In putting together our ‘Find Your Adventure’ series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service, we’ve traveled from coast to coast to bring you stories of the adventures to be had in our national parks. The one thing we haven’t spoken to directly, however, is just exactly where to go when.
Well, allow us to rectify that problem with some sound advice for anyone who’s had enough of the steamy temperatures that have marked so much of this summer. Get thee to Acadia National Park.
Located on Mount Desert Island off the Maine coast just southeast of Bangor, the oceanfront park’s climate benefits from the cooling influence of the Atlantic’s blue waters lapping on its rocky shores. Which makes this national park — the first established east of the Mississippi — quite literally a cool place to go in search of adventures. Like these:
On Top Of A Mountain: Be one of the first in the U.S. to see the sun rise out of the Atlantic from the top of 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the Eastern Seaboard. While this claim of “first in the U.S.” is technically only true from October 7 through March 6, it’s still a magnificent sight year-round.
On The Road: Early resident and benefactor John D. Rockefeller created roughly 50 miles of car-free carriage roads throughout the east end of the island. While they can be enjoyed on foot, bicycle and horseback, they’re perhaps best experienced from a vintage horse-drawn carriage.
On The Water: As you’d expect from a national park surrounded by water, there are plenty of ways to get your feet wet. Among the most enjoyable are kayak tours that take you along the island’s picturesque coastline. For something less strenuous but more historic, you can also set sail aboard a four-masted windjammer schooner like the boats that plied these waters in the 19th century.