Bar Harbor, ME Day 12 Cadillac Drive and Park Loop Road

July 7, 2023 We set the alarm for 7:00 so we could make our reservation time for 10:00 to drive up Cadillac Mountain. You have to have a reservation so that you are guaranteed a parking space when you reach the top. Randy was the first to try out our airbed on the bus last night and gave it the thumbs up. The morning was warmer at 74 and slightly foggy, but the fog burned off quickly with the sunshine. We ate breakfast, did our usual morning routine, and Auggie got his walk. We made lunch to take with us and Mary and John picked us up shortly after 9:00 to make the drive into the park. I rode with Mary and John. Randy and Bob drove the Jeep. The plan was to take the Jeep and leave it in the park Visitor Center parking lot. Then after our ride up Cadillac Mountain, we would return to the Jeep and Randy, Bob, and I would drive the Park Loop Road so Randy could see some of the highlights of the park. All 5 of us headed to the vehicle reservation area of Cadillac Mountain to check in at 10:00. It was an easy check-in and we were on our way. The Cadillac Mountain Summit Road is a 3-mile drive with scenery pullouts to the 1,530 ft. summit of the highest peak in Acadia. Our first pullout was to view Eagle Lake. The skies were clear providing us a nice view.

It wasn’t long before we reached the summit and found a parking place. The top of Cadillac Mountain is covered in pink granite boulders.

We walked the paths among the boulders to get a closer view of some of the smaller islands shrouded in fog way off in the distance.

The view in any direction was amazing.

I noticed this granite rock with a face. Can you see it? Think side view.

We walked along the upper edge to see more beautiful views of the surrounding area. We stepped near the edge to get this picture.

Walking along the top edge to look in the other direction, we could see the town of Bar Harbor and the cruise ship that had arrived in port today.

We could also see Sheep, Burnt, and Long Porcupine Islands in a row.

We saw Bald Porcupine Island with a breakwater wall extending from it.

There were lifeboats leaving and returning to the cruise ship with passengers after visiting Bar Harbor.

Off in the distance, we could see that schooner cruising around the smaller islands.

The longer we stood there, the clearer the view seemed to get, but white clouds of fog hung on one side of the islands while Long Porcupine Island’s “fog cloud” seemed to roll over the top of it.

After we soaked up the view for quite awhile, we made the slow return to the parking lot at the top where John was waiting for us.

We started our drive down the mountain, making a couple of stops at the pullout areas where we could get a nice view of town and the harbor.

We were down in no time and back to the Visitor Center by 11:30. Mary and John dropped us off and Bob, Randy, and I got into the Jeep and started on the Park Loop Road.

Our first stop was Sand Beach. We were lucky again to find a parking space even closer than last time. From the parking lot, we could see people on the top of The Beehive (522 ft.).

Boy, what a difference a day makes. With sunshine and warmer temps, the beach was packed with people catching some rays, playing on the rocks, and even getting in the 55 degree frigid water.

The wind was blowing inshore bringing in some great waves. We stood on the beach taking it all in.

We could see a lobsterman working the waters off the beach.

It was cool enough in the wind that we could have used our jackets at the beach. From there, we continued our drive along Park Loop Road to Thunder Hole. We found a parking space easily and began to head for Thunder Hole, only to find out that we had parked in a parking lot much further away and had to walk farther to get to Thunder Hole. The path followed along the shoreline high above the water, but we had some great views from there.

At Thunder Hole, we quickly discovered that the tide was in and the waves were coming in at a different angle, so there was no thunder action in Thunder Hole. Bummer!

At least we could see waves crashing over the nearby rocks.

We continued on the Park Loop Road to Otter Point. We stopped along the side of the road with a view of Otter Point to eat the bag lunch we brought along.

That cool bridge that messed with our perception the other day, looked different today with the high tide.

As the road took us around the bay, we caught sight of this pretty sailboat entering the area.

We continued on Park Loop Road to Seal Harbor–a quaint little town. We drove along the shoreline to check out all the boats in the harbor. There were lots of them!

We noticed the harbor shuttle was taking people out to their boats. It was a beautiful day to go boating.

We drove back to the campground on Highway 3 which took us through the interior of the park. We got back around 2:30 to relax outside with Auggie after he spent a great deal of time alone today. We made plans for our last two days in the Bar Harbor area. Tomorrow we’ll spend in town since there will be no cruise ships in the harbor visiting the city. Randy wants to visit “The Bar” and I want to walk along the Shore Trail. Mary wants to pick up that buoy she’s been looking for. Sunday we rented another bike for Randy so we could do some biking in the park on the Carriage Roads. We picked up Mary for dinner at 5:00 to go to the Downeast Lobster Pound.

John’s not really into lobster, so he stayed home and cooked dinner for himself. The restaurant was only 6 miles away and it wasn’t very busy at this time of day. Standing outside the restaurant was Larry the Lobster.

We all ordered the Lobster dinner with corn on the cob for $13.99. Randy added a cup of clam chowder. We all enjoyed our dinners after learning how to crack open the shells. It was messy business, but very tasty!

When we got back, I took Auggie for his evening walk. We watched some TV and relaxed after a busy, fun-filled day.

2 thoughts on “Bar Harbor, ME Day 12 Cadillac Drive and Park Loop Road”

  1. Glad the weather cooperated for some beautiful views from Cadillac. Such a great and varied National Park. The cruise ships really flood BH…everyone is happy when it leaves (except for the T shirt shop owners).


      That is so true. Bob checked the city’s website and found out that the cruise ships were to arrive in BH on Friday and Sunday, so we avoided Friday in town and tomorrow we’ll spend time in the park. We have finally gotten a week of better weather. It may not be sunny everyday, but at least we’ve had no rain and the fog has burned off early. My brother claims that he brought the good weather with him.

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