Acadia National Park

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, October 15, 2011

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I went to Acadia National Park today.  I wanted to start with a visit to the Visitor Center but to get there I needed to go nearly completely around the loop road and out another road that goes north from the loop road.  I headed that direction but I made a few stops on the 45-minute or so drive there.

The majority of Acadia National Park is on Mount Desert Island although there are a couple other pieces of it elsewhere.  Mount Desert Island is the sixth largest island in the contiguous U.S. and the second largest island in the east behind Long Island.  The park makes up a bit less than half of the island.  There are a number of towns on the remainder of the island, the largest being Bar Harbor.

The idea of the park dates back to 1901 when George B. Dorr was disturbed by the growing development of the Bar Harbor area.  He started the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, a corporation whose sole purpose was to preserve land for the perpetual use of the public.  The corporation acquired 6,000 acres by 1913 and offered the land to the federal government.  In 1916 President Wilson announced the creation of Sieur de Monts National Monument from this land.  Dorr continued to acquire property and pushed for national park status.  In 1919 President Wilson signed the act establishing Lafayette National Park, the first national park east of the Mississippi.  Dorr became the first park superintendent.  The name was changed to Acadia National Park in 1929.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. also donated large tracts of land to the park.  He also constructed approximately 50 miles of carriage roads around the eastern half of the island.  Most of these roads are now within the park and are only open to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, horse-drawn carriages and cross-country skiers.

As well as stopping at the Visitor Center I stopped at some of the attractions along the loop road - Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Otter Point.  By then it was getting near sunset so I headed for the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse.

Since it was a fall weekend the park was full of photographers and it was a zoo near the lighthouse.  I stayed for a while but it was obvious that it wasn't going to be a great sunset so I left before sunset and headed back to my room in Bar Harbor.
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