Go See Do Photography

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

Tag: National Park (Page 1 of 3)

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.

Wordless Wednesday: Where the Grass Grows

Wordless Wednesday: Hawk in Flight

Mainely Acadia: Sunset Cruise

Maine sunset from the water.

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.

Egg Rock Light at sunset

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.

Cruise ship departing past Egg Rock.

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.

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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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Wordless Wednesday: Wild Trees of Acadia

Mainely Acadia: Wild Gardens of Acadia

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!

Flowers of a Pitcher Plant found in the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

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.

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Wordless Wednesday: Canyon Texture

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.

Wordless Wednesday: Grand Canyon Peak

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