The Park Loop Road - a must for any visitor!
Funded by Rockefeller, construction began on the 27 mile scenic Park Loop Road in 1922 and continued on into the 1950’s. The road circles the island’s summit, Cadillac Mountain and is open from the time when all snow has melted in the spring and closes at first snowfall (usually mid-April to December). At an elevation of 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is a premier location for Sunrise and Sunset (photos here were taken either from our inn or from Cadillac Mountain at sunrise or sunset and are not color enhanced). Regardless of the season, it is almost always windy at the summit, so head up prepared. The majority of visitors drive to the summit where there is ample parking. Cadillac is the only peak with an auto road to its summit.
Stops along the Park Loop Road:
Sand Beach – This little gem on the south eastern part of Mount Desert Island is just 290 yards long, but affords visitors and locals the chance to sink their toes in the sand and sunbathe under the gorgeous summer sun. Did we mention that the water temperature rarely tops 55 degrees?
Thunder Hole – This stop along the way is an area carved out of the rocks over time by the surf that makes a thundering sound and splashing waves when the tide is coming in. Two hours before high tide experience Thunder Hole at its peak!
Otter Cliff – Just beyond Thunder Hole are the 110 foot high Otter Cliffs, one of the highest coastal headlands north of Rio de Janeiro.
The Ocean Path – This 3 mile path begins at the Sand Beach parking lot and meanders north along the coast and ends at Otter Cliff.
Also along the Park Loop Road, you will find numerous detailed stone bridges built by Rockefeller, as well as lookout points where visitors can park and stop to take in the incredible views.
Looking for a great lunch stop along the Park Loop Road? Be sure to stop at the Jordan Pond House. Dating back to the late 1800’s, Jordan Pond offers a traditional Afternoon Tea and Hot Popovers. Or savor their famous Lobster Chowder, one of their many items on the lunch or dinner menu. Visitors can dine on their lawn at wooden tables facing Jordan Pond. Reservations are recommended.
Jordan Pond (photo at right) is the island’s deepest lake at 150 feet, followed by Long Pond at 113 feet and Eagle Lake at 110 feet. The other 19 lakes and ponds range in depth from 5 feet to 66 feet.
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Take a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride along Acadia's Carriage Roads built by Rockefeller. Various tours from Wildwood Stables, reservations 207-276-3622
Along Route 102A, just south of Southwest Harbor is an area along the coast named Seawall, that has a fabulous display of a natural seawall (photo at right) along its winding stone beach. It's a great place to stop for a picnic or to view the colorful tidepools (photo at right). Time your visit at low tide for the best colors.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse
Bass Head Light is located at the southern tip of the island 4 miles south of Southwest Harbor located on Route 102A. The grounds are open to the public and parking is free and is open all year 9 a.m. to sunset. The lighthouse was built in 1858 and automated in 1974 and is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Tremont Historical Society conducts occasional tours of the lighthouse. For more information call the society at 207-244-9753. Climb down onto the pink granite rocks to enjoy a picnic lunch with a view of the open ocean and the smell of the salty sea air.