughout its confines, each full of wonderful places to explore and shop. So go ahead and look out into the bay to see countless fishing boats and piers overlooking the water that feed into the Atlantic Ocean. Don't confine yourself to just one small town. Get out, explore and soak in the coastal Maine vibes before heading back into the park.

Speaking of coastline, let's touch on that next. Around nearly all of Acadia as the roads widened along the coast. You can park and explore the more than 60 miles of coastline on Mount Desert Island that provide Acadia some of its most iconic scenic sights and sounds. Grab some lunch and look off into the Atlantic Ocean alongside some great black backed goals who can get quite friendly, especially when the food is around.

So keep an eye on these little guys, because when you are looking at the jagged cliffs of Acadia Shore, it's easy to get lost in the admiration. While the waves pummel the rocks. There are a lot of white sand beaches in the United States.

In fact, what makes Acadia special is that there's not as much of that. In fact, a lot of the beaches are more stony than they are. Sandy, you'll generally see almost tumbled rocks all throughout the shores of the side of this beautiful part.

And in between these rock cliffs, you'll see these stony beaches. And that feels the most authentically Acadia to me that you'll ever get. So if you're looking for a nice sandy beach, listen, you'll find them here. They're a little bit more crowded in towards the beginning of the park. But if you want something a little bit more uniquely, Acadia, wait a little bit and pull off on the side of the road further up the park. Some places less crowded, but way more beautiful.

There really isn't a bad place to pull off an Acadia and start hiking. You can stay on the path of the dozens of miles of coastal paths or make a hard turn towards the ocean and start making the path yourself. Just be careful. Some areas are more slippery than others.

For 60 miles of coastline, there's plenty to explore. But don't just look around you. Look below the water hitting the rocks. Reveal new things in every nook and cranny and the tide changes. Means every time you explore the rocks, something else is revealing itself.

Whether it be explosive canyon riffs that get hit by the waves and sand, water gushing up the rocks, or a wonderful tide pool from water that is left behind as the tide recedes, leaving little self-contained ecosystems full of amazing sea life. And if you're looking for something a little more guided than just meandering around the Acadia shore, then okay, I gotcha. Let's go check out one of Acadia's peninsulas. Let's go to Bass Harbor and check out Ship Harbor Trail. Located along Route one or two, a ship Harbor trail is an amazing little 1.4 mile figure trail that takes you through some coastal woods and along the bay.

A perfect place to check out the tidal pools or skip a rock. And the Juno Acadia is home to over 1000 species of plants. So even the inland trail that goes through these woods gives you a chance to see something new. Feel the coastal mainer along the coastal trail through the gravel roads and small log bridges to find a few little nooks and crannies. See the view or not, depending on the coastal fog. The little patience, though the sometimes rapidly changing weather can clear that fog and give way to the rock short, picturesque waterways and reveal the tumbled rocks along the coast for a little under a mile and a half.

This is the perfect Coastal Trail sampler that gives you that Acadia flavor. Even just sitting on the rocks and watching the boats is a perfect way to soak it in. Although Acadia is one of the smallest national parks by area in the U.S., when you can grab a spot and look into the ocean as the waves hit the rocks, it can feel like the biggest place in the world.

And what better way to cap off the perfect Acadia Day than to check out Bass Harbor Lighthouse, one of the most iconic lighthouses in the country? This is an incredibly popular spot to catch the last rays of the sun as they hit the island. So make sure to get there early to find that perfect spot because it is not a very big area for so many folks. And its best views are really from the rocks, which are in a somewhat short supply. However, once you get all settled, it feels like being in a painting. Normally I hate crowds, but for a view like this, it's completely worth it. All right, let's try off and head away from the coast and go vertical on Acadia Mountain.

We are here climbing to the top of Mount Acadia right now, which is going to offer some spectacular views that will be able to see and excited to see us get to the top. Beautiful day today. So let's get going. Mount Katie is off Route one or two and has a 2.5 mile trail with 700 feet of elevation gain. It took us just under 2 hours to complete with the baby Katie National Park.

What are we doing here? Yeah, we're walking. The trail begins almost immediately, ascending over a mixture of dirt and rock trails with the occasional stares. But be warned, you will have your fair share of rock scrambles on the way to Mount Acadia Summit. Heading up to Mount Acadia.

