Go See Do Photography

A Lot of Travel, A Little Bit of History, and a Whole Bunch of Photos

Tag: down east

Mainely Acadia: On the Quietside

Bass Harbor Head Light in the Fog

After spending a week in Southwest Harbor, we headed out to see some of the highlights of the Quietside. As I explained last week, we had about 6 hours with nowhere to call home base, so after visiting the Gilley Museum, we continued around the Quietside, first with a stop at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (top).

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is probably the most popular photography spot in Acadia National Park. If you want to shoot it at sunset, better get there early because as I wrote about last year, photographers get there early and they will not budge to let you get one quick shot. Luckily, we had some interesting fog on the day of our visit that made for interesting shots even in the middle of the day. What these iconic photos don’t show you, is that to get this shot, you have to stand on jagged rocks. If getting this shot is on your Acadia bucket list, bring sturdy shoes and make sure you are surefooted. You wouldn’t want to damage your camera gear and yourself just trying to get a picture. After the fuss of getting a shot last year, I think this lighthouse is overrated. You want a unique Acadia shot? Getaway from the crowds and do some hiking! You can catch sunrise or sunset from the top of a mountain and unlike Cadillac Mountain, you will have the mountain all to yourself. Hopefully soon, Chris will share some of his early morning hikes in Acadia.

Waves crashing on the seawall.

After leaving the Lighthouse, we headed over to the Seawall (left). In Michigan we have seawalls, but they are mostly concrete barriers that keep the water from eroding your lawn. Acadia’s seawall is natural and made of jagged rocks and gravel. Being on the Quietside really makes a difference for the crowds and the seawall is a great spot to capture the crashing waves without the people you will see at Thunder Hole. You may remember, this was a favorite spot of yours on our first trip to Acadia because we stayed at the Seawall Campground and drove past every day.

If you are planning to visit Acadia, make sure to get away from the crowds and spend some time on the Quietside of the island. To read more about this trip, check out the Mainely Acadia 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.

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Mainely Acadia: Biking the Carriage Roads

Me posing by a roadside waterfall

On our first trip to Acadia, our biggest disappointment was that we didn’t get a chance to explore the miles of Acadia’s carriage roads. Everything you read about Acadia tells you that you don’t really see the park until you see the carriage roads. So, on a day when we didn’t have anything planned, we rented some bikes and we set out to see the interior of the park.

Waterfall cascading to Jordan Pond from the carriage roads.

Since we were staying in Southwest Harbor, we decided to rent bikes from Southwest Cycle. The staff there were very friendly and helpful. They helped us pick the right bikes and get the bike rack on our rental car. If you are staying on the quietside, I highly recommend renting from Southwest Cycle.

After getting our bikes, we headed to the Carriage Roads. Honestly, I was not prepared for the beauty of the carriage roads. There were WAY less people than on the park loop road. It was cool to be able to look down on the Park Loop Road and the Jordan Pond Trail too! After our first trip, if you would have asked me if there were waterfalls in Acadia, I would’ve told you no. But, we saw several on our bike ride through the carriage roads.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the difficulty of the carriage roads. They were all designed to be driven by carriages, so they weren’t mounting biking difficult, but there were some steep hills we had to climb. I am not an avid biker by any means, so I had to take a few breaks during our bike ride. I did enjoy coasting down the big hills, though! Some of the roads are easier than others, so I recommend if you’re a novice bikers like me that you plan a route that you can handle.

The quiet beauty of the carriage roads is something that you have to experience for yourself. Definitely take a day to explore them! If you aren’t a biker, you could pick some of the shorter ones and walk them or you can take a carriage tour, which I will talk about in a later post! You won’t regret getting away from the crowds and seeing the interior of the park!

Thanks for stopping by! 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.

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Mainely Acadia: Hiking South Bubble Mountain

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.

Bubble Rock perched atop South Bubble Mountain

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.

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Back to Maine

A few weeks ago we finalized our plans for our summer vacation. We are taking my mom and grandma and heading back to Maine. This time its not a road trip. We are flying in to New Hampshire and renting a car from there. We are renting a condo in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for a week.

I am so excited to get back to Maine and to share this wonderful place with my family! We are still far out in the planning stages, of course, and I am hoping that the weather is better than last year. Maine is no fun when it is 95 degrees. As a state, they are not set up to handle that kind of heat, and this is coming from a Michigander. Hopefully it will be cool enough to fully experience the hiking trails and enjoy the outdoors. We are planning on doing a carriage tour of the carriage roads because that was the major thing we missed out on last year that we regretted not doing.

I am looking forward to the smell of salt air and the seeing the rocky Maine coastline. I am excited to drive the Park Loop Road and see the views from Cadillac Mountain. I am excited to spend more time on the quiet side of the island, exploring Southwest Harbor. Summer can come any time now!

Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully, next week I will begin the recap of our cruise and I will have lots of pictures of sunshine and blue waters! Stay tuned for that! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! 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.

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