Jordan Pond#3 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
Price & Hours
Both the Jordan Pond Nature Trail (an easy stroll through the evergreens) and the Jordan Pond Shore Trail (a more difficult trek along the rocky coast) spill out to the picturesque and pleasant respite that is Jordan Pond. Pick your poison (or trail) and at the end, you'll find crystal-clear waters that mirror the surrounding mountains. The nearby Jordan Pond House Restaurant serves soups, lobster rolls and its signature popovers and tea.
Recent travelers were equally impressed with the restaurant's menu as they were with the spectacular scenery. However, visitors warned that the restaurant can get very crowded around lunchtime, especially in the summer. If you don't want to wait long for a table, try getting to the restaurant early (reviewers rave about the afternoon tea). If you can time your hike accordingly, you can also make reservations by calling the restaurant. And when you're ready to move on, the Perpendicular Trail, as well as a handful of other paths, start in the area. If you'd rather drive here than hike, the restaurant has its own parking lot, but space is limited. You can access the parking lot from Park Loop Road. You can also arrive via the Island Explorer shuttle (Route No. 5 stops here).
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#1 Cadillac Mountain
Standing about 1,530 feet in height, Cadillac Mountain wins a lot of superlatives. Not only is it the tallest mountain in the park, but it's the tallest mountain on the North Atlantic seaboard and the first point of the United States to greet the rising sun's rays from Oct. 6 to March 7. Whether you hike up the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail or drive up the 3.5-mile narrow access road, go early. As the only attraction in the park that can be reached by car, Cadillac tends to draw crowds. If you do arrive by car, you should drive slowly, especially as the roadside cliffs get steep. Along the road, you'll find several small observation areas: take advantage of those before you reach the top, where the crowds and tour buses congregate.
Recent travelers said a trip to Acadia isn't complete without a stop at Cadillac Mountain, but caution the area gets crowded, especially on the weekends. For the ultimate vistas, set your alarm clock and try to catch a sunrise here; visitors assure it is a spectacular sight to see. If you're visiting during the winter months, you'll have to take the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail; the park closes down the access road for the winter season. Pack blankets and hold on to your hats, too, as it gets chillier as you ascend.
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