Posted in: Campground Review, Exploring Maine, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, Bar Harbor, Maine: Campground Review

We stayed at the Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort near Bar Harbor, Maine so we could visit Acadia National Park. This is part of the Thousand Trails network, but was not included in our membership. It was on the same island as Acadia, so it was conveniently located.

The laundry room was under the backside of the office. Washers and dryers were $2/load (quarter machines, no change machine). Each site had a picnic table and a fire pit. There were some nice views of the water and the campground was large enough to get a nice walk in. The campground had free WiFi (standard campground level), but it was a nice feature for a Thousand Trails campground.

The campground had a pool (not open yet while we were there), an arcade, playground, camp store, and a laundry room. The arcade was only open on the weekends Friday to Sunday 9am-8pm. It was older, but the kids still enjoyed it. The games were $0.25 per game, except for the ball crane machine at $0.50. There was a change machine in the arcade. The laundry room charged $2 per load for both the washers and the dryers and were coin operated, but there was not a change machine in the laundry room. The laundry room was open during office hours. The camp store sold ice for $2.25 and firewood for $5.25.

Bathrooms, Camp Store, Laundry Room with book exchange

Most of the sites had trees for shade. It looked like most of the sites were pretty level, although there were a few that were on part of a hill that could be harder to level a RV. The campground was large and made for some nice afternoon walks, especially since the tent area was empty while we were there. It faces the ocean, so if you get closer spots, you could have some great views.

Our site, playground, pool, ocean view at low tide at campground

Bar Harbor was 15 minutes, Acadia National Park was 10-11 minutes away (to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center entrance). There was a grocery store in Bar Harbor called Hannaford’s that was 15 minutes away, and Walmart was located in Ellsworth and was 15 minutes away.

SIDE NOTE: The campground used well water, so it did have a bit of an odor to it that we were not used to. We just used our awesome Berkey* and filtered all the drinking water. The Bar Harbor area gets its water from Eagle Lake and wells, nearby Seal Harbor from Jordan Pond.

VIDEO: Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile (could be spotty)

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (grass)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Yes

Amenities: picnic table and fire pit/grill at site, cable, playground, pool, basketball hoop, swings

Cabins: 1

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 20/30 or 30/50 amp

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes (free)

Accepts Mail: Yes

Fishing: No

*Affiliate Link

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Hiking, Sightseeing

Hiking Maine: Salt Pond Preserve

One of our last trails of our stay in Maine was actually a trail outside of Acadia National Park. The boys got to pick form my list on AllTrails app, so of course they picked a short one at .9 miles. Following the AllTrails app directions, there was a very small parking spot off the road with only room for 1-2 cars. However, we later learned that there was also an access road with some parking options (Trail Map/Parking Options).

The path through the woods was an easy path, but had plenty of roots to keep an eye out for. Along the trail we saw a beautiful wild orchid called a lady’s slipper. The trail ended up on the water. We walked along the beach and saw some sea gulls eating a crab. We doubled the length of the hike by walking on the beach, which was really fun. The boys loved climbing on the rocks.

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Food

Traveling Lobster

One of the things everyone told us to do on the East Coast was to get the local seafood. Massachusetts’ lobster roll left the taste buds wanting and didn’t seem any different than what we could get back home in Ohio.

Maine was sure to be the mecca for lobster, but we waited quite a while to try one, as prices were high. All lobster (and seafood) items were at market prices. We were there early in the season and prices were still high.

After one of our hikes, we surprised Ben with a lobster roll from lunch from the Travelin Lobster, which was a cute roadside store only minutes from the campground. There were outdoor tables to eat at, or you could order it to-go. It was still expensive ($23.95 for a small), but it looked like a lot more lobster than the one we got in Massachusetts.

Click to enlarge

It came with on a bun, with a bed of lettuce between the bread and the lobster. It also came with a pickle and a bag of chips. Ben said it was cooked well (no “gumminess”) and tasted extremely fresh. The lobster was the star of the meal.

Their lobster is brought in every morning, so once it’s gone it is gone. I would definitely try them if you are near Bar Harbor!

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Hiking, National Park, National Parks

Hiking Acadia National Park: Jordan Pond Trail

Ben and I walked part of the Jordan Pond trail on a date day, but it was a foggy, rainy day, so we didn’t get too far as neither one of us wanted to slip on the rocks.

A few days later, we walked the whole trail with the boys (about 3.4 miles). The trail is really nice and follows along the edge of the pond. Standing behind Jordan Pond House looking at the lake, the right side of the path is mostly dirt with a few rock step-overs for water run off. Eventually you cross a really cute bridge. A little bit after the bridge, you will come to the rocky section, where you have to climb over a rock path. This part of the trail is a little trickier, especially if the rocks are wet at all. After the rocky section, you will come to the boardwalk section of the path.

The boardwalk was not quite wide enough for people to pass each other, but there were wider sections for people to stand off to the side to allow people to pass.

It was a nice trail, and relatively easy. The scenery was beautiful as well.

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Exploring Maine, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Hoist The Sails

We saw a fun looking 4-mast ship in Bar Harbor and booked a ride. Our schooner was called the Margaret Todd. We chose an afternoon booking and while it was a chilly day, it was rain free.

The ship did have a bathroom (aka head), but I would recommend you use one in town or before you board the boat.

Although the schooner had 4 sails, only 3 of them were raised on our sailing. Ben, Will, and Nick got to help hoist the sails. The captain gave some interesting information at the very beginning of the cruise. There are two high and low tides in Bar Harbor and they can vary by 15 feet! No wonder we could walk to Bar Island at low tide.

We were able to see a bald eagle on one of the islands with our binoculars, but no other animal sightings other than a few other birds. The cruise was 90 minutes long. We went out a little bit from the harbor, near Porcupine Island, and sat for a while. It was very quiet during that time, no fun facts or anything like that. We were able to walk around the boat though, so we could see the views on each side.

VIDEO: WALKING AROUND THE MARGARET TODD

TIPS: Go go the bathroom before you board. Bring binoculars and a coat.

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Food

Cheesecake On Demand: Momo’s Cheesecakes

We were in the mood for something sweet, but a lot of the places were either in downtown Bar Harbor or had already closed. (Lots of places seemed to close pretty early.) We didn’t want to go back into Bar Harbor, as it was getting busy and the parking had been full when we left. After Maps directed us to someone’s house instead of a pie store, Ben found another option. A cheesecake shop that was open 24/7. What?! Yes, please!

Momo’s was located inside a converted garage of the nearby house. There were several display fridges of individual cheesecakes, as well as some whole cheesecakes for sale. Payment was on the honor system and they took cash, PayPal, Venmo, or checks. You could also order a cheesecake and those were placed in a separate fridge. The store had boxes or bags to help carry out your goodies and even had stickers available.

There were so many options that we ended up buying 7 slices to try. Our favorites were the mocha and lemon raspberry. Nick and Ben liked the confetti.

If you are in the Bar Harbor area, I would definitely check this place out!

Video: Walking Through Momo’s Cheesecakes

Posted in: Exploring Maine, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

Bass Harbor Lighthouse

It was a rainy day, but we made it to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. There is a smaller parking lot at the lighthouse, but there is no parking along the two lane road going in. Needless to say, tourist season had just started, so there was quite the line to get in. We waited about 45 minutes in line before it was our turn to park in the lot.

Once you are parked and facing towards the lighthouse/water, there are two ways to see the lighthouse. Option 1: Paved path marked by the red and green buoys to the right. This path was the smoothest path and has some nice information on a board nearby. Options 2. On the left, past the bathrooms, was a dirt path leading to wooden and stone stairs. The trees block some of the lighthouse here, but you could still see it. There were nice ocean views as well. Some people were climbing over the rocks by the water to get better views, but I didn’t want to risk it in the rain. (I’m just a little too klutzy for that. 😉)

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Sightseeing

Bar Harbor: Island Arts Craft Fair

We were lucky enough to see the craft fair listed on Bar Harbor’s event calendar. It was a rainy weekend, but the tents were set up nicely on the green.

We found several gifts for people among the booths. There were embroidered items, knitted items, photography, wooden gifts, ornaments, jewelry, and honey.

I had a lot of luck at a jewelry booth called M Designs. They had some really neat pieces that included bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Her display was really well laid out and pretty.

Our favorite story of the day was at a wood/leather booth. They had leather and wood fly swatters, as well as many other things for sale. Ben was browsing this booth while I was at another booth. The salesman informed Ben that customers had told him the fly swatters were good for…ahem…other activities.

You just never know what you are going to find at a craft fair!

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Hiking, National Park, National Parks

Hiking Acadia National Park: Beech Mountain, Loop Trail to Fire Tower

Will had so much fun by the end of the Valley View hike, that he wanted to go on another one. Luckily for him (not so much for Nick, who wanted to be done), there was another trailhead by the parking lot. This trail was also a Beech Mountain Trail, but it was a Loop Trail that went past a fire tower.

This trail was listed as moderate and was 1.2 miles long. I would agree that is was a moderate trail. The trail started on a straight path and then branched off. We went to the left, which I was glad we did. This part of the trail had lots of rocky areas and even hiking up a smooth rock surface. I think trying to go down that way would have been much harder than climbing up it.

The fire tower was really fun to see. It was locked off for the upper portion, but you could still climb the steps to the first platform and enjoy the view.

The way back down the mountain also had some amazing views. There were several rocky areas to sit on, so the boys took a rest while I got some pictures.

Posted in: Exploring Maine, Hiking, National Park, National Parks

Hiking Acadia National Park: Beech Mountain, Valley View

The boys and I ventured back into Acadia with a new trail in mind: Valley View to Canada Cliffs. Nick saw a picture on the AllTrails app reviews of a ladder and was very excited to climb it.

The trail was rated as easy (1.3 miles) and contained a dirt path with a few rocky areas and boardwalks. We never did see the ladder by the cliffs, even though we followed the trail map. Acadia had also placed blue paint markers along the path on rocks and trees, but some of them were very faded. Because of the uneven terrain in spots, I would say this was more towards the moderate side of the scale.

There was a view of the area below us, including a water view.

We had a little trail rage in the beginning by a certain teenager who didn’t want to hike, but in the end he enjoyed climbing over the rocks and finding his way along the path.