After climbing to the top of South Bubble Mountain, we walked around Bar Harbor and did some shopping. We also explored the shore path, which is a nice little hiking trail right in Bar Harbor that winds the shoreline. We had a wonderful waterfront dinner at The Terrace Grille. Mostly, we killed time until our sunset cruise.
One of our favorite experiences on our first Acadia trip, was the sunset nature cruise. So, when planning this trip, I knew that we had to take my family out on the water. We considered trying another company that sailed out of another spot on the island, but in the end, we went with the same company as last time, Acadian Nature Cruises.
Our cruise last year was shortened due to weather. A thunderstorm was rolling in and we didn’t get much of a sunset. I didn’t realize how much of our tour we lost because of that weather. After some time watching the seals and seagulls at Egg Rock (above, left), we went over to the Schoodic Peninsula and we watched a Bald Eagle on its perch. Then, the boat parked for a little bit and watched the sun go down over the water (top).
The weather was much different on this trip than last year. Being that we traveled much earlier in the year (end of June vs. unseasonably hot beginning of August) this cruise was much cooler than last year. When it was 95 degrees at the peak of the day, it was still pretty warm out on the water, even at sunset. This last trip, we got highs in the 70s, if we were lucky. Out on the water, it was breezy and when the sun went down it was very cold. If you plan a sunset cruise, bring a warm sweatshirt or even a jacket.
We saw a lot more animals last year than we did this year, although we did see a Bald Eagle this year. Unfortunately we didn’t see any harbor porpoises or puffins. Those sightings last year were the reason I didn’t realize how much the weather had shortened our trip.
Besides great wildlife sightings and a beautiful sunset view, this tour is also a great way to see some of the Bar Harbor “Cottages” (they are way too big to be called a cottage, in my opinion) and learn about the history of the area. I highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Acadia. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see some local wildlife. If not, you still get stunning views that you just can’t get on land!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week to hear about the Asticou Azalea Gardens. To read more posts in this trip report, check out the trip report page. To read about some of our previous trips, click here.If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
On our last trip to Acadia, we left without doing everything we wanted to do. One of the biggest things was hiking to the top of South Bubble Mountain. The hike is rated as an easy family hike, but I was skeptical. How could climbing a mountain be easy? Chris kept reassuring me that the parking lot is about half way up the mountain, we weren’t climbing it from its base where it looms 400 feet above Jordan Pond.
Perched at the top of South Bubble Mountain is Bubble Rock. Bubble Rock is a glacial erratic, meaning if you look at it, Bubble Rock looks different than the rock on South Bubble Mountain. It was deposited there as the glaciers receded during the last ice age. Over the years, many people have tried to push it off, but no one has been successful. The ease of the hike and the curiosity of Bubble Rock make this one of the most popular hikes in the park.
After successfully climbing South Bubble, I can tell you that it is not a bad hike. Its estimated that it can be done in about an hour, but I don’t think it took us that long. To get good light, we left early, but we were back in Southwest Harbor in time for breakfast. If you’ve been to Sleeping Bear Dunes, it was an easier hike than the Empire Bluff Trail, which is my favorite hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It is a slight incline the whole way up, but it does have steps built in, so you don’t have to find your own way up like some of the other trails in Acadia. Because we left for our hike so early, we only saw a handful of other hikers on the trail. This was a great way to escape the crowds in Acadia and get to truly appreciate the scenery.
If you are looking for a short, easy hike in Acadia, I recommend you climb South Bubble Mountain. The views were definitely better than the Jordan Pond hike that we did last year. If you get there early in the morning, like us, its not hard to find a parking spot, but if you wait until later in the day, you may want to park at the visitor’s center and take the Island Explorer Bus. There are only a handful of spots in the South Bubble Parking Area. If you are looking for a more challenging hike, you can continue from the South Bubble Trail to the Jordan Pond Trail or continue onto North Bubble Mountain. Check out Joe’s Guide to Acadia National Park, for more information on hiking in Acadia.
Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to check back next week to read about our sunset tour of Acadia! To read more of our Mainly Acadia trip, click here. If you’re enjoying this trip report, you can read about some of our previous trips. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
It’s amazing, thinking of all of the things we are celebrating in 2019. 100 years of Grand Canyon National Park, 75 years since D-Day, and this past weekend we celebrated 50 years since men first walked on the moon. We decided to celebrate this momentous anniversary, we would visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, home of Neil Armstrong. The museum hosted a week long celebration for the anniversary, featuring rocket launches, a Run to the Moon race, and visiting astronauts.
The Armstrong Museum opened three years to the day of its namesake taking his “One small step for man”. Neil Armstrong was present for the opening and presented the museum with moon rocks he had gathered during his lunar mission. The museum is unique with its look at space exploration, with a focus on Ohioans from The Wright Brothers to John Glenn, and of course, Armstrong. The museum is home to the Gemini 8 spacecraft, Armstrong’s suits from the Gemini and Apollo missions (left) as well as his Navy Uniform, and the airplane in which he learned to fly.
Of course, being a special anniversary, the museum was packed during our visit. We all kind of toured the exhibits as a constantly moving snake. But, it was a nice museum and I was glad we visited. I know my husband, being a big space fan, has wanted to visit for years. If you are in Northwest Ohio, its definitely worth a visit! After leaving Wapakoneta, we headed south to Dayton to the National Air Force Museum. Be sure to check back next week to hear about that! The following week, I will return to my coverage of our Mainely Acadia trip!
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
One of the first stops on our narrated tour of the Park Loop Road was at Sieur du Monts Spring and the nature center. Also at this stop is the original Abbe Museum and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Being that we were traveling with two plant and flower enthusiasts, I knew the gardens would be a popular stop!
The gardens are filled with 400 species of native plants and are designed to “represent natural plant communities found within Acadia National Park. Mountain, heath, seaside, coniferous forest, and eight other habitats are represented” (Friends of Acadia). It is a great place to get out of the car and stretch your legs along the carefully constructed paths to see the beautiful flora of Maine. Because of the trees, it also stays pretty cool in the gardens on the rare occasion that a heat wave sweeps the area. Near the entrance to the gardens, you can pick up a bird spotting guide and there is also a journal to jot down any birds that you see. It was a very quiet morning on our visit and we were unable to add any sightings to the book, but I did get to take some pictures of the colorful blooms while my mom and grandma admired the gardens and planned how they could recreate them at home.
Also in this area is the Sieur de Monts Spring, which is said to be the birthplace of Acadia National Park. In 1909, George B. Door, the first Superintendent of the park, built a spring house and carved “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” on a nearby rock. This is also the home of Acadia’s nature center which features information about native animals both on the land and the sea, and about the local geology. While there, you can also visit the original location of the Abbe Museum. While there is now a larger location in downtown Bar Harbor, the original Abbe Museum holds a lot of early Native American artifacts from the area in a unique, woodland setting.
Thank you for stopping by! For more information about our Mainely Acadia trip, click here and be sure to check back next week for my next installment! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
When visiting Acadia, the best place to start is the Park Loop Road. So, on our most recent trip, our first day in the park involved driving around and stopping at the many overlooks. Last year, we picked up an audio tour of the Park Loop Road at the Visitor’s Center. Luckily, we kept it because it came in handy taking my family around. We did get a few funny looks from other motorists when we stopped at several of the vantage points and sat, unspeaking, staring out the windshield, but it is a great way to learn more about the area than the signs tell you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this audio tour is sold online, but I do recommend you purchase it at the visitor’s center when you arrive at the park.
The Park Loop Road can get very congested, so I recommend you begin your drive early before the crowds arrive. Because the sun rises so early in Maine, my whole family was up most days before 6 AM (the house we were staying in could have used some blackout curtains, that is for sure!) so it wasn’t difficult to get an early start on our tour. Even with an early morning start, the popular stops were already brimming with people. By the time we got to Jordan Pond House for lunch, there was not a parking spot to be had. I think Chris circled for over 3o minutes trying to find a place to park. They told us it would be a 20 minute wait to be seated and he wasn’t back when our buzzer went off. If you are planning on stopping at Jordan Pond House at lunchtime, I recommend you park at Hull’s Cove and take the bus. Last year we didn’t have a problem parking, but we dined in the early afternoon.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week to read more about our Mainely Acadia trip! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.