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Desert Island

29 August 2014

Trip Report: 29 August–1 September 2014

What better way to spend an extended weekend trip than on Desert Island? Now that we have been on this trip, we could have easily spent a full week on the island with plenty of activities.

That will be a report from a later trip.

Blackwood Campground

This is one of three campgrounds inside Acadia National Park. It provides easy access to the scenic Park Loop, Bar Harbor, coast, & carriage roads.

After driving for five hours from Boston, we arrived at our home for the weekend:


Location: 44.306185°N, 68.206287°W

A short walk from our camp site, we could reach the rocky coast:


Location: 44.306248°N, 68.200945°W

Bicycle Carriage Roads to Bar Harbor

Weather was good. After the long drive, we were ready to get moving on the bicycles. We started on the Park Loop with continuous views of the Atlantic Ocean:


Location: 44.306150°N, 68.200827°W

Some sections of the road were very close to the water over steep cliffs:


Location: 44.297318°N, 68.215068°W

Just as we reached the bridge near Wildwood Stables, we found a narrow path to carriage roads. We kept a sharp right on a gradual uphill slope:


Location: 44.324407°N, 68.232073°W

These carriage roads have a level crushed stone surface suitable for most bicycle tires, except very narrow racing ones such as 23mm & 25mm.

Bubble Pond offered a place for break from the bicycle to snack, skip rocks, & play with water:


Location: 44.341155°N, 68.239643°W

We continued our bicycle ride toward Bar Harbor mostly on carriage roads without any car traffic, rarely interesting with paved roads:


Location: 44.377398°N, 68.253212°W

We exited carriage roads near Witch Hole Pond to Duck Brook Road on a fast descent to Bar Harbor for dinner & free shuttle back to Blackwood Campground.

Bicycle Carriage Roads near Jordan Pond

First order of business was to get pop-overs at Jordan Pond House restaurant. They were indeed as good as their preceding reputation.

We made our way out of the restaurant with a quick stop at the nearby dam:


Location: 44.321713°N, 68.254712°W

The road started at a gentle slope uphill with Jordan Pond on one side:


Location: 44.333710°N, 68.260957°W

On the other side was a steep pile of boulders:


Location: 44.333723°N, 68.260972°W

We took several more breaks along the way as the road continued to climb, stopping to chase crickets:


Location: 44.352332°N, 68.276482°W

The road climbed even more exposing better views of the park:


Location: 44.352677°N, 68.278560°W

Just when we thought we reached the top of the hill, the boys wanted to climb some more, off the bicycle this time, on rocks:


Location: 44.317622°N, 68.271563°W

From there, it was a continuous downhill slope, mostly, all the way back to Jordan Pond.

Sand Beach

On our way back from Jordan Pond, we stopped briefly to play with the waves at Sand Beach. We wanted to take advantage of the sunny weather since the forecast for next days was to be gloomy & rainy:


Location: 44.328957°N, 68.183000°W

We returned the next day for a hike around Great Head under cloudy sky facing strong wind:


Location: 44.325913°N, 68.178762°W

The hike took us by colorful rock & tide pools:


Location: 44.325385°N, 68.178275°W

The boys looked for crabs:


Location: 44.325337°N, 68.178240°W

With plenty of views of the Atlantic Ocean:


Location: 44.326212°N, 68.177473°W

As we finished the loop, we ate snack on a ledge overlooking Sand Beach:


Location: 44.328978°N, 68.179628°W

Ocean Trail

Still no rain. In fact, we could see some blue patches in the sky between clouds. So we decided to take another short hike on Ocean Trail:


Location: 44.324015°N, 68.186458°W

We were now exhausted & ready for lunch:


Location: 44.320638°N, 68.188700°W

In the afternoon, we met our friend Michael for a walk around Bar Harbor shops, stop at the beach, & indulge at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream:


Location: 44.391150°N, 68.203288°W

Bar Island

Luckily, the road had mostly a downward slope from Blackwood campground back to Bar Harbor. The car was out of gas, running on fumes. We coasted all the way back, arriving at the gas station by gravity power.

We timed our arrival at low tide to hike the ocean floor to Bar Island:


Location: 44.392795°N, 68.209328°W

Soon, the fog cleared to reveal beautiful Bar Harbor for our last day on Desert Island:


Location: 44.394013°N, 68.210838°W

Resources

  • An Outdoor Family Guide to Acadia National Park by Lisa Gollin Evans
  • Explorer’s Guide: Maine Coast & Islands by Nancy English & Christina Tree
  • Acadia National Park information & map
  • Island Explorer free shuttle bus around the island
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