Sunrise Views from Cadillac Mountain

The full size bed took up all but a narrow path that circled the perimeter of the room requiring us to take turns as we got dressed in the dark. We had chosen this bed and breakfast because of sentimentality. We got engaged here almost a half century earlier. We’d chosen this particular room because of the lower cost and the fact that it was available on short notice.

I didn’t need my phone alarm to rouse me although I had set it as a precaution. I woke up naturally when I heard my husband get up first and, once he finished dressing, I got out of bed reluctantly but determined not to miss the first rays of sunshine to hit the East Coast. We were quick and ready to leave in ten minutes giving us just enough time to get to Cadillac Mountain before the scheduled sunrise which according to our tandem google searches the day before would be 4:50 am.

We quietly walked down the narrow staircase and opened the large wooden entrance to the Castlemaine Inn eager to see the impending sunrise only to be greeted by light immediately followed by confusion. Not being early risers and having rarely seen a previous sunrise, we didn’t understand that the darkness slowly starts dissipating before the sun officially rises.

Since we were already up, we made our way to Acadia National Park anyway. It was a short 8 minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Once we were inside the park, we began maneuvering the winding road to the top but well before reaching the parking lot we began seeing cars parked on the side of the road a sure sign that the lot was already full and that we had gravely misunderstood the popularity of being the first to see the sunrise in the United States.

We found a spot tucked off on the side of the road and proceeded to rapidly walk towards the summit.  We had left so little buffer time to get there for the official sunrise that we raced to the top although, as it was already light out, we probably could have walked a little more leisurely.  As we got closer to the top, we saw that people were everywhere. The stone wall that bordered the left of the parking lot had been commandeered with people squeezed into every open spot of the winding wall.

The summit also had pockets of people in every nook and cranny many who looked like they had camped out for many hours if not overnight. There were people huddled in blankets and others dressed for summer. The one thing they all had in common was that they had planned their sunrise viewing better than we had.

The clouds covered all but a few slivers of the sky limiting the view but there were still some stunning bands of yellows, with occasional hints of pink and orange peaking through. It was beautiful and even if we were not the first to see the sunrise, as that honor goes to someone who planned far better than us, it was still fun to join this expansive group who made it to Cadillac mountain to be the first to see the sunrise on the east coast.

I’ve also included pictures from our day time visit to the summit that we took the day prior to our sunrise stop proving that Cadillac Mountain is beautiful no matter what time you come.

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things to know
Place Cadillac Mountain
Address Acadia National Park
Website Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
Favorite ♥ The Views

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Hiking Maine | Trek along the Bold Coast in Cutler

Sometimes the timing of a hike impacts the end result and even the most beautiful of spots ends up feeling like more of a challenge and a little less fun than expected. After a day spent getting up close with the Puffins of Machias Seal Island, we were more tired than we realized and underestimated the difficulty of the hike we had planned to Cutler to explore the Bold Coast.

It didn’t help that we left our go bag in the car and didn’t have any bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes that were coming out as the day was winding down especially as the first mile of the trail is through the woods without any ocean breezes to keep them at bay.

At least you move quickly when the mosquitoes are out since stopping is just an invitation to have them linger and snack on you. So, we pushed through until we hit the coast. While much of the view is obstructed, there are some well placed openings in the path where you can get closer to the edge to enjoy some especially amazing views. The bold coast is the right name for this part of the Maine coastline where dramatic, steep cliffs border the water’s edge.

The path leading up to the coast was challenging with rocks and tree roots carpeting the floor and slowing our pace. Or, maybe it was just our exhaustion. Without our bug spray, this first part of the trek was not much fun but once we finally hit the coast, we understood why this trail is so highly rated.  The views were even worth the mosquito bites.

The trail itself is actually fairly long, but we didn’t have the energy to hike the full path so we missed much of the coastal section as we turned back and retraced our steps knowing that we would already be a little over three miles by the time we finally got back to our parked car. Three miles was about all we had in us.

I would love to come back to this hike another time when we have the energy to hike the full trail especially the path along the coast which we only tasted a small part of on this trip. I’d plan a little better and not schedule back to back activities next time. I think hiking the Bold Coast is a best done when you’re fresh and rested.

That’s okay. We still got a great peak at what this trail offers and it’s a good excuse to come back to this area again someday and do a little more exploring.

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