To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, Candice and I spent last Thursday at Acadia National Park in Maine – with thousands of our newest friends – to enjoy this magnificent landscape (and the first national park east of the Mississippi River).
On a beautiful summer day, the park was brimming with people taking every form of transportation imaginable to access a part of Mt. Desert Island. We enjoyed the loop ride, and stopped along the way to see treats such as the magnificent views at Thunder Hole. It was fun to see young couple skipping from rock to rock while grandparents pulled out their lawn chairs and sat in the shade just to watch the endlessly fascinating waves break against the shore.
After a lunch in Seal Harbor, we headed up to Cadillac Mountain in the center of the park.
Cadillac Mountain, at 1,530 feet (466 meters), is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. It is one of over 20 mountains on Mount Desert Island (MDI), Maine that were pushed up by earth’s tectonic and volcanic forces millions of years ago. Were it not for the once enormous glaciers that sheared off their tops, they would be even higher than what we see today.
We also took the time to hike part of the 45 miles of carriage roads in the park. Acadia’s carriage roads…
…are the best example of broken-stone roads – a type of road commonly used at the turn of the 20th century – in America today. They are true roads, approximately 16 feet wide, constructed with methods that required much hand labor….
The gift of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and family, (the carriage roads) weave around the mountains and valleys of Acadia National Park. Rockefeller, a skilled horseman, wanted to travel on motor-free byways via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island. (The construction) efforts from 1913 to 1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape.
We had a wonderful day and were reminded – once again – of why our national parks are “America’s best idea!”
More to come…