Black Canyon of the Gunnison
As you can see, I don't rank Acadia very high. I wasn't that impressed. Granted, I went at the busiest time of the year, didn't camp in the park (because it was all full!), and didn't do what the park is supposedly famous for--the carriage rides. But we spent two days there, and saw the most popular sites. And I'm still trying to figure out why it's considered a national park.
Maybe our trip to Acadia was tainted by the campground we ended up in. In Acadia, there are two campgrounds--one for reservations (which were booked months ago) and one for first-come-first served. We arrived at the park in the early afternoon (after driving through construction and ridiculous amounts of commercialism), and found out that even if we had arrived at 6 AM, we still wouldn't have gotten a spot at the first-come-first-served campground. So we then proceeded to drive around the island, trying to find vacancy at one of the private campgrounds near the park, but even they were full. So we ended up at the only one available--a KOA. I HATE KOA's!! And this one didn't help my opinion of them.
At this particular KOA you have two options for tent camping--right on top of your neighbors in some woods for a pricey stay, or out on the grass with more space, butted up to some woods for a cheaper price. We chose the latter, and even that was $30 a night (which is almost absurd for camping). They didn't tell us until after we arrived at our paid site that we were located right next to a leaching field. (Google defines a leaching field as this: "A level bed of crushed stone just below the surface of the ground into which effluent from a septic tank is distributed through perforated pipes or open chambers in order that the effluent will be absorbed by the soil below"). Needless to say, it stunk. And combine that with the biting ants (NE version of fire ants from the south), and we did not have a happy stay. But at least we stayed away from the campground for most of the time we were there.
Despite all that, we had fun and I'm glad we went. Here are some pictures of what we saw:
At the peak of Cadillac Mountain. Supposedly the highest point on the Eastern seaboard:
At Sand Beach. (What a creative name!) This place was ridiculously crowded.
Thunder Hole: just like it sounds. The waves come in and pound into this hole in the rocks, and it sounds and feels like thunder. The kids (especially Waimea) loved it here:
Jordan Pond Nature Trail. The trail description said to look out for "The Bubbles." We were envisioning something happening in the water to create bubbles, so we were looking all over the water looking for them. It turns out that they were the two hump-looking mountains in the background (which we had dubbed "The Boobies."):
Here we are looking for The Bubbles. Instead of bubbles, though, we found two interesting things: Waimea and Evan found a frog sitting on a rock, staring at them. And Brooke and Spencer found a leech sucking out the blood of a fish. Yes, it was quite disgusting:
Admiring the pond and the Boobie Bubbles:
Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. We sat here watching boats for awhile, listening to the waves. The kids loved it:
My words of advice if you want to visit Acadia--go in the early summer and make reservations.