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Last August, my family and another embarked on a trip to Bar Harbor, ME. If you haven't been there, you should add it to your list of places to see. Acadia National Park is breathtaking. There is plenty to do all over the area, from learning about the Lobster trade at the Oceanarium, to watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain (the first place in the continental US the sun hits), to visiting one of the many Brew Pubs for the local ware's and fine food.

There is ferry access to Nova Scotia (though we didn't go this time around) and a whole slew of RV parks.

We elected to stay at the Bar Harbor KOA, and while somewhat sardine like, it was not as tight as some of the other parks we looked at, it had a really nice playground for the kids, and had a wonderful location. Both our friends and my wife and I would stay there again.

There is a free shuttle bus the runs on Mt. Desert Island that makes stops at most of the campgrounds, the visitors center for the Nat'l Park, and downtown Bar Harbor.

Though I wouldn't recommend swimming in the Atlantic at this latitude there is a sand beach in the park, which was drawing quite a crowd the day we went. Also of interest is "Thunder Hole", and hundreds of hiking trails, as well as miles of "Carriage Roads" throughout the park, on which no motorized vehicles are permitted.

This year we are headed to Upstate NY and Ontario with the same friends to visit the 1000 Islands region. I will let you all know how that one works out.
 

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We were in Bar Harbor in August of last year. My parents came out with their class c and we drove up together. The whole island is just beautiful. We had a steamed lobster dinner on the "quiet side" of the island sitting right over the water, very nice. A lot of great trails to walk or ride, next time I will bring my bike. I agree swimming that far north in the atlantic is a little chilly although there were a lot of people in the water, my feet hurt and went numb after a couple of minutes!
 

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We make the trek to Mt Desert Island (pronounced 'Dessert') every year. A lot of people like to confuse the entire island with Bar Harbor, which is but one [touristy] town on the island. If you like hiking, biking (road, trail, or mountain), canoeing, kayaking, the sea, or just taking it easy, this is the place for you.

We usually stay at a small campground in Town Hill (which is technically on the outskirts of Bar Harbor) called "Spruce Valley CG". It is probably the least "sardine-like" CG on the island. If you stay in the field (with a larger camper, you probably will) beware there are red ants. If you have a dog, this will certainly cause problems. Since we spend so little time at the actual CG when we are vacationing up there, it is not a huge problem to us. Oh yeah, almost forgot, they have a large population of rabbits now (the population rises & falls over the years, last year they drove our dog nuts).

I am not sure of the actual length of carriage paths for hiking/biking/horseback riding, but there's about 50 miles of biking trail and another 20 available for hiking/horseback riding. The rides back into the woods just cannot be described in words or even pictures (take a hike up the bubbles to the NE of Jordan pond to get the idea). We usually spend at least one day biking the trails and resting at the Jordan Pond house (the 1/2 way mark).

If you look at the typical "Bar Harbor" information sites/books/etc you will wind up missing the best half of the island. Certainly the Eastern side has Acadia National Park, the second most visited National Park in America, but the western side has miles upon miles of hiking trails, freshwater beaches, canoeing, etc. If you want a quick hike with an awesome view, check out the Beech Cliffs, you drive forever and take about a 1/2 mile hike to the top of the cliffs with incredible views.

Cadillac Mountain (in Acadia) has trails to the top as well as an auto road. If you feel fit, bike UP the mountain (about 1/2 strenuous climb) then reward yourself with a really cool ride DOWN the mountain!! Cadillac mountain is also the best place to go to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July (just show up at least an hour before sunset if you want a parking spot or a place to sit, seriously. Also expect a 1 - 1 1/2 hour trip back down the mountain in traffic).

My wife & I have kept a notebook of all the campgrounds that we've stayed at over the past 12 years. At some point we will have to go open that thing up and share some of the experiences.

Last year we had the worst week weather-wise on the island. It rained all but one day (we went biking that day). It was very cold (50's). Even with the poor weather we still had a great time.

I can pretty much guarantee that you will have an AWESOME time if you truly enjoy the outdoors. Don't worry too much about the CG, on the island, the CG serves as a place to park your vehicle while you sleep.

(Oh yeah, and we are not favoring Mt Desert Island simply because we are from Maine!!)

