Acadia is a mystical land where rocky, windswept mountains run into an azure sea. A long time playground for the nation's elite, Acadia has become one of our country's most treasured National Parks. Located primarily on Mount Desert Island, Acadia is the crown jewel of New England.
In the late 1800’s, many of the nation’s wealthiest people built their summer homes on this beautiful stretch of coastal Maine. Later, through their philanthropy, Mount Desert Island would be preserved as one of the world’s greatest natural treasures.
Today the park consists of more than 47,000 acres of pristine forests, mountains, lakes, meadows and coastline. With that amount of diversity, photo opportunities in this natural preserve abound. A photographer can aim her camera in any direction and find a worthy subject.
Boasting the reputation as the first place to see the sunrise in the United States, the summit of Cadillac Mountain is the pinnacle of this island treasure. On a summer’s day, one can watch the sunrise over Downeast Maine, while listening to white throated sparrows herald the coming of a new day. As the sun rises, it burns off fog over Frenchman’s Bay, revealing an island studded paradise.
After a blueberry pancake breakfast at Jordan’s Restaurant in nearby Bar Harbor, follow the Park Loop Road to many of the island’s most remarkable destinations. Thunder Hole, Eagle Lake, Sand Beach, and Otter Cliffs are all fantastic places for an early morning adventure. Try to get there before 9AM to visit these popular natural wonders in perfect solitude.
Take advantage of the nearly sixty miles of beautiful carriage roads that lace throughout the park. For twenty seven years, John D. Rockefeller Jr. built these outstanding roads to connect the island’s best destinations while preserving the use of horse drawn carriages. These roads are perfect for a hike, bike ride or for taking a leisurely carriage ride from Wildwood Stables.
After a picnic lunch at Schooner Head, set sail on board the Margaret Todd for an afternoon cruise among the Porcupine Islands. This exhilarating experience will provide numerous photo opportunities and memories for a lifetime.
Once your feet are solidly on land again, head to the Jordan Pond House for an early dinner. Here you can dine like the elite land owners of the gilded age while enjoying the splendid view of the Bubbles over Jordan Pond. They have the best fish chowder anywhere and their complimentary popovers are outstanding.
Finish your day by driving to Bass Harbor Light on the quiet Western side of the island. This tranquil setting is perfect for watching the sunset while listening to waves crash against the pink granite rock of Mount Desert Island. The ringing bells of the nearby buoys will mesmerize you, providing a peaceful soundtrack for the end of a perfect day.
This Month’s Tip: Join a photo workshop to visit outstanding locations while improving your skills. This fall, I will lead a workshop to Acadia National Park in conjunction with John Galluzzo and the Massachusetts Audubon Society. For more information, visit my blog at http://blog.greglessardphotography.com/ or call 781-837-9400 for an itinerary.
Greg Lessard is a professional photographer. To view more of his photographs and past articles, visit his website at GregLessardPhotography.com