I am very blessed to live in Maine where the mountains and oceans converge. Hiking, camping, canoeing, swimming, biking – you name it and you can probably find me doing it in the summer. It’s all this that makes living in Maine so special!
Most weekends in the spring, summer and fall I grab my backpack, throw in a couple of granola bars, some water and some sunscreen and head to Acadia National Park. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places on earth.
Most people visit Acadia in June, July and August each year. Others choose to visit in October when the leaves turn the park into a breathtaking view in every direction. I, too, like to visit at these times, but my favorite time is late April and early May.
I recently read that Acadia was the ninth most visited National Park in 2015 with over 2,800,000 visitors. However, in April and early May, it is almost like you can have Acadia to yourself. Maybe I really should not be writing this blog entry at all. Maybe I will give away a great secret, but I need to share how wonderful it is.
As I drive a little over an hour from my house to the park, I debate with myself where I should hike that day. Typically, I hike by myself, so this is an internal conversation which garners plenty of debate. Do I walk across sand beach and do the short hike of the Great Head Trail or do I hike the Beehive and get a great view of everything? Do I do a nice leisurely hike like Gorham Mountain or do I climb to the summit of Cadillac Mountain? Do I travel the boardwalk around Jordan Pond and view the Bubbles or do I do Penobscot and Sargent? Tough decisions – now you know why I must go nearly every weekend.
Let’s get back to why April and May are the best times at the park. You can drive into nearly any parking lot and easily find a parking space. My very favorite thing to do is drive the Park Loop Road about an hour before sunset. I will find a parking place, grab a jacket, and go sit on the rocks and just look out in awe of the beauty that is before me. There have been many times when I have looked up and down the rocky coastline and not seen a single person. Not one person or one car! I think to myself how blessed I am. I am sitting on the rocky coast of one of the country’s most popular National Parks and I have it all to myself.
As sit there, all by myself, with just my camera, I think how can I capture this moment? As often as I try, I can rarely do it justice. It is just far too perfect. If you have this chance, I encourage you to do the same. I can almost guarantee you that you will never forget that moment. I sit there for hours on end by myself and wish that time would stop.
I encourage you to find your closest national park and enjoy,