-=Glen=-
 

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Ah, but you missed the newest part of Acadia. On the other side of the bay is Winter Harbor. Up until recently it was a Navy Communication Squadron. When it was still Navy in 1993, my family camped there for a day or two. It is beautiful and there are virtually no tourists. You can climb around those huge rocks on the ME coast. Really neat. A couple years ago, the Navy closed it's facility and turned it over to Acadia NP. We didn't know about the transition until we stopped by for a visit last summer. It was sad to find out that the Navy had turned it over, but that's the way life goes. I think the Navy facilites are now used for NP conferences and training.
 

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vdub said:
Ah, but you missed the newest part of Acadia. On the other side of the bay is Winter Harbor. Up until recently it was a Navy Communication Squadron. When it was still Navy in 1993, my family camped there for a day or two. It is beautiful and there are virtually no tourists. You can climb around those huge rocks on the ME coast. Really neat. A couple years ago, the Navy closed it's facility and turned it over to Acadia NP. We didn't know about the transition until we stopped by for a visit last summer. It was sad to find out that the Navy had turned it over, but that's the way life goes. I think the Navy facilites are now used for NP conferences and training.
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You speak the truth, and I left that out so no one else would know!! It is a great place to bring the bikes and take on the loop. There's a short hike to a hill with a bit of a view. The kids love all the rocks during low tide. . . I have some great pictures of the kids on the stone shores.

But really, SHHHHHH we don't want too many people going there!

-=Glen=-
 

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You can t tell all the secrets, then everyone does it, That s like telling everyone about your shortcut, they all tell someone and so on and then it becomes the traffic route. Smart Vdub

had to fix typo
 

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Acadia is a beautiful park!! I have relitives that have a bunch of land on Deer Isle, about an hour from Bar Harbour.

We hope to go up there this year. They have one hookup site on thier property, near their house w/30 amp service and sewer. Just need to co-ordinate the availibilty of the site. (many of my relitives have RV's!!)

In August, I have braved the water. You just can't go too deep, too cold after 4-5 feet. (no diving!!)
 

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Acadia National Park is beautiful! We were up there about four years ago. At the time we weren't camping but I would love to go camping there now. My kids were impressed that McDonalds had lobster rolls....goes along with the State mottos....
 

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Since we live in central PA, and I love the ocean, we have been to Acadia several times. We usually go either in the spring or the fall, May or late September-early October. We dry camped many times in our pop-up, and are looking forward to doing so in our 25rss. We prefer the National parks over the private. At Acadia, we really like Blackwoods.
My Husband, who grew up in the mountains, even is starting to fall in love with the ocean. Another good National park is Assateague, just south of OC. Love em both.

Lady Di
 

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...and when you all come North, be sure to give us a shout here in NH! We're a great stopping point for any of you heading on up to BarHarbor (or anyplace else in the Region).

Any of you been up to Baxter State Park (way North in Maine)? It is absolutely fabulous if you like real wilderness and could easily be combined with a trip to Acadia. Haven't been there (Baxter0 yet with the RV, but due to their road (single logging road - 1 way in/1 way out), they do have a rig-length limit of 45'. Once you see the road, you'll understand why.

7BeaverDam - we need to push for a rally up here in our neck of the woods!
 

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Lady Di said:
My Husband, who grew up in the mountains, even is starting to fall in love with the ocean. Another good National park is Assateague, just south of OC. Love em both.

Lady Di
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Wild horses couldn't make me go to that park!! (couldn't resist the joke!!)

I got a federal ticket in that park for 4 wheeling on the sand without a permit. Permit costs about 40 bucks. (ticket cost me about 325 bucks!!) that was back in 1994, I'm sure those prices have gone up!
 

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dougdogs said:
I got a federal ticket in that park for 4 wheeling on the sand without a permit.
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Bad boy!


fyi to pet owners - Assateaque/Chincotegue are beautiful (and the ponies are what little girls' dreams are made of) but you will not be permitted thru the gate - not even to just drive in & look - if have dogs in the vehicle !!! This from experience
after driving FOREVER
up the DelMarVa penninsula. BUT, there is a place in town that usually has several of the ponies corralled out front. Pony-penning days are pretty cool if you have a Misty (or even a Stormy-Misty's foal) fan within your ranks!

From lobsters to ponies.....gotta love this site !!
 

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Lady Di said:
Another good National park is Assateague, just south of OC.

Lady Di
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Just watch out for the biting flies in summer!!!

They are almost the size of the ponies!!!

Steve
 

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huntr70 said:
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Just watch out for the biting flies in summer!!!

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Don't forget about the black flies of early spring - legends are written about those little devils !!! They're tiny, but their bite is lots bigger
than the biting flies. Think of them as chiggers on steriods!
 
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