This is a collection of posts I wrote about visiting a few different areas of Acadia National Park in Maine. These posts were scattered throughout this blog, so I decided to make life easier by consolidating them here. Enjoy!
Yesterday was a huge day for us. We spent almost the entirety of it on Mount Desert Island and in Acadia National Park. I’ll say this quickly just to get it off my chest. Acadia is a magical place. It should be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. As I was standing in the middle of some very photogenic locations yesterday, I told myself that the scene in front of me looks fake. Many scenes really did look fake, as if they were overly saturated with color somehow. We got lucky yesterday too. It was full sun all day long and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. I’d say 55 degrees in November with a few leaves left on the trees is just about perfect conditions. And best of all, since we visited after November 1, it was free to access the park. It’s usually $30 per car, but over the winter months, the park doesn’t charge anything at all. What a deal.
Now, I’ll tell you that we didn’t cover the entire park. We’d need a heck of a lot more time to do that. We did, however, visit a few locales that were situated on the left part of the island (the Southwest Harbor side), away from the more crowded Bar Harbor area.
I’ll break our adventure up into three separate posts because I took quite a few photos. Over 450 of them. Don’t worry, I’ll pare them down and I’ll post only the best ones here. I’ll try to control myself.
I had a few different activities planned for our trip. First, I wanted to see the famous “bridge” that’s located in the town of Somesville. They claim this bridge is the most photographed bridge in Maine. How they know that, I have no idea, but I’ll tell you that photos of it are all over the place. I’m sure if you searched for “bridge” in Maine, it’d show up in your results.
After the bridge, I wanted to see the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and then after that, I wanted to hike the Ship Harbor Trail. These latter two stops I’ll discuss in the next two posts. As if each activity could be topped, each one was by the next. I’ve never seen such stunning scenery in my life. And as we progressed, the scenery became more and more beautiful.
Are you ready for a few photos? Okay, here we go. This, my friends, is the bridge located at the Somesville Museum & Gardens.
This is another photo of the bridge from a different angle.
What’s nice about this bridge is that it’s situated right off the main road. We parked in the museum parking lot and walked directly to it. I forgot to mention above that another benefit of visiting this area in November is that it’s virtually empty. There were very few tourists yesterday, so we had the island to ourselves. Sure, there were others here and there, but we had no trouble capturing photos of the wonderful sights due to people being in the way.
Out on the road, the railings were decorated with planters. The flowers were nice to look at and photograph as well.
What struck me even more than the bridge was what we saw directly across the street. This is, you know, someone’s house. It’s adjacent to both Mill Pond and Somes Harbor.
I mean, really? You can’t get better than that. Look at that view!
Okay, I’ll leave it at that. I’ve got many more photos of the lighthouse and the rocky coast of Acadia in the next posts, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!
Visiting Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park
Have you ever seen a photo of a lighthouse in Maine? I’m sure you have. They’re used for calendars and postcards and can be found pretty much everywhere you look. The next time you see one of these photos, take a gander at which particular lighthouse is in the image. It’s most likely the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse in Acadia National Park. This is pretty much “the one.” The one everyone visits and takes pictures of.
For the second leg of our autumn Acadia adventure, we stopped by this lighthouse for some pretty great photo opportunities. When we arrived, we were the only ones in the parking lot. It was empty. Everything was closed up for the season, but the trail down to the rocky coast was still available to us. I don’t think they can or do close that.
I must say, as short as it was, the trail was very nice and well kept. There was lots of moss on the sides and whomever built the trail, built some steps to make the walking easier. Not that it was a steep hill or anything. I’ll get to that in a moment.
I had a lot of fun walking Laura down this trail because she had no idea where we were going. I decided to make everything we did a surprise. I have no idea why. I guess that’s just the way I roll.
As we got closer to the water, the views began to open up. The sea was before us! That exclamation point is my version of drama, by the way.
See that sunburst? I got that by using a small aperture on my camera, just in case you wanted to know how to get one of those for yourself. I took these types of photos all day.
At the end of the short trail was a rather steep staircase. It led down to the rocks and the water.
I’ll tell you, when we got to the bottom of the steps, we saw the most beautiful view. There are many islands out there and if you look closely at the next photo, you can see them.
When I looked to the left, I saw that famous rocky coast everyone loves so much.
And when I looked to the right, I saw a glimpse of the lighthouse we came to see in the distance.
By the way, I’m posting HDR images here. These recent ones are actually multiple images merged into one high dynamic range version.
It took a while to hike around on all those huge rocks. I did enjoy myself though. I can jump with the best of them. As I was doing this, I noticed tons of snails all over the place. I took some photos of a few of them and merged them together. Here’s a good one.
Eventually, I made it to the best spot for a photo and I got the money shot. The one that’s found on calendars. Check this out. I enhanced it to make it look as best as possible.
