You won’t just can’t tell where time flies at The Acadia National Park (Hancock / Knox counties, Maine). To give you a brief history, it started out as Lafayette National Park (the first one on the eastern side of Missisippi river) in 1919 and went on to reserve Mount Desert Island and nearby areas like the Isle au Haut, sections of Baker Island and a part of the Schoodic Peninsula. The ‘Wabanakis’ were its first inhabitants and in 1929, it was renamed Acadia.
The park has it all, mountains, the ocean, woodlands, lakes. Somes Sound is known as the “only fjord on the East Coast”. The park is spread over 47,000 acres and attracts about 2 million visitors every year. You’ll be one amongst 40 different species of mammals when you’re here, sharing the habitat with red and gray squirrels, moose, beavers porcupines, muskrats, coyote, chipmunks, black bears, white-tailed deer, bobcats, foxes and a whole host of aquatic life.
Cadillac Mountain here gets its name from a French explorer and lies to the east commanding the best view of the island, ocean, lakes and pine forests from its lush peak replete with lichens. If you stand on its pink granite at dawn you’re likely to be the first in the US to witness sunrise!
Acadia sure has stood the test of time (having survived a massive forest fire back in 1947 when ten thousand acres of this sprawling reserve went ablaze) to remain a major tourist attraction and is all poised to celebrate its hundredth anniversary in 2016 with a National Park Service project aimed at promoting voluntary multimodal access to the park for generations to come. The whole idea of the project is to encourage exploration on foot and by bicycle. You’ll also have shuttle and tour buses to take you around. And for those who’d like to use a car there are private automobile as well as commercial ones. There’s inter-modal up to 6 km north and historic carriage roads which run for miles, lined by what are called “Rockefeller’s teeth” will go through a face lift. Don’t miss the World’s best lobster at Maine.
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