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“The best way out is always through.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Greg Hartford's Acadia Magic

If you've been thinking of taking a summer vacation in New England but haven't decided on a destination yet, let me be the first to suggest a visit to Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Acadia was the first first national park east of the Mississippi and it's really the crown jewel of wild New England places. The park includes a 27-mile scenic drive that provides some of the most spectacular, rugged and pristine ocean views anywhere on the planet. From sandy beaches to sheer granite cliffs, this park is amazing and the drive will provide a front-row seat to all of this beauty.

One of the nice things about the drive is that there are lots of places to pull over so that you can get out and explore and take pictures to your heart's content. You can really travel at your own pace--even when it's relatively crowded (and it is pretty busy in summer, trust me). If you want to leave the crowds behind, however, there are also 45 miles of "Carriage" roads that are open to bikers and hikers, as well as another 115 miles of hiking trails. The vehicle fee to get into the park is just $20/week--a bargain.

Photographer Greg Hartford has produced a wonderful site about the park called AcadiaMagic and it's the perfect place to start planning your trip. Greg is a lifelong resident of Maine and has spent much of his photo career capturing amazing photos of Acadia. Greg's photos are just beautiful and they'll give you a great appreciation for the beauty of Acadia. In addition to all of the stunning photography, Greg has also put together an extremely informative site for travelers--easily the most comprehensive site about Acadia on the web. There is a ton of information on dining, lodging, shopping and sightseeing.

If Greg's photos don't inspire you to want to visit Acadia, nothing will. I'm not sure if he gives private photo tours or not, but you might want to ask him--contact info is on the site. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hartford. Copyright 2013 Greg Hartford)