Up this rock scramble up here with my co-captain Cassian with the helpful guidance of Cassian. We soon made it to the top of one of the 26 peaks inside Acadia, although only the 19th tallest. It's worth the celebration when you do. With an eight month hold on your chest and as we sit on the top watching the ocean fall and roll over the peaks just as the fog had many times before it rolled away, revealing a stunning view of Southwest Harbor and some sound. Side note did you hear that some sound has a nickname as the only fjord on the East Coast, but lacks the verticality to actually be a fjord. So now it goes by what's called a fjord, which is basically just a smaller version of a fjord.

Anyway, the view of this fjord and many surrounding islands and parks is the perfect spot to relax and soak in Acadia. And as the sun begins to set, we have to head back down the main award trail. A bit difficult with a baby, but nothing he can't handle.

Is the Explorer Explorer baby. There you can see it is like, Oh my God, no, he couldn't hear. We got an awesome view of a bald eagle on our way down. A not uncommon sight in this area and a good source of inspiration as we grab a final glimpse of the fjord and begin a much more challenging rock scramble on the way down, which even got the captain tired out. Cherry View.

This is probably way too dangerous to do with a baby. It's pretty much a mile straight down rock scramble. But this little adventure, men loved it. And as the sun sets, we head on a relatively flat exit. And onto our next stop, Jordan Pond, located about halfway around the Park Loop Road, is the iconic Jordan Pond, a lake created by receding glaciers from the last ice Age that left behind a place of pure and utter peace. A 187 acre pond with a 3.1 mile trail that follows along the lake's edge

and between the mountains and makes for an easy, scenic stroll. This part of the park, as scenic as it is, is just as famous for what lies the beginning of the trail to Jordan Pond House, a beautifully rebuilt restaurant and visitor center at the top of Jordan Pond Trail, where folks are gathered to try the world famous popovers, which are basically just a light egg roll made in a muffin tins, but are absolutely delicious. From there you can walk right along to the Jordan pond Trail and begin your walk around the wonderful pond. This is Jordan Pond, one of the absolute highlights of Acadia National Park. This water behind me is freshwater. It's not saltwater. And I know so much of Acadia.

We talk about the the ocean views, the islands, the sea life, the mountains. But what makes this so wonderful is the calmness of it is beautiful. The water is crystal clear. And let's pause there a bit because I'm oversimplifying it and I want to drop some fun words. This pond is so pristine because it's what's called an olive good trophic torrent.

That's a mouthful. So let's break it down. A torrent just means a mountain fed lake. You may have seen that word before. And all good trophic is what makes this lake so pristine. In all, a trophic lake is one with low algae, which makes it so clear. Okay, back to me saying more stuff about this place.

And with mountains surrounding you, it is the perfect, most idealistic spot in Acadia and one of my absolute favorite parts of the park. It's also a perfect hike for all levels of hikers. Just get to soak in the forest and stop along the path and open up to give you a new view of the park as you switch angles all along the way. The path around Jordan Pond is actually really beautiful and not strenuous at all.

Generally, you walk around completely flat, around the entire length of the trail and even along the trail when the spots like that might be muddy or a little iffy. They use logs in this really cool way. So there's very long stretches of log path you get to walk on as you go throughout the park.

Really an amazing trail and not very strenuous a must visit if you're in Acadia. So before by Jordan Pond, small size, it packs a punch and makes it one of my favorite places in Acadia. Let's switch it up and go from fresh water to the salt. Get those sea legs ready and let's check out all that the Gulf of Maine has to offer. These bays around the Gulf of Maine are full of picturesque fishing boats.

But let's head to Bar Harbor to check out an ocean tour. We're here in Bar Harbor. You got a lot of stuff mountains, beaches, hiking. But probably the best way to do that is out on the water. So today we are going out on a whale watching boat, hoping to see whales and dolphins, definitely puffins. So that's on to the boat and into the Gulf.

