*Stick around to the end of the post for a personal bit on what my absolute perfect day would look like*
If you haven’t already been bombarded by my photos from Acadia then no worries, you will get all that you wished for and more here. When going through photos from our trip I really had a hard time narrowing it down, so please excuse the influx of photos. Plus, with a place this beautiful each photo just seemed more stunning than the next. As cliche as it sounds, the photos don’t totally do it justice. They come close (if I do say so myself), but they don’t capture the crisp morning air or the breeze as you walk along the cliffs. They don’t capture the way that you can breathe easier and that the forests smell like the purest tree and fresh burning fire. And they don’t capture all of the little moments filled with so much love that we experienced on this trip.
It took Jon awhile to figure out why I loved photos so much. When we first started dating it annoyed him, and it still does to an extent. I mean, I really do take photos of a lot of things, and I do try to keep it within reason to ensure I still enjoy the actual moment. And I promise I do, our photos are usually an after-fact of the moments we have enjoyed.
But one day we were in the car…a long time ago…and Jon randomly expressed that he was starting to understand why photos meant so much to me. It is the closest you can get to capturing a moment in time and storing it. Savoring it and remembering the details of it. First of all, I am an incredibly visual person and just love beautiful sceneries and items. But secondly, I have lost people I love, and with losing those people I have lost memories. When I find an old photo it almost is as if someone has handed me back a memory that I would never have had the chance to get back.
So yes, I post a lot of photos. I love photography, I think it is just a beautiful form of art. I love the creativity of it, the expression. But, I also love my life and I want to remember it all to the best of my ability.
Anyways, now onto the trip 🙂 Acadia is one of the 59 National Parks in the U.S. And this trip has really now sparked our goal to visit every single park. Will keep you updated on that 🙂
- Check into Blackwoods Campground
- Set up campground
- Explore (walk to the Western Point Cliffs)
- Go to bed early for sunrise tomorrow
We stayed at Blackwood Campground in Acadia, as it was one of the only sites open right before the real season started (it is actually the only one open year round as well inside Acadia). Blackwoods is on the East side of the island and is located closer to a lot of the main points that you will want to visit. recommend having a reservation, as even when we went it seemed pretty packed. There are 3 total campgrounds actually INSIDE of Acadia, but we would probably just go back to this one considering how much we loved it. The bathrooms were clean, there was no electric hookup which is fine by us, and the sites are generally all were surrounded by beautiful pine trees so you don’t feel too on top of others.
I had a lot of worries about going to Acadia in mid-May but it was PERFECT. I’ve read a lot about how the weather can be a bit on and off, and we did meet a couple while we were there who said they hadn’t seen a May weekend that nice in years. So I am not completely sure I can tell you that May will be fine to visit Acadia, but we would do it again.
The first thing we do when we get to a campground is set up, just to get it out of the way. My mother bought Jon this tent for Christmas and while it can fit 4 people, it is really the perfect size to be roomy for two (also considering Jon is 6’4).
*We plan to go camping a lot more this summer, so I can also do a post about our gear and what we pack for the most efficient and healthy camping.*
If you’re staying in Blackwoods you can walk to some cliffs which would be known as Westen Point (get the national geographic map since it will have the most details on it including this) Basically just walk to the water in any direction of Acadia and you’ll hit amazing views.
After a little exploring and rock climbing, we came back to camp to get comfortable. Jon set up a fire and I got dinner ready. We are total foodies, so while we don’t want to compromise good food while camping, we do make it more simple. Especially as we are learning techniques for cooking over a fire as we build up our gear (check Pinterest for ideas!)
The first night we stuck with veggie dogs on whole wheat bread (we are on a budget people!) with mustard and some roasted veggies which turned our AMAZING! We had a grill basket (pictured below) that we sprayed with cooking spray and put the veggies in right over the fire and the texture was just too good. Add a little salt + pepper + some olive oil if you have it + you are set. I had cut veggies the night before to fill a Ziploc bag (which we actually ended up eating each night because I packed so much) Use whatever is in season or at your local farmers market! Some camp-sites come with a grill top however, we do bring an extra one just in case.
