Acadia National Park Day 3- A Hiking We Shall Go

Day 3 in Acadia National Park we headed back to the Park Loop Road for some more hiking. We left the campground around 9 am and stopped at Town Hill Market to pick up wraps and sandwiches for a picnic lunch for later in the day. Then we hopped on the Park Loop Road and parked at Sand Beach. From the parking lot we crossed over the Park Loop Road and got on the trail head for the Beehive & Bowl Trails. From there we followed the Gorham Mountain Trail. The views were outstanding. We really enjoyed this hike. The dogs really enjoyed taking a break at the top of the mountain and cooling off under a bush while we enjoyed the views.

We continued down Gorham Mountain Trail and picked up the path on Ocean Drive. This is a nice level path that we took back to our truck at Sand Beach. We did stop a few times on the way back. We couldn't resist another stop at Thunder Hole.

When we got back to the truck we devoured our lunches. That hike was intense and we needed to fuel ourselves back up!!! So much for the picnic lunch. Instead we parked the truck by Hunters Beach and enjoyed the air conditioning in the truck to cool us down.  But I can't complain about the views.

We headed over to the quieter side of the park and we stopped at Echo Lake for a swim. My jaw dropped when I saw the huge mountain cliffs along side the lake. It was magnificent! I however didn't get a picture!!!! My husband snapped a quick picture of the boys while I took the dogs for a little walk. SIDE NOTE: dogs are not allowed on Sand Beach or Echo Lake. When I handed off the dogs to my husband to take back to the car I enjoyed relaxing on the beach and watching the boys swim. It was so pretty and I can't believe the only picture we have is from my husbands cell phone! I must go back and get better pictures next time!

After the lake we drove to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. I didn't have high expectations for this stop. I knew everyone was pretty exhausted at this point, but the boys LOVED it at Bass Harbor. They loved climbing on all the rocks. I think it was a nice break from hiking, but they still had the fun of climbing on huge rocks! I loved hearing the bell of the buoys out in the water and watching the sailboats go by. I really was a great spot to sit back and relax and take in the beauty of the island.

I am so glad we stopped here. They boys later in the trip on the way back home noticed a map at the rest stop and saw the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse picture on the cover and they were so excited that they knew that place! It is very iconic and I'm glad we went.

We headed back to the Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA after that and enjoyed a relaxing night at the campground with a campfire and beautiful sunset.



Acadia National Park Day 2- Aboard the Starfish Enterprise with Diver Ed

Day 2 of our camping trip in Acadia National Park in Maine started with a relaxing morning playing in the tidal pools, then we went on the Starfish Enterprise with Underwater Super Hero Diver Ed and we finished the day at our campsite watching the sunset. In case you missed my first post we were staying at Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA and more specifically site #255, which we loved.

Our boys had made friends with several other kids at the campground and they spent the morning playing on the rocks and looking for sea creatures.

At noon we headed to the College of the Atlantic where we boarded the Starfish Enterprise for an exciting adventure with Diver Ed and his crew. It was a two hour extravaganza for the whole family. We saw, learned, touched and laughed! We learned all about the sea creatures that live in Bar Harbor and also we learned about the Harbor itself. Diver Ed is quite the character and is extremely entertaining.

I was excited to take a boat ride around Bar Harbor and the views were breathtaking. The first part of the trip Diver Ed's gets suited up in his dive gear and heads to the bottom of the ocean. He has a microphone on so he reports all of his findings over the intercom. Then is wife Captain Evil tells us more about the things Diver Ed is looking for and she tells us stories about how Diver Ed sees sharks, seals and other things during his dives. After Diver Ed collects enough sea creatures he brings them back up to the surface where they are loaded onto the boat. Then he dives back down with a camera system and he takes videos of what he is seeing and we get to watch as he and Mini-Ed, in our case Mini-Ed #172, see the creatures at the bottom. Mini-Ed is helpful to let us see the actual size of the things that Diver Ed is filming.... but unfortunately for the Mini-Eds many of them don't return home.... hence Mini-Ed #172.

Then when Diver Ed returns to the surface with the additional creatures he has gathered while filming he brings that back to the surface. They are sorted in tanks of pinchy things and non-pinchy things. Everyone gets to hold all the creatures and learn even more about them from Diver Ed before they are safely all returned back to the ocean at the end of the trip.

Side note we waited at the Museum and got to take a tour before we got on the boat. I've never seen so much purple sea glass in my life!

As a special treat we got to see a lobster that was shedding it's shell. It was very fascinating.

It was such a fun adventure even for my youngest son who claims to not like going on boats. He wasn't trilled about the idea of going on a boat and asked a million questions about what it was going to be like. But he warmed up to the boat and had a great time! It is hard to not have a fun time around Diver Ed. I was so glad we went on this educational / entertaining trip. We learned so much and it really enriched our whole experience of being in Bar Harbor Maine.

After the boat ride we headed back to the campground where my husband got a lobster dinner and we relaxed by the campfire and watched the sunset.