Tag Archives: bar harbor

Some of Acadia National Park is in Bar Harbor.

Photographer’s ‘Enchanted Forest’ to grace Acadia park pass

acadia annual pass

“Enchanted Forest,” by John Kaznecki, will grace the 2017 Acadia park pass. One of more than 200 entries, this winning photo is of Hadlock Brook, downstream from Hemlock Bridge. (Photo by John Kaznecki)

It was foggy, drizzly and raw in early December, not the best weather for being outside. But to John Kaznecki, it turned out to be a near-perfect day for a photo of Acadia National Park.

A self-taught photographer, Kaznecki said he attempts to capture with his lens what others might miss in Acadia. And now that rainy-day photo will be on the 2017 Acadia park pass.

On his hike along a carriage road, Kaznecki came upon Hadlock Brook just downstream from the archway of the Hemlock Bridge. The waters were running through the arch and the fog helped create a sacred scene for a photo of Acadia National Park he named “Enchanted Forest,” he said.

“Everything seemed just right,” he said.

john kaznecki

John Kaznecki at Otter Cove in Acadia National Park. (Photo courtesy of John Kaznecki)

The photo he snapped won the 2017 Acadia park pass contest and will be featured on next year’s visitor’s pass to be purchased by thousands of visitors from all over the country. The park received more than 200 entries from 20 states for the Acadia park pass contest.

Like most good photos, his shot evokes a certain emotion with the rushing water and mystical fog. He said this photo of Acadia National Park was meant to be taken and makes people feel as if something may be on the other side of the bridge.

“You can see through the archway,” he said.  “When you look at the photo, you wonder what is through the archway. What is farther out there?” Continue reading

Planning a trip to Acadia in winter? Ask Acadia on My Mind!

ask acadia on my mind

Ask Acadia on My Mind!

Another in a series of “Ask Acadia on My Mind!” Q&As

If you have a question about Acadia National Park on your mind, whether you’re a first-time visitor or long-time fan, leave a comment below, or contact us through the About us page. We may not be able to answer every question, or respond right away, but we’ll do our best. See our page linking in one place all the Q&As.

1) Planning a hike up Cadillac Mountain on New Year’s Day 2017. Can you recommend a trail to the top and accommodations near there this time of year? Thanks for any information you can provide. – Regards,Tom Campbell, Denver, North Carolina

Dear Tom,

Sounds like a great way to welcome the New Year, visiting Acadia in winter to hike up Cadillac, whether to see the first sunrise in the US or not!

Planning such a trip is not as difficult as you might think, especially since there are quite a number of year-round lodging and dining options in Bar Harbor and surrounding towns, as we’ve compiled in a series of handy pages on this blog.

winter in acadia

Acadia in winter, as seen from Cadillac. (NPS photo)

If you’re lucky, there may not be much snow and ice on Cadillac, making it an easier hike. But be sure to bring proper gear just in case, since conditions can change quickly, and can be very different at the top of the mountain compared with down at the start.

See a list of some favorite winter hiking gear, below, as well as a round-up of other activities in Acadia in winter. You might also want to post a question about current trail conditions on the Acadia National Park Hiking group page we created on Facebook, which a number of local hikers belong to.

You can check snow conditions by linking to live Webcams at the Web site of local radio station 93.7 FM, “The Wave,” and the park’s official winter activities page for additional information. Continue reading

Visiting Acadia during Centennial? Ask Acadia on My Mind!

ask acadia on my mind

Ask Acadia on My Mind!

Another in a series of “Ask Acadia on My Mind!” Q&As

If you have a question about Acadia National Park on your mind, whether you’re a first-time visitor or long-time fan, leave a comment below, or contact us through the About us page. We may not be able to answer every question, or respond right away, but we’ll do our best. See our page linking in one place all the Q&As.

We are starting to plan our first trip to Acadia National Park. We are looking into a trip in August but now I see it’s the very busiest month and I’m concerned it will be too crowded. I don’t like traffic and feeling like an ant on trails when hiking.

We hope to stay in a rental home for a week. Which locations would you suggest? How hard is driving around the area in August? We like to bike. Are there bike rental companies? Are dogs allowed on the hiking trails in the park? About how long does it take to get from say, Bar Harbor, to the Schoodic part of the park? Thank you! – Peter from Eugene, OR

Dear Peter,

We’re with you – we don’t like feeling like an ant on trails when hiking either! Good idea to start planning your trip so early, with bigger crowds than usual expected to be visiting Acadia National Park during this Centennial year. But even though August is the busiest month, it’s still possible to find relative solitude, as we have that time of year.

See our recent blog post “5 tips to beat the crowds while visiting Acadia National Park,” with such ideas as buying your park pass online and hiking popular trails early or late. For example, if you climb the popular Beehive Trail early (before 11 a.m. but the earlier the better) or late (4 p.m. or later), you won’t feel like you’re part of the swarm, or like an ant on a trail.

Island Explorer bus in Acadia National Park

Take the Island Explorer to minimize Acadia traffic jams. While the bus is fare-free, be sure to buy a park pass to help support this and other park services. (NPS photo)

Since this is your first trip to Acadia and it sounds like you want to minimize driving in traffic while maximizing access to bike rentals, dog-friendly hikes and the Schoodic section of the park, you might want to find a place to stay in or near Bar Harbor, preferably on the fare-free Island Explorer bus route.

