Acadia National Forest is this huge forest up in Maine in Mount Desert Island/Bar Harbor. My family and I went to go see this place back in August while we were on a "Mini Maine Road Trip." Unfortunately, we were only here for a few hours so we didn't necessarily get to explore the whole thing - plus, it's impossible to actually explore the entire forest in one day since it is a huge place after all. It's 49,000 acres and it's 27 miles to drive around the entire place. It's not impossible to drive around the entire forest but if you want to take in everything you see and stop to see all the beautiful landmarks and mountains, then it'll definitely take more than a few hours.
When we first drove into Acadia, we were lost. We had no idea what to do or where to go. We found the information/welcome building and we weren't sure if we had to pay to get in. We thought only hikers had to pay and we all agreed that we were just going to go on a scenic drive (because we didn't feel like walking), so we thought we didn't have to. We bought a bunch of souvenirs and got a map and then, we went back into the car. We got lost and ended up leaving Acadia and then turned around and realized, hiking or driving, you have to pay to get in. Every car we saw had a parking pass so we drove back to the welcome building, paid the fee ($25) and went driving around. We knew we weren't going to stay long so we settled to see one mountain. Along the way, we kept stopping because literally any view from any place that you are at is a pretty good view.
There are different mountains in Acadia. The one we went to is Cadillac Mountains. We decided to go to Cadillac Mountains because according to the map, it is the tallest mountain there and we wanted to go to the very top of the mountain for the view and the photos.
On our way driving to the top, we all got nervous because we didn't realize how far up it really was. Safe to say, we're not really good with heights. I had quite a few "silent anxiety attacks" on the way up but thankfully, it didn't turn to panic attacks as I felt safe because I was with my family, and it was all pretty new to them like it was for me.
It was foggy and somewhat raining when we went, so when we got to the top, really all we saw was fog. But nonetheless, the view was pretty fascinating. It was a bit chilly, probably from 50-60 degrees. I had knee-high socks paired up with sneakers, a romper and cardigan. I personally like hiking when it's cool or low 50s because let's be honest, you're most likely going to get hot from all the walking anyway. If it were in the 80s-90s, I probably would have not left the car and just stayed in for the air conditioning. I don't do well with hot temperatures so being in the cool breeze was definitely a good thing for me. There were still hikers and bikers regardless of the weather and temperature - I personally think it's easier to hike when it's a much cooler temperature as opposed to hiking in high temperatures. I've never actually "biked" up a mountain, so I really don't have a say if it's easier.
My family said they definitely want to come back next year for camping. We usually go to New Hampshire to camp but after seeing Cadillac Mountains, we might make the switch!
Hopefully next time we'll have enough time to visit the other mountains and beaches. We decided to only stay for a few hours because we wanted to head back to Portland (which is 3 hours away) to the hot tub and pool at our hotel before it closed - our priorities are not aligned, haha.
But nonetheless, Cadillac Mountains is a beautiful place. There was a gift shop near the top of the mountains where you can buy souvenirs and food and drinks, use the bathroom, etc., which is what we all did! I have so many souvenirs, I really don't know what to do with them all.