Back to Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor, Maine

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Sweet Baboo and I just returned last week from a one week vacation in Acadia National Park. This was our third trip to Acadia and even though the weather wasn’t as nice as it had been the previous two years, it was still a wonderful place to visit yet again. A nice thing about going back to the same place a few times, is the sense of familiarity that you get. You know where you want to go, what you want to do, how to get there easily. For instance…..

We stopped at the visitor’s center on Rt 3 a few miles before  Bar Harbor. We picked up a few brochures that would tell us what was happening in the park, then got back into our car, looked at each other and said “let’s take the Loop Road“, which is a private road within the park that skirts Bar Harbor and winds around the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. Now, Bar Harbor is a nice little town but the traffic can be brutal, plus there are a lot of very distracted people crossing the roads without looking in any direction, let alone left or right. Because we’d been there before, we knew a  shortcut and we could stay away from all of that.   Bar Harbor is extremely easy to navigate, but you can’t drive fast and you have to be extra vigilant.

We have stayed all three times at Blackwoods Campground, which is one of two campgrounds in Acadia National Park, the other one being Seawall Campground.  Blackwoods is right on Rt 3 five miles south of Bar Harbor, while Seawall is on the other side of the island near Bass Harbor. Blackwoods is just a tad primitive, in that you aren’t able to take showers in the campgrounds.  There are privately run coin operated showers in a building just outside  the campground that is easy enough to get to and cost $2.00 for four minutes.  With a little forethought and planning however, four minutes can be more than enough time.

There are two loops of campsites within Blackwoods, Loop A and Loop B. We have only camped on Loop B and although we haven’t had any problems being to close to other sites, we  have found that there are parts of the campground where you are rather close to your neighbors.  However, the staff is very accommodating and if you don’t like the site that they assign to you, they will usually work with you to give you one more to your liking.  While I’m blathering here, I’d like to encourage anybody that is planning to camp at Blackwoods that you can make your reservations six months in advance. If you want to camp in July, be sure to make your reservations in January because they fill up fast.

There is an amphitheater in the park (but very uncomfortable seating, do yourself a favor and be sure to bring your lawn or beach chair) where the park rangers present different programs just about every night at 8:30 or 8:45.  There is a white board sign near the office that will list any programs for that day, plus the weather report and high and low tides.  The Junior Ranger program is very popular with the kids — there are park ranger run programs that the kids have to attend and a  workbook that has activities for the kiddos to do. When the workbook is complete and reviewed by a ranger, they will get a patch.

As stewards of the park, there is a carry in carry out rule that you will need to follow — whatever you bring in, take it back out with you and dispose of it properly.  Because of this rule, the park is extremely clean and neat.  Additionally, they request that you not remove anything from the park as souvenirs– no leaves, rocks, shells, plants, wood — if it’s in the park, it needs to stay in the park.  However, a ranger did tell me that it’s okay to eat any blueberries that you might find on a trail.

More later, but this is a start!! I have lots of pictures and more to say about this magical piece of Maine!!

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