We go along the way feeling the Atlantic Ocean breeze. See boats both old and new. The ocean off the shores of Bar Harbor offering stunning views of the Maine coast from yet another perspective with looks at the mountains of a Katy in the distance and some of the 18 coastal islands around the peninsula. One of the islands we see is egg rock, home to a lighthouse that gives caution to boats entering Frenchman's Bay, where it's been in some form since 1874, although not open for us to walk to. We were able to get close enough to see something special. You see, it might not be open for people, but it's always open for harbor seals who make the coastline of egg rock home here.

They soak up the sun and dry off before heading back into the ocean to swim and play as we continue on into the Gulf of Maine. We keep our eyes open for a population of humpback whales and in the distance we see a bridge. A pod of humpback whale starts to put on a show repeatedly breaching together and showing off their tiny dorsal fins as they come up for air.

We just put it off for hours up here in the Gulf of Maine, surrounded by hope. That will be stop by for that. We're perfectly happy to surface right around the boat and let us get the really good view. Gulf of Maine humpback whales have only recently been taken off the endangered species list. Talking as recently as 2016, however, these still remain protected under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, making sure these little guys like this will be able to enjoy them for his generation and beyond.

This particular population of whales, the Gulf of Maine humpback is a fairly common sight around these waters in the summer, but make a journey all the way to the Caribbean in the winter in search of warmer water and food. Little context makes these amazing creatures seem even more special as they wave at the boat with their tails, as they die for food. And with that, we head back to the coast for another adventure. After a long nap.

Back closer to shore, Acadia for 90 minutes before and after low tide shows that it has a little more magic up its sleeve and has a very unique trail that opens up to bar islands. So some hikes that you have to go to are on the map all year long. But this one is only available at low tide. So what's great about it is you can go there at low tide and trough all the way to an island and explore only very certain times of the day.

But we are right now in downtown Bar Harbor. The tide is low. Let's cross it and check it out. It's from Bridge Street in Bar Harbor, where you walk until a grand pass trail opens up. And the daily 8 to 12 foot tide resides in parts of the seas. We're at the Tidal Basin.

We're getting ready to walk over to the island over there that you can't see with all the fog right now. I think we have about an hour to get back, otherwise we're going to stuck then be stuck there all day. Looking around, this little sandbar gives you an experience like no other national park in the country. Just hours ago, boats were zipping by.

Now it gives you a whole new oasis to explore newly formed tidal pools full of little sea life all over. Getting some fresh air on normally underwater rocks. And as the fog rolls in, it really starts to feel like you were just walking straight into the ocean. It looks ominous and the tide goes way back and it looks like all these boats and ships are beached off shore. Little pockets, lawyers.

But as the wind picks up, the fog really starts to roll in in the summer. This is super common when warm air hits cold ocean water like this and it gives Bar Island an extra air of mystery. Like it's not only an island accessible by foot for a few hours a day, but it's like a secret Acadia makes you experience rather than just sea from a boat and approaching the island. Warnings are abound, reminding you to keep your exploration brief or else. All right. We have made it on to Bar Island. It is about 20 minutes past low tide.

We have an hour and a half to make it back off this island before we're stuck here all day. Let's see if we are. There is a place that we can call to get a water taxi over here for about 50 bucks. But let's hope we could just get back on this and off this island in about an hour and a half. So let's see what we got on Bar Island, and then we'll get out of here. It's funny when you know your time is limited, it can sometimes make time feel heavier.

Like since you know exactly how long you have. You keep an eye on the time, which makes it harder to sneak past you. So you start to notice things you otherwise just breeze by. The fog feels fog here. Your steps feel a little lighter and you appreciate the little things and the little ones a little bit more.

Because the moment is so defined. And this island offers more than just meets the eye from the shore. It's also home to the former home of Jack Perkins, an Emmy winning author and former host of Andy's biography who donated his home to the national park in 2003. We're hiking on Bar Island in Acadia National Park and stumbled across what appears to be an old stone house.

And all that's left is a few walls and its old fireplace. Really beautiful. It was a good find time. It is 950. We have 40 minutes to get back to the start and get across the tide before it comes in or we're going to be trapped here on this island. So I guess we should get going in with that.

It's time for us to hurry on out and be careful there, Kristen. And go back to that gravel trail, which is quite a bit narrower than it was 30 minutes. All right. Time to turn the hiking mode to expert and take you on one of the most challenging and notorious Acadia Hikes. The Beehive Trail. This little loop is basically a cliff that rises right over the Acadia coast and gives you awesome views and plenty of goose bumps. We are about to hit the Beehive trailhead.

