Acadia National Park, ME

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

by and - last updated on 5/10/2024

We have visited Acadia National Park on several occasions, and prefer to stay in the Bar Harbor area due to it's scenic harbor and numerous accommodations & restaurants. Most of the imagery on this page came from a 2018 trip we made to Maine ( click here to view that page) with some additional imagery from a trip here in 2021 ( click here to view that page).

Interesting facts about Acadia National Park / Where is it?   Map

Travel Tile
  • The Park was Named After a Region of Greece
  • Acadia National Park was Founded by Private Citizens
  • Acadia National Park is Home to More Than 1,000 Plant Species
  • Acadia National Park's weather Can Change Rapidly
  • Acadia National Park contains 158 Miles of Hiking Trails
  • Conservation Easements Protect Over 25% of Park Land
  • The Park's Lands Are Home to the Wabanaki
  • Acadia Has Three Campgrounds and Five Lean-To Shelters
  • The Park's Curatorial Program Has Collected 1.4 Million Objects
  • 10,000 Acres of Acadia Caught Fire in 1947
Acadia National Park, Maine
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Acadia National Park, ME

Image # 1 (left side) is a view of Eagle Lake as our Acadia National Park tour bus made it's way up Cadillac Mountain.

Image # 2 (right side) is a view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, looking at the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. It was somewhat hazy that day, otherwise the view would have been amazing, due to our height.

Acadia National Park, Maine
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

Image # 1 (left side) is a view from the summit of Cadillac Mountain, looking down at Bar Harbor in the distance. The little island on the right is "Sutton Island" and the larger island to the left is "Little Cranberry Island".

Image # 2 (right side) is one of our "selfies" before re-boarding the Tour Bus.

Acadia National Park Geography
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

The coastline geography & composition varies, but in this area, it was all granite with cliffs. Image # 1 (left side) is the area just above Thunder Hole.

Image # 2 (right side) shows Thunder Hole and it's small cave, which has been carved out by the ocean waves. At certain tide levels, when the waves surge into the hole strongly, it makes a "booming noise" that acquired the name "Thunder Hole".

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Thunder Hole Cave

These images are a view of the cave & surrounding area, this was not a heavy surf day so the sound that the water makes as it slams into the cave was not present when we were there.

Thunder Hole Area Geography
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

This cove was just immediately north of the Thunder Hole, and you can see the granite cliffs. This was the dominant type of geography all along this coastline.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
What do you Think ?

While Celeste is taking pictures, my brother in law and I are comparing notes on the tour. We've come to an agreement that this area is not only amazing, but beautiful as well.

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Bar Harbor, ME

We had previously visited Bar Harbor in 2018, and felt as though we did not get enough of a visit on that first trip, and so we determined that one more visit would allow us to explore more of that area. Besides our desire to see more of Bar Harbor and the surrounding area, was a desire to sample the seafood that is found everywhere there.

Bar Harbor is situated on Mount Desert Island overlooking Frenchman’s Bay. The streets are lined with shops and restaurants overlooking the harbor. There is no shortage of seafood and all things blueberry. New Englanders love their ice cream and there are numerous ice cream shops. You can even find lobster ice cream which didn’t sound good to us at all but seems to be a popular choice.

Bar Harbor is essentially the gateway to Acadia National Park where you will find some key sites including Cadillac Mountain (the highest point on the eastern seaboard), Thunder Hole and Jordan Pond, complete with a restaurant serving, among other things, New England style popovers. In addition to these key tourist attractions the park contains numerous hiking trails, vistas of Maine’s famous rocky coastline and quaint scenic harbors.

NOTE: Image is the property of the Bar Harbor, ME Wiki page via Creative Commons.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

Youtube Video Link
Thunder Hole

This is a naturally formed inlet caused by the repeated erosion of ocean waves. At the end of the inlet is a small cavern. When crashing waves from the ocean travel down the inlet and into the cavern, air and water are forced out.

Click this image (left) to view our Video, or you could also click here to view this video on YouTube. Please note that our video does not contain the amazing "thunder wave sound" as the wave conditions have to be stronger in order to create the amazing sound one can hear there.

