Lily and I arrived on the east coast after a grueling rush to get to Maine. While casually crossing the northwest states, I came to learn that most campgrounds near Acadia National Park close for the season right after Columbus Day. So, we had to pick up the pace pretty quick to arrive in time for the Maine event.
Despite the long drive days and short overnight stops, it was absolutely wonderful to witness the impressive display of fall foliage as we cruised east along US-2. We made a few quick pitstops along the route east so let’s get going!
Heading thru North Dakota I dipped down into Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Definitely not the most exciting park I’ve experienced so far but certainly interesting. We stayed one night inside the badlands and then hit the road the next morning.
Back on the highway, I said goodbye to the bright sunny days as we exited North Dakota and entered Minnesota to check out the north shore of Lake Superior. Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse and Tettegouche State Park were on the itinerary.
After a frigid night in northern Minnesota, we moved on into the upper peninsula of Michigan. Painted Rocks National Lakeshore was the destination but at the last minute my boat tour got cancelled due to forecasted high winds and rain over the lake. Disappointed, I bundled up for a cold day and drove around the area to check out what there was to see from land.
Driving around, I made a quick stop at Miners Castle and Log Slide overlooks, and then it was over to Munising Falls to take the short hike up to the falls and get a few pics.
The U.P. of Michigan in fall is stunningly beautiful and it made for some very scenic happy hours. I would for sure like to come back someday and try again to take the boat tour around Picture Rocks.
Moving down the peninsula, we crossed the Mackinaw Bridge and parked for a few hours to explore the Old Makinaw Point Lighthouse. It was really windy and cold so I didn’t linger around the area very long. Gotta keep moving!
Bar Harbor, ME
FINALLY, after nearly a week of daily driving we arrived in New England. And we found the sun again! This would be home base to thoroughly explore Acadia, eat lobster, and reset.
Acadia National Park
Acadia and its splendorous scenery was just waiting to be explored. First on the agenda was the drive up Cadillac Mountain or I as call it, Cadillac Margarita. I guess this would be the equivalent of driving the Going-to-the-Sun-Road in terms of popularity. Once at the top, the views were pretty spectacular.
Back down at sea level, it was time to take a hike. I decided to hit the Precipice Trail and really have the unique Acadia experience. Precipice is a 1 mile vertical hike climbing 1000 feet up sheer cliffs and shelf systems using iron rungs and ladders ascending to the summit of Champlain Mountain. It was awesome!
On our last day, I packed up the pup and drove over to Schoodic Point to take in the less popular part of Acadia. As you can see, it was a foggy day but that didn’t keep the trees from showing their colors.
And so, after five spectacular Maine days and nights that treated us to sun, rain, thunder, lightning, and winds, we pulled out and headed south towards Portland.
Just down the road from Portland is the historic ship building town of Kennebunkport. Also very popular with tourist groups and their charter busses. I stopped for a quick look around the village and then escaped the crowds to drive the coastal route along the seashore.
Before leaving Maine, I absolutely had to stop and get some potato donuts for myself, my friends, and my freezer. They are a Maine phenomenon and quite delicious.
And with that, we are done with Maine. Next stop is Massachusetts for spooky season, a long overdue friend visit, and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Be sure to check out our Instagram @paulandlilygoplaces for more pics and videos of our adventures. See you again soon!