Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Avoid the Crowds in Bar Harbor and Acadia

Here a list of ten great ways to beat the crowds in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.

1. Visit on the "shoulder season" June or September are much less crowded then July and August.

2. Get Up Early - Locals on the island get up at the crack of dawn, while most tourist like to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast. If you get to Sand Beach, Echo Lake or the popular trail heads before 10 am you should have no trouble finding parking.

3. Avoid rush hour on the bridge. Never try to leave the island between 4:30 and 5:30 when Hinkley Boat, Jackson Labs and other employers are letting loose their employees - many who can't afford or simply don't live on the island.

4. Skip dinner. Around 5 most places are really empty as everyone heads back to Bar Harbor for dinner. Perfect time to enjoy a hike when its cooler and the lighting is at its best!

5. Explore the less traveled paths. 90% of visitors are at 10% of the locations. Take a less well known path and you'll find amazingly fewer people. For every over populated spot like Cadillac MT. you'll discover peaceful trails with very few people.

6. Visit the Quietside of the island. Southwest Harbor is much quieter then Bar Harbor and Tremont is even quieter than Southwest Harbor.

7. Visit Schoonic Point. Very few people visit this part of Acadia National Park.

8. Take a boat trip. Get out on the water and see the park from a different perspective. Lots of small boat trips are available. You can even take a trip out to some of the outer islands were very few people live.

9. Go Deep. Take a longer hike and you'll leave the crowds behind. Most visitors only venture a few feet from their car. You'll find fewer people the farther you head from the parking lots.

10. Take the Free Buses. Let someone else do the driving and parking. Just sit back and enjoy the free ride on the Island Explorer propane fueled buses!

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