a POND  -  a POINT  -  a PATH


Anyone that knows us (especially me, Betsy) knows I am always looking for free things to do! So spending the summer next to a National Park has been perfect for us, as one of America’s beautiful playgrounds is right next door! While visiting the park is not exactly free, as they do charge a nominal fee for entry, it still is pretty cheap. In actuality it is FREE for us as our National Parks Pass was a Christmas gift to us this year! Thanks again, Mom & Dad! Once we were in the park, it is full of fantastic free escapades. 

With a day off for both Russ and I, we were hoping to check out one of the more unique Rockefeller bridges, so we headed toward the Jordan Stream Path from the parking spot we scored in the Jordan Pond House lot. We followed the carriage roads south toward signpost 24 where the Cobblestone Bridge can be found. This bridge is the oldest of the Rockefeller’s carriage-road bridges being built in 1917. Happy 100th birthday Mr. Bridge! It is unique in that it is the only bridge to be made completely of cobblestones, all the future bridges were constructed from cut pieces of granite. While typically we would have explored the carriage roads and bridges via bike, since this bridge is located just outside of the National Park, bikes are not permitted in this area. Bypassing the carriage road, we followed the Jordan Stream Path on the way down to the bridge.

Before long, we arrived at the impressive feat of engineering and creativity for some photos. Once we had soaked in its beauty, we headed back toward the car on the carriage road that parallels the Jordan Stream Path. If you visit Acadia National Park, make sure to check out at least a few of the 16 beautifully executed bridges which were all constructed from local granite. They each have unique design features that portray the artistic flair of their designers. 

Our day of exploring was still young, so we headed to another part of the park we had not yet checked out - Schooner Head. Many times Russ had traveled Schooner Head Road for work, but he had not had a chance to stop and enjoy the views. As we parked at the Schooner Head Overlook, we hopped on a trail to walk out toward the cliffs jutting straight up from the ocean. The part of the island called Schooner Head is actually privately owned so you can find several large homes (like the one in the picture below) strategically placed on the coastline. Think they would rent us just the “porch” of this home. I’m fairly certain we would be quite comfortable there for the summer. So while that home is sitting on private property, the Schooner Head Overlook is part of the National Park that looks back at the land called Schooner Head. 

One of my co-workers, Steph, had told me about a place where their was an ancient sea cave in Acadia National Park called Anemone Cave. After doing some more research, I found that Schooner Head is exactly its location. Unfortunately I didn’t do my research soon enough, as we had already visited when I learned about its location. Anemone Cave used to be one of the gems of the National Park, but after having many people slip on the wet granite rocks, people not paying attention to the tides, and too many feet trudging through an area with much sea life, the Park Service decided to remove it from maps and take down signs leading people there. So while I’m sure we would have loved to explore this secret little area, our bums and foreheads were glad we didn’t know about the cave and end up slipping on slimy seaweed and landing square on the aforementioned body parts! If you do decide to explore the cave, be careful and try not to disturb the delicate sealife. Also, send pictures as we missed this one this time around!

After spending countless hours at work overlooking a map of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park, I have noticed just about every trail on the map at some point. One of those trails was the Jesup Path. Add that to the fact that it was featured in a recent addition of Acadia Weekly, I knew we needed to check it out. This was no hike, rather just a leisurely stroll along a gravel path through Great Meadow turning into a boardwalk traversing through the white birch forest and wetlands. Being so close to downtown Bar Harbor, we were shameful to say it took us four months to find this peaceful & easy trail.

We started along Park Loop Road and ended up at the Sieur de Monts Entrance to Acadia which allowed us to walk through the Wild Gardens of Acadia and visit the Nature Center. The Nature Center is filled with informative displays, a topographical map of Acadia National Park, and a knowledgable park ranger to guide you along the way. The Wild Gardens of Acadia provided us with the snapshot of the typical habitats found on Mount Desert Island with over 300 native plants. If you are visiting, you may also want to check out the Sieur de Monts Spring House (under construction during our visit) and the Abbe Museum (already closed of the season).

So while we were a little bit of here, there, and everyone on another day of of exploring, it is proof again that often the best things in life are free! And Mom if you are still reading - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We had fun celebrating YOU today in Acadia National Park

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