One of the main reasons we stayed in Bangor, Maine this past fall was the town’s proximity to Acadia National Park just a short drive away. As a national park junkie, Acadia represents the north-eastern most pilgrimage along a rocky coastline of pointed firs and lighthouses.

Acadian carriage road fall colors

Remember to look up

Bright red autumn collage in Bar Harbor, Maine

Colors everywhere you turn!

For me personally, Acadia has stood as an elusive, unattainable beacon for many years. My first visit in 2010 saw a two day deluge of torrential rain which only allowed me to view the soggy paradise from the interior of my vehicle. In 2013, I once more journeyed to the far reaches of Bar Harbor, only to be turned away by brazen signs declaring the government’s untimely shut down, restricting my access once again.

Mount Desert and Bar Harbor fall scenery

The views around Bar Harbor

This season, I was determined to finally explore the park in all its red and golden glory. Despite being in Maine for the better part of two months, we saved Acadia till our very last week before heading south for the winter. The result was nothing less than perfect.

Acadia national park carriage road color change

Wandering the carriage roads

Our first morning was blanketed in a heavy fog that didn’t lift until the afternoon, allowing for fantastic photo opportunities with a surreal and eerie tone.

Foggy spiderweb and lake photos

Fantastic foggy morning scenes

Over the next few days, we walked on paths dappled with golden light and climbed craggy rocks to lighthouses bathed in pink by the setting sun.

morning sunlight through the trees in Bar Harbor

Glorious filtered morning light

field of wildflowers near Acadia national park

Golden fields at sunset

Our time in Acadia culminated in a biking adventure along Vanderbilt’s famous carriage roads. The roads are closed to cars and allow only pedestrians and cyclists along their winding, well-planned paths.

Acadia national park carriage road bike ride

Hazen’s carriage ride on the carriage roads!

We set out a couple hours before sunset and reached our destination just as the last light was ebbing from the day. I photographed the carriage road bridge in near darkness and then we set our sights on the harrowing, pitch-black return trip to the car!

night time photography acadia national park carriage road bridge

Still got a great view long after sunset thanks to the tripod!

This was, by far, my favorite day in the park because the carriage roads allow their travelers to escape the noise of the highways and peacefully discover the real spirit of Acadia.

moonrise over acadia national park with fall colors

View from the highest point of our carriage road ride

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *