3. Summiting the Jewel of New England, Acadia National Park
Widely-known for breathtaking scenery and seaside appeal, Maine's Mount Desert Island is the second largest island on the eastern seaboard. It's also home to charmingly nautical Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, a natural treasure that stuns with dramatic cliffs, rocky beaches, and granite peaks.
The elevation hike to Gorham Mountain wows with colorful wildflower blooms and rewards with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and Cranberry Islands, as well as Otter Point and Sand Beach within the park. Learn from a naturalist throughout your hikes, and at the summit, breathe in the delightful salty air and savor the panoramic payoff. On the way down, sample wild Maine blueberries that grow along the trail and dream of the expert-led lobster-eating class you’ll attend that evening.
The well-traveled South Ridge Trail, while more strenuous, is worth the effort for breathtaking seascape views atop Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the east coast. Ascend through a lush forest of white birch, spruce, and pitch pine trees before vegetation clears and pink granite dominates. From the summit, the views of the Porcupine Islands, Eagle Lake, and Bar Harbor are simply spectacular. You'll be eager to tell your friends when you return home.
Road Scholar Recommends: Hiking in Acadia National Park
Explore our entire collection of educational National Park tours to plan an active hiking adventure through the U.S. National Park system.
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About the Author
Hailing from London, England, Alexander Morris studied at The School of Oriental and African Studies in his home city. He began his Road Scholar journey 13 years ago designing small programs in the Midwest, learning a great deal about North America in the course of managing and developing unique programming. In his current position as the Director of Strategy and Program Development, his broader International perspective and knowledge is invaluable as he oversees new Road Scholar programming across the globe. Alex espouses the value of an occasional sabbatical to recharge creative batteries, spending four months sailing the Greek Islands prior to joining Road Scholar and more recently spending a year in Costa Rica.