Thursday, August 30, 2012

Acadia National Park Trip

I haven't been ignoring those of you that I follow.

Warning this post may be long and you may want to get a cup of coffee now.

My two sons and I went on a camping trip this week to Acadia National Park. We actually camped in Lamoine State Park (across the bay from Bar Harbor) because we couldn't get the nights we wanted inside the park. It turned out to be a great place even though it is about 25 minutes from Acadia but if you are from Maine you know that is nothing to speak of with respect to travel.

After we arrived and set up camp we made our way over to Bar Harbor to take in the sights and sounds of this small but beautiful town.

The view from the park to the harbor.

After walking around for a little while we decided to get some dinner before we headed back to our campsite. After a quick Yelp search we decided that the Portside Grill (Portside) was our destination.

We were met by a hostess immediately and seated in a clean and spacious booth. The waitress made her way to the table quickly and took our drink order after going over the specials. My oldest son and I got the lobster special (including a piece of blueberry pie made from Maine's finest blueberries). My youngest son got the shrimp special (unfortunately for him no pie was included----but dad shared his with him). The food was very good, the place was very clean and the people were very friendly. You have many choices while in Bar Harbor and this is one to consider if you ever make your way up there. 

After dinner we walked around a little bit more and then headed back to the campsite. We stopped at the store on the way back and picked up some beer, ice, snacks, a bag of coffee and some food for breakfast. We also stopped and picked up some firewood. Maine's state "slogan" is The Way Life Should Be and nothing demonstrates that philosophy better than the way firewood is commonly sold along the roadside: the honor system. The wood is left outside, the price is listed and a lock box (they aren't fools either) to place the money. You take your wood and place the money in the container. Being from a city right outside of Boston I can say without any hesitation this would not work there.

We got the fire going with no problems and enjoyed a perfect night. The temperature was around 65 and there was a slight breeze and no bugs to speak of due to the smoke from the fire and the breeze. We hung out until around Midnight just talking since we don't get that many chances anymore to be together between work, college and my oldest son lives on his own. 

The only thing we didn't have was marshmallows.

Around 0100 it began to pour (it wouldn't be a camping trip without rain) and lasted until about 0730. I got up around 0800 and started to make coffee and then my oldest son quickly joined me an took over the coffee duties (thank goodness he did). Although we thought the rain was over for the day, we decided to pitch a large tarp just in case. Before our second cup of coffee was started it started to rain "cats & dogs" for the next few hours. We let my youngest son sleep in since he worked the 2300-0700 shift the day before we left for Maine. We made breakfast for my youngest son and then decided to head to Acadia since the weather was clearing.

Our goal was to hike to Cadillac Mountain but it didn't happen and I will spare you the details; however, we took in the beautiful scenery along the Loop Road.


The above pictures were taking near Precipice and from here we made our way to Gorham Mountain Trail.

The Gorham MTN trailhead.

Trail marker.

View from the top.

To the left is Sand Beach.

These storm clouds chased us off the mountain top.

We headed back to the campsite and enjoyed some Alaskan salmon my oldest son's friend caught and shipped to him. The weather was as nice as the night before and there was no rain during the middle of the night.

The next morning we woke up, ate some breakfast, showered and broke down camp by 1000. Before we headed home we wanted to do some sea kayaking. This was my first time sea kayaking and I wasn't sure what to expect but my sons wanted to go so off we went. I had checked out a few places on line before we left and we choose Kayak1 (Kayaking). The owner was very helpful, the equipment was in good condition and the prices were reasonable and in line with others in the area.

We launched from Lamoine Beach and made our way to Berry Cove. The scenery was awesome and the water was mostly calm and beautiful.

I think they are Brewer, McFarland and Youngs Mountains (L-R).

Looking out toward Frenchman Bay.

Frenchman Bay is on the horizon.

Making our way back to Lamoine Beach.

I made it back to shore without incident and we headed home. My sons and I had a great time and they said they would love to do it again. I hope that it does happen but as Van Zant sang "if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans.". 

The weather is getting cooler and that means my fishing will be picking up soon.

Thanks for reading and have a safe and Happy Labor Day.


  1. Beautiful country. Thanks for the tour.


  2. Hi are correct and you are welcome.

    This was my second time there and I only have scratched the surface. It would take probably two weeks straight to explore the park and all its wonder. Unfortunately it is five hours away.

    My sons and I talked about Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon for our next trip.

    When they were younger my wife and I took them to Muir Woods and Beach and that was beautiful also. We weren't into hiking back then so we may have to return there.

  3. Nice trip Ed.
    Maine's a beautiful place.
    I'll be there the last of September.

  4. Hi Alan...thanks. I love going to Maine. I just never get to fish when I go there. I hope to change that someday soon.

    Are you going to Rangeley?

    Maine is great in the fall.

  5. Very nice.

    I have to go Maine for work in the middle of September maybe I can get to Rangeley and fish.

  6. Nice photos Ed....looks like a great trip.


    1. Thanks Mike.

      As the "boys" get older, these trips will become harder to put together.

      We hope to get to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon before all things go to hell. Also, I have not made my last trip to Acadia. There is way to much to see and so little time.