Cadillac Mountain, and our first National Park visit with a toddler.
We climbed a mountain! We actually climbed a mountain, with our three year old! Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, we drove to a mountain summit with our three year old properly harnessed in her car seat, but still, as any parent would attest, the fact that we toured a bonafide US National Park and managed to see the views from Cadillac Mountain with our little one makes me very proud and happy!
Cadillac Mountain is one of the tallest peaks on the east coast of the United States and is a part of Acadia National Park in Maine. If you have a small child or children and are wondering if a national park holiday is worth your time, and money, and sanity, there is good news! Acadia National Park is very drivable, and you can soak in a lot of scenic beauty by driving and through small and easily doable hikes.
Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Acadia National Park gave me the feeling of having left the United States, even though we were very much in it or at least at the very east of it. With sweeping views of waves crashing over a rugged coastline dense with forests of pine, fir and birch trees, Acadia National Park felt remote and a perfect antidote to the busyness of New York.
One of the stops on our road trip in this National Park was the Cadillac Mountain. While we did not investigate into this, there appeared to be hiking trails that can get you to the summit of the mountain. We took the scenic Summit road though, up to the parking lot at the top, and then explored by foot. There a 3 or 4 stopping points along the way too, so that if you absolutely cannot resist the urge to take pictures, you can park the car safety and let the camera shutters go wild.
Once we reached the top of Cadillac, there was little else to do but just enjoy the beauty surrounding us. On the pink granite dotted with shrubs and wild flowers, there is a well marked and long gravel path which let Siena, our little one, also explore the summit safely and easily. The view in front of us was of the vast Atlantic, dotted with numerous Maine islands, including the most popular one, Bar Harbor.
Stay tuned for more on what we saw and did in Acadia National Park.
- Wear good hiking shoes and carry drinking water (and snacks if you are travelling with little kids). Also carry sunscreen and a sun-hat if you travelling in summer like we did.
- The daily weather is a tad unpredictable. It might be cloudy in the morning but could get very sunny later in the day.
- Most definitely carry and apply bug spray when you are out and about in this thickly wooded National Park!
- Acadia is a very popular tourist destination (as we came to realize), so if you are visiting during a public holiday, expect a lot of crowds and wait times for available spots in parking lots.