Click here to view a YouTube Search results list for "Thunder Hole Acadia National Park Sound".

Or click here to subscribe to our Youtube Channel.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

These images are of the harbor from Agamont Park, which is just at the end of Main Street and a block above the Harbor itself. Because the park is on a hill, there are no bad views of the harbor as you can see in these images.

The schooner in these pictures provides a tour of the harbor for those so inclined. I am not exactly sure of this ship's name, but it belongs to the Downeast Windjammer Tours company.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

We ate dinner at Stewman's Oceanfront Lobster Pound, which not only had lobster, but provides tables on a pier that sits out on the Harbor. Beautiful views !

Thunder Hole Beer Image Dinner here was very good; Celeste had a lobster roll, her brother had a clam roll and I had fish tacos. I had a locally brewed ale named "Thunder Hole Ale" which is one of the best ales I've had in a long time. The beer is made at the Atlantic Brewing Company (formerly known as "Bar Harbor Brewing") and they unfortunately do not ship this beer to Florida!

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

Image # 1 (left side) is a better view of Celeste's Lobster roll dinner at Stewman's Restaurant. All fresh lobster, sweet potato fries and cole slaw!

Image # 2 (right side): The view from Stewman's Restaurant pier was very good, which made our seafood taste just that much better. To wash down good food with the "Thunder Hole Ale" was a treat!

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

There are a number of restaurants in Bar Harbor that have "Lobster tanks", where you can purchase one to take home, or in some cases, select the one that you want to eat for dinner there. Here is a pic of a lobster, waiting for a customer to select it.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

The bus back to our motel departs from the Village Green area of Bar Harbor - a nice park in the middle of Bar Harbor. The Village Green is located in the heart of Bar Harbor just a 4-minute walk to the town's northern waterfront. The Village Green has free Wi-Fi and a helpful information center where you can learn about seasonal events and local festivities being held in the park and the town.

In the background of image #3, you can see the city buses queued up waiting for passengers. Buses are free to everyone! To put it more clearly, parking in Bar Harbor is not that good and taking the bus frees you from having to search for a parking spot!

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

Image # 1 (left side) is Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium in downtown Bar Harbor. We can testify as to the great fudge to be had here!

Image # 2 (right side) is a nice view of the harbor as we walked down Main Street, past Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
 
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Sand Beach in Acadia Park       Map
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Sand Beach sits between a rocky shore area and the mountains. It’s quite surprising to see a sand beach here rather than a rocky one. In fact, the beach reminded us of Makena beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui which is also located between a rocky shoreline and the mountains. Great head trail is a trail that you can take to climb above the beach and capture some beautiful views.

Sand Beach is also where you can pick up the Ocean Path trail which follows the coastline over to the Thunder Hole area. Since Terry was still recovering from his hip replacement surgery and the Arethusa Falls trail hike we didn’t walk the entire 1.7 mile trail but we were able to park at various areas along the road which is a one way loop around the park. We arrived later in the afternoon which seemed to be a good choice as we were able to snag parking spots fairly easily.

NOTE: Parking is limited here and what there is gets used quickly on nice days. If you plan to go here, you should go early in the day, or all the parking will be occupied. The Park Service does not allow parking except for designated parking lots and specific road side areas, other areas are blocked by large stones.

There are restrooms adjacent to the main parking lot. Bear in mind that parking is limited here, and you will not find a parking spot on a nice day unless you get here early.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife

Sand Beach Acadia National Park: You can see by the elevation changes of these pictures that we trekked across the Great Head Trail.

 More Info for Sand Beach, ME 
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Schoodic Peninsula, ME       Map

Schoodic point is also part of Acadia National Park but is located on Schoodic Peninsula. It’s only just over 4 miles from Bar Harbor as the crow flies but it is 45.4 miles by car. Since it was very crowded in Acadia in early August when we were there, we decided that exploring Schoodic point would be a good alternative. The rock formations and views of the coastline did not disappoint us. We meandered for well over an hour taking in the sites. It is a great spot for a picnic. There aren’t many places to stop for a bite so bringing a picnic lunch might be your best choice.

Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
Must-See Carriage Roads, Bar Harbor & Wildlife
 
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