Randy chose to spend his 50th birthday in Acadia National Park, not far from where we own land in Maine, about as far east as you can get in New England.
Acadia is one of the most beautiful places on the East coast, and one of only a handful of American National Parks not located in the Western half of the country. With my Acadian ancestry, and a family that comes from the state of Maine, this is a really special place to me.
Acadia National Park is mostly located on Mount Desert Island, where you will visit the Hulls Cove Visitor Center or the Thompson Island Visitor Center. Other park areas are located on Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut.
One of the highlights of a visit to this park is climbing or driving up Cadillac Mountain. Mount Desert Island has many lakes, ponds and harbors, but then the pink granite mountains climb through a spruce-fir, aspen, pine, birch, and oak forest to the summit at 1,530 feet. A fire in 1947 burned 10,000 acres of spruce-fir, replacing it with birch, aspen, and oak.
Samuel Champlain discovered the Island in 1604, calling it Isle des Monts Deserts (French for Mount Desert Island). Bar Harbor, the biggest town on the island, is also a big attraction. The granite was exposed by glacial activity generations ago.
The park was designated in 1919; the first east of the Mississippi River after it was the Sieur de Monts National Monument from 1916 to 1919.