Otter Cliff#9 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
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Another classic stop along the Park Loop Road, Otter Cliff is a giant 110-foot-high granite precipice with one of the most breathtaking ocean views on the East Coast. Be careful not to fall off the ledge as you burst through the spruce trees that cap the precipice. In the summer, you'll see adventurous rock climbers scrambling up the granite and whale pods spouting off the shore. In the fall, giant flocks of ducks gather here in the waves before migrating south for the winter.
Recent visitors said a stop here is a must for the views alone, but they also point out that Otter Cliff is much less crowded than some of the park's other top spots like Sand Beach. Travelers said the lack of crowds made their visit especially peaceful. Otter Cliff is accessible via Park Loop Road year-round and is located less than a mile south of Thunder Hole. If you're already at Sand Beach, you can take the Ocean Path all the way to Otter Cliff (and pass Thunder Hole along the way). You can also get here via the free Island Explorer shuttle (Route No. 3, Sand Beach/Blackwoods, stops here). If you decide to drive, you'll find a parking area across the road from the cliff. From there, you'll see granite steps leading to the cliffside.
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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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