Stopping at Acadia National Park was a bit of an afterthought. We were in Boston, planning the next few weeks of our roadtrip, and wondering where to go, when we scanned the map a little further north than we had planned, and spotted Acadia. I was quick to research more about it and the first 4 photos on Google images did it for me – what a gorgeous place. Described as the National Park ‘where mountains meet the ocean’, we couldn’t wait to see it.
Acadia was the first Eastern US National Park, and it’s not difficult to see why it was created: the rugged landscape, deep blue waters, and diversity of fauna and flora make it one of a kind. The park also has these amazing historic carriage roads, which are car-free and used nowadays as biking and hiking trails, running through the park’s mountains, and where you can catch the best views.
We knew we wanted to bike around the park, so on our last day we rented a couple of bikes and a child-seat for C from Acadia Bikes. The staff were very helpful in helping us choose our trail. We ended up doing the 8 mile loop, which I naively thought was on fairly flat ground. WRONG. The loop takes you from the busy (but lovely) main town of Bar Harbour around Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond, giving you some of the best views of the whole park. We went slowly as I stopped to take photos along the way, and it took us just under two hours to reach Jordan pond, and the fantastic café they have on site. We ate our packed lunch with the crystal clear ‘pond’ and the verdant mountains behind it for a backdrop – what a sight.
Feeling energised, we got back on the bikes to trek back to Bar Harbour, but just as we came up to the top of a big hill and after C fell asleep, Rob’s bike’s pedal broke! We couldn’t believe it, we didn’t even know where we were to let the rental people know…! We kept on going (Rob walking his bike) until we realised we were just by Bubble Lake, which happened to have a car park next to it – WIN!! We got the boy back to sleep on one of the stone benches, and thanks to Acadia Bikes who showed up to replace the bike within 15 minutes, we were back in business!
As we rode back into Bar Harbour we wished we could come back for more the next day, but sadly had to move on… the only way we could make ourselves feel better was with a calorie-ridden ice-cream – hooray! This place was absolute genius, they make their own fudge, chocolates, sweets and the most fabulous ice-cream flavours, including ‘Lobster’ and ‘Moose Droppings’ – you’ve gotta love it.
How much does it cost to rent a bike in Acadia: It cost us $24 each for the whole day, plus $8 for C’s child seat. We rented them from Acadia Bikes.
Find the best bike trails on this handy map.
Where to stay: We booked an airbnb about 40 minutes’s drive from the park itself, as the KOAs were closed, and we found the most spectacular house for an absolute bargain. The owner, Robin, was the loveliest lady you’ll ever meet, welcomed us in a fantastic 2 bedroom apartment, with 3 dogs and an old cat (sweet). She even left us a fridge and freezer full of food, and insisted we ate it – she really was wonderful. The house’s garden led through to the most beautiful lake, and was without a doubt the most peaceful and relaxing stay we’ve had. You can see the listing here.