By Robert Earle Howells
ur national parks are not drive-in attractions. The show begins when we exit our vehicles and step, pedal or paddle into the beauty. What feels like an ordeal in the gym is a transcendent pleasure when surrounded by the most stunning splendors. And you have to be a guru to get in the groove. There are activities for every level of ambition. Take a leg-stretching stroll or bag a mountain peak, but by all means, go to the show.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK is home to Cadillac Mountain, which at 1,530 feet is the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
The twin lobes of Mount Desert Island comprise most of Acadia, but each aspect has its sea the quiet forests and the heights that overlook it all. Easy Way: Acadia is laced with 50-plus miles of smooth, crushedgranite paths that are to for easy bike rides around lakes and into the woods. A 6.3-mile ride around Eagle Lake is an ideal introduction to the interlocking network of carriage roads. Challenge: Beehive Trail provides great views of the park, but not for the timid. Part of the hike is so steep and exposed that it calls for assistance fom iron rungs drilled into the rock. For a more conventional challenge, hike to the top of both Acadia (681 feet) and St. Sauveur (679 feet) mountains on a 5.5-mile loop.
Acadia National Park, Maine // nps.gov/acad
June2009 deltaskymag.com July 2010 deltaskymag.com