Schoodic Point#4 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
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As the only portion of Acadia National Park that's actually located on the mainland, Schoodic Point isn't as easily accessible as some of the park's other major attractions. But that's precisely why recent travelers found this area so special. Much like Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Point is composed of a craggy shoreline, granite headlands and spruce-fir forests. But unlike the island, its removed location lends a feeling of secluded intimacy.
Located about an hour's drive northeast from Bar Harbor, Schoodic Point is perhaps best known for the crashing surf that explodes against its rocks. When you're not admiring the waves, look to the west for incredible views of Cadillac Mountain. Most visitors park themselves in beach chairs to take in the nature show, but there are plenty of other things to do here as well. There are seven hiking trails; the Schoodic Head Trail, Anvil Trail and East Trail lead hikers through spruce-fir forests to pine woodlands at the top of Schoodic Head. The less-strenuous Alder Trail guides visitors through a shrubland, while leisurely Sundew Trail brings them along the coast to the Schoodic Education and Research Center. If your legs need a break from all the climbing, take a seat at the Frazer Point picnic area. It offers tables, fire rings, water fountains, restrooms and a dock.
Recent travelers highly recommended making time in your itinerary for a stop at Schoodic Point, citing the unruly waves, the rock climbing and the gorgeous views as major reasons for a visit. If you don't have your own set of wheels, you can get here via ferry, which travels between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor in the summer. The Island Explorer shuttle offers rides from the ferry terminal to the Schoodic section of the park via route 8, and also offers service to Prospect Harbor and Winter Harbor.
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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. Whether you hike up the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail or drive up the 3 1/2-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.
For the ultimate vistas, set your alarm clock and try to catch a sunrise here. Cadillac Mountain is the first point of the United States to greet the rising sun's rays from early October to early March, and visitors assure it is a spectacular sight to see. While recent travelers said a trip to Acadia isn't complete without a stop at Cadillac Mountain, they also cautioned the area gets crowded, even in the early morning hours (some reported arriving two hours before sunrise). If you're visiting during the winter months, you'll have to hike 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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