Acadia National Park – A Skier’s Paradise

Acadia National Park in winter

Acadia National Park in winter

OK, OK.  Acadia National Park is in Maine, not New Hampshire, so technically it shouldn’t be part of this blog.  But this was so special that I have to share it with you.

An Acadia icon: The Bubbles from Jordan Pond

An Acadian icon: The Bubbles from Jordan Pond

Winter this year has brought huge amounts of snow to New England, with Boston getting much of the attention.  But Down-East Maine including Acadia has gotten the most snow of all, and I couldn’t resist paying a visit and checking out the x-country trail network laid out on the park’s famous carriage roads.  Most years the snow around here doesn’t last long, with warmer sea air quickly melting it.  But this year was exceptional.

Breaking trail on Parkman Mountain

Breaking trail on Sargent Mountain

It’s a 6-hour drive one-way to get there so I had to take a day off from work, but with absolutely perfect weather the experience couldn’t possibly have been any better.  The snow was several feet deep with temperatures in the 20’s and crystal-clear blue skies.  Better yet, wherever I chose to ski, the crowds chose somewhere else.  Day 1 was 12 miles from Eagle Lake to the “Around the Mountain” loop, where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting only a dozen other skiers all day.  Day 2 was 8 miles on the joint-use snowmobile/ski trails on the shore near Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliffs.  And Day 3 (at 6 AM) was another 6 miles in the northernmost Witch Hole Pond loop.  Here’s a map of the x-country trails, although the snowmobile trails are also excellent for skiing.

Sunrise near Witch Hole Pond

Sunrise near Witch Hole Pond

I was warned that the parking lots get pretty busy on the weekend but choosing the joint-use trails on Saturday was a stroke of genius (actually just dumb luck).  On Sunday, the parking lot near Eagle Pond was empty when I arrived and I met only one other skier before heading back to the terrific B&B for breakfast.  Later that morning the lot was full to capacity, with a dozen more cars parked along the road, too.  At this point, I’ll let the photos tell the story:

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Happy travels!

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