We made sure to call it early the first night because we were exhausted after a long day in the car, but we also had to get up early for the sunrise.
- Sunrise from Otter Cliffs
- Coffee in Bar Harbor
- Pack snacks (SaladPower + Bobo Bars!)
- Hike Dorr Mountain
- Jesup Trail
- Lobster rolls 🙂
- Dinner + Bonfire
If you visit Acadia, you basically are required to go see the sunrise. Cadilac Mountain is one of the first places to see the sunrise in the US. We woke up around 4:15 to get ourselves to Otter Cliff to watch it the first morning. If it is not foggy I HIGHLY recommend this, as we actually found it to be less crowded than Cadillac and more peaceful and intimate, with a better view. Another important to thing to note is to get there WAY before the “sunrise” time. The pre-colors are really the beautiful part. Especially if you are driving up to Cadillac Mountain. Leave 45-60 minutes before (I’m also anal, so I love to be early).
After the sunrise, we drove into Bar Harbor to grab a coffee (we haven’t gotten the whole camping instant coffee things down yet, work in progress). I highly recommend Choco-lattee for your morning brew, and it is just a quick ride from actually being inside Acadia.
We then headed to hike Door Mountain. The main problem you will find with Park Loop Road is that most of it is one way, so if you miss your stop you can’t turn around. This happened to us, but we pulled over at the next stop we could and grabbed that trail. The trails were marked really well all over Acadia.
We took the Strath Eden Trail to where it intersected with Hemlock. We then headed towards the nature center to get on the Jesup Trail. From there we took the trail by the nature center to the top. The only problem is that Acadia did change quite a few of their trail names, so they don’t all match to the map. I can’t 100% remember the trail, but I believe it was the Eden Trail that we took to the top. The thing about this trail is that it is STEEP. When you first get to it you notice that it is all stone steps, which makes it sound easier. But it is not. It took us about two hours straight up-hill to reach the summit. But the VIEWS, oh they are worth it.
Once we got to the top we opened our Bobo’s oat bars since we really needed some fuel! I love that these bars are vegan, gluten-free. They also have the right carbs and protein to sustain us for the second half of our hike. Plus they have SO many flavors to chose from, and we all know how much I value a good snack 🙂
I believe we then came down the Dorr Mountain North Ridge Trail and headed to finish the Jesup Trail in the opposite direction. This trail is a nice cool down as it is easy on your knees with the wooden planks.
Afterward, we were both plenty exhausted + headed back to camp for what is my favorite part of the day – the bonfire.
I posted on Instagram about what how I would want to spend my last day on earth and this came pretty close (read to the end to see the details!)
For dinner tonight we made some simple sweet potato black bean tacos:
- Corn tortilla (they won’t stick on the grill)
- Sweet potatoes
- Can black beans
- Salt, pepper, cumin
- Olive oil
- Fresh lime juice
- If you have: red onion, avocado, and cilantro would be great to add!
- Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain
- Drive Park Loop Road + make stops along the way
- Sand Beach
- Cadillac Cliffs + Otter Cliffs (cliff climbing)
- Little Hunters Beach
- Hike Jordan Pond Trail
- Bonfire + Dinner + Beer + Smore’s
Day three starts with a sunrise as well. I know, it’s early, but there is just no other way to start the day here. This morning we got up and headed to Cadillac Mountain, we left about 4:30 to see the “5”am sunrise. Next time we visit Acadia, I’d want to leave by 4am. The sunrise is SO much more beautiful before it actually rises. The thing about Cadillac Mountain is that it can get packed! It was fine when we were there, but it was not the intimate experience we had at yesterday’s sunrise. So I would make sure to do it both ways. It was really windy, so make sure to bring a blanket to sit on and bundle up. You can also stay in your pj’s as we did. (Perhaps make a hot drink to bring in a thermos, it can be really chilly up there)
Then we got ready for a day of exploring the Park Loop more and doing some climbing. Having the proper fuel is really important to me (plus I love snacking!) so we made sure to pack the car first + then headed on the road.
