If you read the last Maine recap, you’ll recall my first day in Acadia National Park was cool and overcast. My second day was a complete 180 — an unseasonably warm 65 degrees, and not a cloud in the sky. Lucky that I had planned my first ever solo summit hike for this day, and not the day before!
I started the day very early with a drive over to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, which is technically a part of Acadia National Park, though not within the section with the loop road (it’s about a half hour away). It was fun to get out and explore more of the area, where I took the above picture of a cool dock (I’m assuming the tide comes in very high and this dock would then serve a purpose?)
Good thing it was low tide. As you can see, this angle of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is only accessible during low tide. The lighthouse is built right on the edge of a cliff, so you pretty much need to be in the ocean to see it properly. Navigating the rocks was not an easy task, but luckily there were a few other people there who pointed me towards the best route.
(I have no idea how that dog managed to get out there with it’s owner, but I’m proud of him.)
After the lighthouse I explored the area a little bit, taking a different route back. I found this idyllic little scene near a lobster hut (sadly closed for the season) (also it was barely breakfast time so it’s not like they would’ve been open anyway).
The light was starting to get pretty harsh at this point as it approached 10am, but I had to get a stop in at the picturesque little bridge in Somesville before finally getting some breakfast.
I forgot to mention in my last post, but Jordan’s is a MUST for breakfast in Bar Habor. I’m pretty sure I went every morning I was there. Treat yourself to the blueberry pancakes (made with wild Maine blueberries, of course) and you won’t be disappointed.
A note on solo dining: I know this is a lot of people’s biggest fear when traveling by themselves, because eating alone has this weird cultural stigma. But it really comes in handy at a place like Jordan’s, where most people are arriving in parties of 4 or more, but YOU dear solo traveler will be sat instantly as a party of one. Bring a book, and stop worrying about what other people think.
Full of delicious pancakes, it was time to conquer MY biggest solo traveler fear: hiking alone. (127 Hours was traumatizing.)
I had already decided to do the Gorham Mountain hike, because it was under 2 miles round trip with a great view from the summit. I was really lucky to get a parking spot in the small lot at the trailhead. The lot was packed, and yet I weirdly only saw a few groups on the hike itself.
I had read that a lot of people make the mistake of stopping at the mountain’s false summit (this is actually where I ran into the most people), so I knew to keep following the cairns until I made it to the very top.
While this was a pretty easy hike (for my skill level, at least), I was really proud of myself for getting over my fear of hiking alone. (For the record, I would probably only do moderately short hikes like this on my own. Too many variables to contend with on longer ones–especially in areas with no cell reception.)
By the way, in case you’re thinking of doing Gorham, the trail itself continues on past the summit to connect with the Bee Hive trail, which is a much more difficult hike. Just be aware of this, so you don’t accidentally continue on.
After Gorham I wanted to go back to Jordan Pond and walk the loop trail. Full disclosure: it took way longer than I was expecting, and with having done Gorham earlier my legs started protesting long before I got back to my car. It’s not a terribly interesting trail, but you do get some cool views of The Bubbles, and the foliage was gorgeous. The warm weather really made this one worthwhile despite the pain.
Sunset was shaping up to be a lovely one, so I knew I wanted to end my last day in Acadia back at Blue Hill. Since I still had some time, I drove to the Cadillac Mountain summit first to take in the easterly view.
While I never managed to drag myself out of bed early enough to catch sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, I can imagine it’s beautiful. During the first half of the year, Cadillac Mountain is actually the first point in the US to see sunrise.
With the sun setting and the wind picking up, it was getting pretty darn freezing up there. But I was determined to enjoy another sunset. I planted myself on Blue Hill with a book and 45 mins to go. By the time the sun started setting in earnest, I was an ice cube. But a happy ice cube, because look at that light!
I had only one more stop on my schedule this day. Can you guess what it was?
That’s right, a lobster roll from Bar Harbor Lobster Company. Perfect end to an excellent day.
Day 1 and 2: Portland, Rockland, and Cadillac Mountain
Day 3: Acadia National Park