Includes Cadillac Mountain too, the tallest mountain on the East Coast.
By Avani Venkatesh
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE: As sweat rushed down my face and hands I uneasily grabbed an iron rung and hoisted myself over the rock face. Glimpsing down I could see the plummet beneath me and the jagged rocks separating me and the ground, but assurance and relief filled me as I heaved myself over the final ledge of the Beehive Trail at Acadia National Park.
Founded in 1919 and home to the tallest mountain on the Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park rises above all typical expectations. Acadia is filled with daring and unique activities; one that stood out was The Beehive Hike.1.3 kilometers of steep granite boulders, vertical iron rungs, and the continuous sight of the 520 foot plunge beneath you were only a few aspects that the trek provided. But arriving at the summit was equal to stepping into another galaxy. Luscious forests expanded across hills so massive the clouds looked up at them; and a turn brought you to an overlook of a sandy beach where frosty indigo water splashed against the sand. The hike was more on the precarious side and I cannot deny that I had my uncertainties, but the satisfaction of finally conquering the trail made the risk worth taking.
Although the Beehive Trail was a once in a lifetime experience, it certainly wasn’t the only rare venture Acadia had. I had canoed and coracled (similar to canoeing and kayaking but rather than a “u” shaped boat a circular boat is used) before but none of those equated to sea kayaking.
The weather was usual for Maine; dim, dewy, and dreary, but that only made it better.Everything as far as the eye could see was blocked by a magical grey mist which made paddling through it was easily comparable to a fairytale. Kayaking through what seemed to be a dream-like illusory is something that will stay fastened in my memories forever.
Acadia hosts Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the East Coast. After driving to the top and getting to see the sunset, I realized how unique it is.I’ve seen plenty of sunsets/sunrises, from Florida to Alaska to Wyoming to Arizona and even Las Vegas, but none of them compare to the sunset at Acadia. Standing at the peak of the mountain you could just start to make out the sun materializing from beneath clouds giving them a scarlet tint as it passed. The sun went further and further down until it turned all the forest green hills into silhouettes and disappeared behind them ending the spectacular performance it had given.
Having travelled through Yellowstone, Shenandoah, The Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, The Everglades and now Acadia, I’ve seen plenty of wildlife and been to a good deal of overlooks. Acadia may not be the most well-known of parks or one that brings in the most revenue but the way that it has of valleys and mountains, soil and barren land, beaches and swamps made it limitless and broad. The variety of thrills was endless and anyone could spend an eternity at Acadia unraveling, and delving into all the mysteries it has to offer.
(Avani Venkatesh is a rising 8th grader who is always up for the challenge of a new hike. She plays softball & volleyball and is an aspiring writer.)