A FEW THINGS TO DO IN ACADIA FOR KIDS

(big ones, too)

1

Climb to Bubble Rock (Balancing Rock)

This is a short hike on the North end of Jordan Pond with one of the best views on the island. Kids love the huge balancing rock on the top of one of the Bubble Mountains. You can see it from the road that passes the east side of Jordan Pond. Look for the sign for the parking area.

2

Take a bike ride around Witch Hole
(#3 in pocket guide.)

Very flat, about 3.5 miles. Start at Duck Brook Bridge. This is the best of Rockefellerís stone bridges with turrets, etc. You can park at the bridge, but space is limited. Even if you donít bike the loop, take a look at the bridge.

3

Climb Beehive the easy way

Park in the Sand Beach parking lot. The trail starts across the road from the parking lot. When the trail forks the first time keep to the left. The right-hand trail goes up the rock face-not for little kids. After the first left, keep to the right on future branches. This offers a great view of Sand Beach and the ocean.

4

Hike the Jordan Stream carriage loop
( #5 in pocket guide)

Park in the Jordan Pond House main parking lot if there is room. You will see the pillars at the Carriage road entrance. Refer to the little Carriage Road book. There lots of little wood bridges over a little stream that kids love. The last I knew, bikes are not allowed on this portion of the Carriage Roads. (easy walking-about 1 mile)

5

Visit Thunder Hole-

On the Park Loop Road, best when the tide is coming in and high waves.

6

Walk up the path to Thuya Gardens/ Asticou Terraces

Take RTE 3 south to Northeast Harbor- path is on right, parking on left (sign) The path has "lookouts" overlooking Northeast Harbor. The gardens at the top are famous throughout the U.S. and were originally done by a landscape architect who lived in the cottage there. He left it all to the town of Northest Harbor. The cottage is open to the public and has some neat things just the way it was when he died. ( There is a voluntary donation box to visit the gardens)

7

Visit the Visitorís Center in Hullís Cove

if it is a rainy day- Watch the "Gift of Acadia". The center also has a number of books and guide literature, including the little Carriage Road book.

8

Bike any of the carriage roads listed in the little book.

Pay attention to the elevation changes listed. I donít recommend real high elevation changes like the Giant Slide if you are taking kids.

 

 

The Eagle Lake Loop (about 6 miles, # 1 in pocket guide)) has extra hard packed gravel and they donít allow horses. Do it clockwise, and there is a long downhill stretch for the last 2 miles. You feel like you are shooting through a tunnel.

 

 

At the box-end of the amphitheatre canyon (see pocket guide) is a 200í curved stone bridge in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

The Around Mountain loop (#12) is the best bike ride in the carriage road system, but I donít recommend it for kids. Start at the Jordan Pond entrance, and then go clockwise. There is a lot of uphill pedaling over the first half, but there are several neat stone bridges to stop and look at while you rest. The last half is almost all downhill.

9

Hike the Great Head Trail

It starts on the far end of Sand Beach. This made the Downeast magazine list of the 5 top hiking trails in Acadia.

10

Take a Carriage ride up Day Mountain.

The Stables are on the road that passes by the Jordan Pond House right at the end of the one-way section of the park loop road. The Sunset ride is nice. (Cost is moderately expensive) You can call for reservations and prices from the hotel.

11

Drive to Southwest harbor and hike up Flying Mountain.

This is a very short hike with spectacular views of Somes Sound.

 

 

 

 

"Must Doís":

 

 

Park Loop Road

The kids couldnít climb on every rock if they had a year. On the one-way (scenic) section, parking is allowed in the right-hand lane anywhere unless signs say no. Donít gawk too much while driving, it is not unusual to find flatlanders parked in the left lane. Make sure you get out of the car and walk around at least a few of the more dramatic places.

 

Mt. Cadillac Summit

Check it out at Sunrise, you will be surprised how many hardy souls turn out for the view.

 

Jordan Pond House

Try afternoon "tea and popovers" overlooking the pond on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House like the Rockerfellers and Pulitzers and Campbells used to do. (You can substitute other beverages, the 2 hot popovers come with a big bowl of homemade strawberry jam and real butter). If the weather is bad, you can sit inside with a view of Jordan Pond and a fireplace.

 

Notes:

Donít forget to take raincoats. Thunder Hole and the surf are at their best in a windy storm. Here's the Weather Forecast for the Bar Harbor Area.

 

Dining Out:

The Cottage Street Deli makes great box lunches if you plan to be in the Park at lunch.
Kids like "Freddies" restaurant on Cottage Street for the decor (antique toys, etc).
Jordans Restaurant is the popular place for breakfast.
Try the West Street Cafe for reasonable seafood.
Mama Dimatteoís has reasonable Italian food.
Try "Two Cats" on Cottage Street for a great breakfast.
There are a number of much more elegant (and expensive) restaurants to choose from if you want

 

Other Links:

http://www.nps.gov/acad/ Official Site

http://www.nps.gov/acad/maps/ismaprot.gif Basic Map of the Park

http://www.nps.gov/acad/maps/crummap.gif Basic Map with Bike Path Details

http://www.acadia.national-park.com/

http://www.acadia.net/anp/

http://www.acadianationalpark.com/

http://www.gorp.com/gorp/resource/US_National_Park/me_acadi.HTM

     
     
     

(Regards to Robert R. Whiting for this compilation)