We have a page of year-round Bar Harbor lodging, restaurants and other businesses that you may find helpful, although we don’t have specific links to rental home listings. We’ll soon be adding businesses that are open only seasonally to that page, so check back for updates. Continue reading

The gift of Acadia National Park for the holidays

For the fan of Acadia National Park on your holiday shopping list: How about a membership to Friends of Acadia; a purchase from eParks®, The Official Online Store of America’s National Parks®; an annual park pass; or any number of other Acadia- or national-park-themed gifts?

Acadia National Park annual pass

Acadia National Park annual pass is $20, half off this year’s price, if purchased in December. The pass, good for 12 months from date of purchase, is proposed to go to $50 in 2015. (NPS photo)

There’s no need to fight the crowds at a shopping mall with any of these ideas for the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Plus you get the convenience of our doing some of the legwork for you with our research and links, and the satisfaction of knowing that some of your purchases may help support the park, certain non-profits and area businesses.

Here are gift ideas broken down by category:

Support the park directly or indirectly
Annual Acadia National Park pass – If you buy the pass in December, the cost is $20, or half off this year’s price. The discounted annual pass is available at the park headquarters and winter visitor center on Eagle Lake Road, open daily in December from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The discounted pass is also available Friday Dec. 5 at the Village Green park information center, during the Bar Harbor Midnight Madness Sale, from 8 p.m. until midnight. The fee for the annual pass is proposed to go up to $50 in 2015, while the 7-day pass is proposed to increase from $20 to $25. A public meeting to discuss these and other proposed fee increases, the first since 2004, was held Nov. 12. The park is taking public comments on the proposed fee increases via e-mail or US mail through Dec. 8. The increased revenue would allow the park to enhance services for the upcoming Acadia Centennial in 2016, according to the park service.

Acadia magnet

Part of the America’s National Park Series, this comes as either a pin or a magnet in this design, at eParks(R). See holiday sale details in sidebar. (Photo courtesy of eParks(R))

Shop at eParks® – The online store for Eastern National, a nonprofit founded by park rangers to help support national parks, is offering special holiday discounts of 25% to 35%, plus free shipping on orders of $25 and up. Eastern National runs the bookstore at the seasonal Hulls Cove Visitor Center at Acadia, and also offers a virtual Acadia shop at eParks®. See sale details and links to eParks® in the sidebar and throughout this blog post. eParks® is an affiliated partner of Acadia on My Mind. A certain percentage of some purchases made via click-throughs from this Web site helps cover costs of this blog, but prices are no more than if you went directly to eParks®, and possibly less with special affiliated partner codes. Since 1947, Eastern National has donated more than $107 million to national parks and other federal sites, from Maine to South Dakota.

Continue reading

Special ways to celebrate July 4 in Acadia National Park

Rather than fight the crowds in Bar Harbor for the fireworks, why not try watching from atop Cadillac? How about having a cookout at one of the 6 picnic areas in Acadia National Park? Or, for a patriotic tour, why not retrace the historic visit by President Barack Obama and his family in July 2010?

President Barack Obama hikes Acadia National Park

President Barack Obama and family hiked the Cadillac Summit Loop on their July 2010 visit to Acadia National Park (White House photo)

There may be no better way to celebrate Independence Day than at one of America’s best ideas, the National Parks. For new and repeat visitors to Acadia, there are plenty of tried-and-true or off-the-beaten-path methods to mark the founding of our country.

Among the July 4 weekend activities, from the Acadia National Park ranger schedule: Take a cruise to Baker Island or Islesford, walk along Cadillac Summit Loop, learn about park founder George B. Dorr at the “Missing Mansion” tour, or introduce the youngsters in your lives to the wonders of nature through a tidepool visit. Continue reading

Bar Island Trail one of a kind in Acadia National Park

One in a series of historic trail highlights leading up to the Acadia Centennial

The Bar Island Trail is one of a kind in Acadia National Park.

The wooded, rocky island can only be reached at low tide each day, starting at a sand bar that begins at the end of Bridge Street in Bar Harbor.

It’s great to walk along the ocean on the bar and then on the other side, ascend the trail through the woods on the island.

From a small hill on the island, people can get great views back to Bar Harbor and Acadia peaks. Along the way, a Porcupine Island rises from the ocean horizon.

The catch is that Bar Island can be reached just 1.5 hours on either side of low tide.

Strange enough, cars are allowed to drive on the bar, even though it’s less than a half mile long. Some people break a rule, park their car and leave it behind for a walk on the island.

cruise ship acadia national park

A view from Bar Island puts into perspective one of the many cruise ships visiting Bar Harbor.

A prominent sign on Bar Island’s shore warns people that the tide rises quickly, but inevitably an inexperienced few lose track of time and find themselves stranded on the island when the tide comes in and washes over the sand bar.

It seems like a summer never passes without stories about swamped cars or people needing to be rescued from Bar Island at high tide.

The mishaps are hard to understand but they are as sure as the tides themselves on Bar Island. Continue reading