Thursday, March 8, 2007

Thunder Hole

"The highlight of the Ocean Drive Trail was Thunder Hole, a crevice where the surging ocean crashes against the rocks and makes a booming noise. The best time to see and hear Thunder Hole is at mid-tide when the sea is rising."


Acadia with all of its beautiful scenery is not as dramatic as the National Parks in the western United States. There is no Grand Canyon, or huge mountain, or faithful geyser. Our mountains are smooth, grinded down miles thick ice and we don't have the geological features of say Yellowstone or even the water worn sandstone natural sculptures of a Arches National Park. Yes, we have our incredible rugged coastline but Acadia really doesn't have those singular features like a giant redwood that you can walk through -- thus Thunder Hole unfortunately has to bear the brunt of such responsibilitly.

It's unfortunate because as much as Thunder Hole is a very interesting feature, it often does not live up to the hype so to speak. I visit Thunder Hole through out the year (it's accessible by car even in the winter) and have seen it at its most dramatic - water shooting up 15 feet over the top of the highest rocks during a tropical depression off the coast - to its most minimal gurgling at low tide.

But tourists have limited time and are going to stop at Thunder Hole when they happen to be driving buy so poor Thunder Hole is under a lot of pressure to perform. Its not Thunder Hole's fault that people have put so much pressure on it to be the Old Faithful of Acadia!

So if you visit Thunder Hole and are disappointed, realise that it is you who failed Thunder Hole by not visiting at the right time and right conditions and keep your expectations low - Thunder Hole just might surprise you and put on a great show. Or not.


"Thunder Hole is the place in Acadia National Park to experience the thunder of the sea against the rocky shores of Maine! On calm days you may wonder what the fuss is all about. But wait until the waves kick up a few notches. Thunder Hole is a small inlet, naturally carved out of the rocks, where the waves roll into. At the end of this inlet, down low, is a small cavern where, when the rush of the wave arrives, air and water is forced out like a clap of distant thunder. Water may spout as high as 40 feet with a thunderous roar! Hence the name: Thunder Hole. "

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