Looking past cairns to Eagle Lake from Blue Hill Overlook (on the road up to Cadillac Mountain)
After lunch we got back on the road for the three-and-a-half hour haul to Bar Harbor. It is much prettier to cruise up Route 1, but we would be coming back that way and were too excited to dally. We made good time on I-95 and pulled on to Mount Desert Island around 4PM. Mount Desert Island is home to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, the second largest island on the Eastern Coast of the United States behind New York’s Long Island. Only about eleven thousand year-round residents populate Mout Desert’s 108 square miles, but the space gets filled by several million tourists who drop by each year, mainly in the summer.
It was a beautifully sunny day, so I suggested we forego checking in to our hotel and make a bee-line for Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island.
At 1,530 feet above sea level, this is the highest point on the east coast of the US and for part of the year the first place where the sun’s rays strike America each day. That makes getting up to the top for sunrise a big deal here, but the funny thing is that Cadillac only claims this right during fall and winter when the sun climbs up almost due east of the peak (i.e., when most folks aren’t at the top to catch it). That’s trivia though, because the views are spectacular from Cadillac and on a clear day you can glimpse both Nova Scotia and Mount Katahdin from the summit.
Viewing the Porcupines and Bar Harbor from the summit of Cadillac Mountain.
I’ve hiked to the top of Cadillac three different ways and there are a few more, but another facet of this attraction is a road that takes you to the top. There’s even a gift and snack shop, so it can be very convenient if you desire an easy ascent.
We cruised on up, which I guess is apropos --- the name Cadillac originated from a French opportunist who didn’t succeed here and eventually moved inland to found the city of Detroit --- he is the source for both the name of the mountain and the name of the car!
Spencer checks out some essential moose headgear in Bar Harbor
It was a fairly clear day, somewhat rare for Cadillac, and we savored our views and strolled around for a bit (my daughter enduring tales of past hikes) before driving into town to check in at Bar Harbor Manor. Then we hoofed into town for a very nice dinner at Parkside Restaurant, taking advantage of their upper deck seating that puts you in tree tops in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor. After dinner we toured what I call “trinket & trash” shops, which Spencer enjoyed, and then back to the hotel. The return tour was off to a grand beginning.
Bar Harbor Hotels & Accommodations review
Bar Harbor Manor
This is a good lodging choice for Bar Harbor, though I miss its former incarnation as the Higgins Holiday Hotel. I probably stayed here a dozen times… read entire review
Bar Harbor Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Lobster Ice Cream!
There are many special treats available at this sweet shop in the heart of down town Bar Harbor. They are located on Main where it intersects with Co… read entire review