“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 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 →
If you’re first-time visitors to Acadia National Park this year, you’ll soon see why generations of families, artists, millionaires and even presidents have been lured by the magnificent scenery.
The official Acadia Centennial logo
The first national park east of the Mississippi, and still the Northeast’s only such park, Acadia boasts about 155 miles of hiking trails, from easy ocean walks to strenuous cliff climbs; 45 miles of carriage roads for biking, walking and riding in a horse-drawn carriage; scenic Park Loop Roads; a lighthouse; and the amazing contrast of deep blue sea and pink granite shores.
Here are the top 5 things to see and do for first-time visitors to Acadia National Park, as well as some insider tips on avoiding the crowds during the busy summer and fall foliage seasons. And be sure to check out our 5 tips to beat the crowds while visiting Acadia National Park, and the park’s official Web site to help you plan your trip:
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park
1. Soak in the panoramic view on Cadillac Mountain
The highest peak in Acadia, and the first place to see the sun rise in the United States during certain times of the year, Cadillac is a must-see stop. From here, you can see all of Frenchman Bay, the distinctive Porcupine Islands and down to Bar Harbor. Continue reading →
When Maria Yoder traveled to some national parks in the West last year, she said she left behind her dog, Rory, because the parks ban pets from the trails.
Maria Yoder with her dog, Rory, along the Compass Harbor Trail at Acadia National Park
As a dog owner, Yoder, a Bar Harbor resident, said she is pleased that she lives near Acadia National Park. The park is unusual among national parks in keeping dogs and owners united on the hiking trails and offering some great hiking for dogs.
“It’s a great place for people to come with their dogs,” Yoder said recently, while walking with her Shiba Inu on the Compass Harbor Trail in Acadia. “I really like it.”
In fact, of the 59 national parks, Acadia is among only a few – Shenandoah in Virginia is another – that allow dogs and other pets on trails, as long as they are leashed, according to the National Park Service. Make sure your dog is on a long, sturdy lead though, since this will help when your dog is pulling.
Yoder, manager at Bar Harbor’s Made in the USA shop, said she became aware that Acadia is pet friendly when she researched her trip to the West and discovered that pets are banned from the trails in national parks such as Joshua Tree in California and Arches in Utah. Dogs are severely restricted in others such as Zion in Utah, which allows pets on only 1.5-mile trail and Yosemite, only a 2-mile paved trail.
People love petting Rory, with good reason.
Yoder keeps Rory on a leash and hikes trails such as Ocean Path, Gorham Mountain, Champlain Mountain and Great Head Trail.
“She is very popular,” she said. “People are always petting her.”
When they plan a trip to Acadia, dog owners are generally happy to discover that they don’t need to leave their pets at home or place them in a kennel if they want to hike. Continue reading →
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) Appreciate your time to help us out. We will be first timers to Acadia. We’re going the end of July for 4 days and have made tent reservations at Blackwoods Campground. It will be just my wife and I. We’ve bought our 2 man tent ahead of time. We are 50 and in pretty good health for hiking/biking. We usually camp in a pop up but are tenting to save on travel and cost and for the convenience of not trailering. A few questions: – Does it get cold for tent camping in July? – We like to bike – is biking a good option to get around and see the sites? – Is swimming an option nearby to Blackwoods? – Can you recommend a good place to have lobster? – Given we’re only there 4 nights, what would be the top 3 destinations we should hike or ride to? Thanks so much for your help. – Steve and Janet
2) Hi, we were just wondering if it is possible to stay on a non-electric RV site in a tent only? Thanks! – Anna
3) We (family of 5) are thinking about visiting Acadia next week before the Island Explorer shuttle is running, but we are traveling in an RV. How difficult is it to maneuver through the park in an RV, or is there a place to park it and ride bikes in order to see the park? Can you bike to Bar Harbor easily? – Jaymi
Dear Steve and Janet, Anna, and Jaymi,
Of your 3 camping in Acadia National Park questions, we have to say Anna’s is the most unusual. Why would you want to tent out on a non-electric RV site? The only reason we could think of: Is it because all the tent-only sites for the dates you’re looking for are booked?
Blackwoods features 214 tent sites and 61 RV sites. (NPS photo)
In any event, Anna, we called Blackwoods Campground, where there are 61 non-electric RV sites, to ask that very question. As long as you set up the tent on the RV pad, you can, indeed, stay on a non-electric RV site, according to the park ranger. Policies may vary by campground, so you might want to check the campground you’re planning on staying at.
But as you may know, you cannot make tenting or RV reservations by calling the park campgrounds directly. For that, you must go to www.recreation.gov, or call the National Recreation Reservation Service at (877) 444-6777. You can also find out more details about camping in Acadia National Park through the park’s Web site. Continue reading →
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 new page linking in one place all the Q&As.
Hi, we are making our first trip to Acadia June 26 – July 8. We will camp at Blackwoods. Is it possible to bike from the campground to the carriage roads? Concern is with vehicle traffic and if there is sufficient road shoulder. Thanks. – Jay Miller, Brighton, Mich.
Great timing for your first trip to Acadia. Not only is it the Centennial year – your final day is the actual 100th anniversary. Plus, you’re arriving soon after the fare-free Island Explorer bus starts running for the season, on June 23, giving you more options to get around the park car-free.
While the Island Explorer bus is fare-free, be sure to get an Acadia National Park visitor pass to help support that and other park services. The Bicycle Express goes from Bar Harbor Village Green to Eagle Lake section of carriage roads. (NPS photo)
From the campground, there’s a short 0.1 mile dirt path that you can walk your bikes down to the 1-way Park Loop Road. Bike along the right-hand lane of the 2-lane road, following the traffic. Go under the ME 3 overpass, and at the next overpass, you’ll reach the junction with the carriage road system near Day Mountain. Walk your bike up the dirt path to the carriage road at intersection 17.
This 3-mile section of the Park Loop Road between Blackwoods and the carriage road system would be a less busy part of the 1-way road than the section over by Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, where cars often park along the right-hand lane, making it difficult to bicycle. And biking the Park Loop Road, where the posted speed limit is no more than 35 miles per hour, is certainly safer than trying to bike along the shoulder of ME 3.
This section of the Park Loop Road also offers access to Little Hunters Beach, reached by a hidden set of stairs on the left side of the road, about 1 mile from Blackwoods. Park your bikes and explore. There is also a new wayside exhibit here describing the area. Continue reading →