That is the classic Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, my friends. So beautiful and so quintessentially New England. I’m glad I had the opportunity to finally see it, on such a beautiful day no less. The day simply couldn’t be beat.
As you can probably imagine, I took hundreds of more photos. I’ll spare you all the duplicates and similar versions; I’ll save them for my collection. I’ll just post two more. This one is of some sea plants I found along my path to the bottom of the rocks.
And this one is so beautifully classic, I can’t stand it.
I think I’ll leave things here. I hope you enjoyed my photos of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and the surrounding areas as much as I enjoyed bringing them to you. Have a great day and thanks for reading!
Hiking Ship Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park
For the final part of our Acadia adventure, Laura and I hiked the Ship Harbor Trail down near Bass Harbor in Acadia. I hadn’t planned on doing any hiking until the morning of. Before we left, I browsed Google Maps for some addresses to put into the GPS when I noticed a short hike of only about a mile and a half. I figured that we’d have the time, so it would be a shame to pass it up. I’m so glad we didn’t miss this one because it was the best part of the day. When people say rocky coast of Maine, this is exactly the area they’re referring to. I mean, this is really it. It’s ridiculously beautiful.
The trail is shaped like a figure eight and like I said, it’s only about a mile and a half long. It’s also relatively flat, which was nice. Not many people know this about me, but I’m sort of lazy when it comes to hiking. I like to tell people that I only enjoy quarter mile hikes or shorter, which is almost the equivalent to walking to the mailbox and back. In reality, I’ll do almost any hike, but I’ll complain about it until I’ve worked up a sweat. Then, like so with many other activities I’m involved in, I get my blood pumping and I don’t want to stop. This is the beauty of being a complex individual. Unpredictable, if you will. An enigma wrapped in a riddle.
Okay, let’s start off at the beginning. We parked the car out in the small lot on the road and walked in the trail about one hundred feet before we came across a very strange tree/bush. On t he tree were bunches of red berries. I still don’t know what these things are, but there were quite a few of these trees along the trail. I thought it would be nice to take a photo of them. As you can see, although the sun is falling, there’s still plenty of light out there and the sky is still clear. A beautiful day in Maine.
The issue we were having with this particular trail was the stunning scenes along it. Everything looked so good that we were slow to walk due to the both of us stopping every ten feet to take another picture. I tried to hold off on the photography to get to the end of the trail before it got dark. The sun way going down, after all.
But then I saw something like this. And I had to stop again.
It was like this the entire way. Scene after scene after scene. Here’s one of a small clearing along the way. I guess you could stop to have a picnic at this location if you wanted to.
This is Ship Harbor itself leading out into the ocean. Laura thought the tree in the center of the image was sort of ugly, so she took her shots from a few different angles. I thought the tree added drama, so I kept it.
Along the way were some informative signs that described what the area was about. I didn’t necessarily read them, but I thought they’d be helpful for those who have an interest.
By this point, I could smell the ocean air. This short boardwalk led right to the rocky coast.
At the end of the boardwalk, this is what we were presented with. In the distance is Great Duck Island on the right and then another island without a name.
That’s what it looked like to the left. When we turned to the right, this is what we found. The entrance to Ship Harbor itself.
As you can see from the next few photos, there are more oranges in the photos. This is because as we hung around, playing on the rocks, the sun fell into what’s known as the Golden Hour. This is a photography term for when the sun is almost set. The light becomes golden and photography becomes exponentially more beautiful. It’s the right time to take photos as evidenced by a professional photographer who was setting up his gear nearby.
In the next few images you can see the final sign that I captured, a poor dead crab with no legs and an example of the stones that can be found in the area.
Do you see how those shadows are becoming longer? That’s what we wanted to see because as we continued along the trail the skirted the coast, we came across scenes such as these.
This is another money shot. I love the orange light the sun was casting.
This is the view back into Ship Harbor.
And here’s a taller view of the same thing.
And of course, I’d like to show off the clean blue Maine ocean water.
I have no idea how much time we spent out there, but it must have been a while. The sun was setting fast.
I’m really trying to keep these photos to a minimum, so I’ll only show you two more. I have hundreds and it pains me to leave so many out, but they’re sort of repetitive. I took this next picture during the walk back to the car. The harbor is to my left and where I was standing was near the end of the boardwalk and in another pine forest. Actually, I think everything was a pine forest.
And just when we thought we were finished with seeing interesting things, we stumbled upon a lush mossy area in the pines.
Oh heck, I’ll show you one more to wrap this post up. I couldn’t live with myself if I left out the most gorgeous Maine sunset. Take a look. This was taken across Ship Harbor.
It honestly doesn’t get any better than this.
We had a wonderful time at Acadia this past Monday and I would encourage you to visit the area if you get the chance. We barely scratched the surface with what we saw in my previous three posts, so there will be many more returns. In the meantime, I think I’ll work on some of these photos to print and frame. Thanks for reading!