It was one of the most popular and also most challenging hikes in the park. Kristen, you set it well, but let's dive in a bit. This is a trail right off the park loop road and jumps right into a rock scramble in a one way direction. So no turning back. It runs about two miles in this 450 feet high.

It offers a really scenic view at the top in a much more relaxed decline all the way down. This place can also be closed from long stretches in the spring due to peregrine falcon nesting, which the National Park Service is actively trying to reintroduce and protect. When the trail is open, you jump from right away into the rock scramble in a series of ladders built right into the trail along the cliff edge. So make sure you aren't wearing slippery shoes. I also tried to keep my footage to a minimum and combine three attempts from different years up the mountain.

Since it's a trail, I generally try to minimize my gear on while I focus on hanging on to the metal bars along the cliffs. So forgive the less than stellar footage in this particular section of the video. All right. So we are nearing the top of the high trail and this is probably one of the scarier things they've done lately.

Probably not. Good to learn about yourself halfway up the Golan Heights, but we're doing it. All right, Kristen. I'm pausing right there because the narrator and I can do that. This trail is scary.

Sure, there's plenty of signs warning of the dangers of climbing up beehive, but the views you get along the way of the Gulf of Maine when you rise above the treeline are absolutely stunning. So just make sure you have those three points of contact along the way. Focus on what's below you, but appreciate it enough to see what's around you. Go that view on the precipice of the mountain. Oh, man, it's so worth that crazy climb.

Well, at least that's what my opinion is. You got to climb on the side of a cliff with no in here. And turns out I'm kind of afraid of things. Can't but can attest to the fact that I had a small panic attack the entire up.

And from now on, when I want to stay in Bar Harbor and get a facial at this time, my husband Belkacem, like I said, it's a one way trail. So all this left is really just a sit back and enjoy the view. Well, speaking of use, let's head up one more mountain in Acadia. Perhaps its most famous Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the North Atlantic coast, and famous for being the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise. If you can wake up in time, but if you do, seeing the center of the islands of Maine on the nearly 1500 foot high mountain is truly a highlight worth setting that alarm for, even if it's a bit crowded.

It's a sort of Zen knowing that despite the array of languages you hear up there, everyone starts the day the same way and can just be in awe of the exact same thing. It's a rare shared moment to just sort of soak it in and get lost in it together. All right.

So it is 630 in the morning. We are at the summit of Cadillac Mountain. If you get behind me, you can see almost the entire of Acadia, the whole park and the harbor as well.

We came up here to catch the tail end of sunrise, and it's actually the one place in the park that requires a reservation. And so we were able to snag that. And it's really low crowds and just really, really be able you can pretty much access all there is to see on Cadillac Mountain fairly easily from the parking lot, which opens up to the flat rocky surface of the peak, give you a 360 degree panoramic views of Mount Desert Island and plenty of wide open spaces, evening crowds to find your spot for Acadia Zen and to soak in the whole park together. Do not let the size of this amazing national park fool you. It might be one of the smallest in the USA and the East Coast.

Parks don't quite get the love of the West Coast, but this park is truly something special. One street by the rich. It's a park that now offers something for everyone with a terrain that can give you goose bumps.

Activities from sunrise to sunset. Natural wonder. High and low in the small towns surrounding it, filled with charm and history. Acadia holds its own with the best national parks out there and offers New England style adventure for every season. I've only scratched the surface in this small video about what Acadia offers. And as much as I can show you, I can't give you the experience of that crisp ocean side morning or the sight of the whale breaching the water while the wind is blowing off the ocean through your hair.

I can't give you that sense of accomplishment for reaching the peak of one lucky these mountains after carrying a baby all the way to the top. This is a place me to experi things to touch feel here in addition to seeing with your own eyes. So get off this video and disconnect and head up to the northeastern most national park in the USA and add your own memories to the long history of Acadia National Park. Thanks for watching.

I hope you like the adventure and it inspires you to take some of your own. If you want more, make sure to hit the like and subscribe button and check out some more from my channel. Thanks.

2023-06-29 05:26

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