The campgrounds will give you a map, but as I mentioned, getting a more detailed one helps. We really used the National Geographic map to get us around the entire time in Acadia.
This was my first time wearing proper hiking boots, and seriously guys let me tell you – it makes SUCH a difference. These Solomon boots were SO light on my feet. I felt more stable to endure our long and steep hikes this entire trip.
We first stopped at Sand Beach. This is the only legitimate sand beach within the Park Loop of Acadia. Seriously is a must stop-mountains and beach in one?! We loved spending some time exploring here.
Next, we headed down the Loop More towards Cadillac Cliffs and Otter Cliffs. These cliffs consist of steep rocks that we spent probably a couple hours climbing (which is totally doable without climbing gear).
Next, we stopped at Little Hunters Beach which is made entirely of pebbles and tricky to walk on! The water here is incredibly clear. The great thing about this spot is that it isn’t one of the larger attractions. Because of this, we were the only ones here for awhile.
Then we headed to Jordan Pond which is glacial water, to do the Jordan Loop hike. While this hike is on flat terrain, it is three miles so it isn’t as quick/easy as it may sound. The hike starts on raised log platforms and then changes into some rocks/more flat terrain.
Then we headed back to camp for our last night of bonfires + dinner + beer
For our smore’s we used these dark chocolate Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. We wanted to make sure we didn’t go overboard on the treats. Having little packets makes it easier to stick to a serving size.
Before we headed out of Acadia the next day we hiked the cliffs a little more.
I could not recommend Acadia anymore…probably one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast…it was truly a magical trip.
READ ON FOR WHAT MY PERFECT DAY WOULD LOOK LIKE
I had a day that I told Jon would basically be exactly how I’d want to spend my last day here on earth (given the choice)
I woke up to the brisk fresh air around 4am , with my favorite person besides me stretching to wake up. When we get up early usually one of us is rallying while the other is struggling a little, this time it was Jon. He got me up + we got ourselves into the car in our pj’s + drove a couple moments through the forest to the most perfect spot on the cliffs overlooking the ocean to watch the sunrise . The pre-sunrise is what we call it because that’s when the most stunning colors form. The water was still and the breeze was cool.
Next, we ran into the quaint oceanside town and grabbed ourselves a cup of amazing coffee ️+ packed our lunches in our hiking bags + laced our hiking boots + grabbed our maps and were off for a day of exploring the trails. No GPS, just us figuring it out one step at a time.
We ventured up a steep mountain ⛰that truly pushed our physical abilities, but the views of the ocean + islands were worth it. We saw the most fluffy + huge dog on the way up (that part is important) that stopped to let us pet him. We paused plenty of times to feel the breeze of being up so high + the warm sun on our face. After the hike, we spent time in the car, with him driving + the windows down, + me directing with the map of where to go.
No cell connection. Just my best friend, me + some really good snacks.
After a long day of exploring + keeping our bodies active, we cane back to camp. He sets up the fire while I’m in charge of collecting twigs and getting the food ready. We crack open our respective beer + wine + cook a hearty but healthy meal together to nourish our bodies after a day of hard work. We sit down exhausted, but that kind of exhausted you only feel after being in the sun all day + pushing your body. The absolute best kind. The kind that fresh air cures. We sit by the fire while a fiddle plays some quiet Irish tunes in the background (not kidding, the next site over had this + it was a fairytale) we make some s’mores to nourish our souls and the marshmallows are cooked to a perfect golden brown. We go back and forth from talking about life to enjoying the silence of each other’s presence. All is peaceful.
In the version of this being the last day of my life, the only thing I would add is that we have our own dog on this adventure with us + that the rest of my family joins me at this part.
No worries in the world, truly + deeply peaceful… laughing and being able to truly breathe. I had this day + I will cherish it forever. My last day I wouldn’t need to do anything too crazy.
I want to enjoy what this world gives to us, but most importantly, to do it with those I love by my side. To sit back + know all is okay. I am blessed, I am loved + I am peaceful