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New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 1:19 am

Away in Boston for a conference in late November, I decided to pair that with some holidays along the coast of Maine, and then to Cape Cod. Everybody was telling me it'd be wet and cold (well, 2 guys on the tripadvisor forum). In the end, I had brilliant weather, and Acadia National Park was gorgeous.

I started exploring the Southern coast of Maine. South of Portland, it's mainly lighthouses and rocky coastline. November equals not much wildlife, appart from a huge number of squirrels, both grey and red. Hiking is limited there, at least until I reached Camden Hills state park. From the hills you can see the ocean and the bays, but the autumn low hanging sun means pretty much from 7 am till 12 pm you got the sun in your face, not ideal for photos.
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Re: New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 1:30 am

The main park I wanted to visit was Acadia. Placed on Mount Desert Island and reachable by car, it's a gorgeous area. It feels like Sweden but with caracter. Pine trees, large lakes, beautiful bays, and nice New England architecture. Cadillac Mountain, which you can drive to, is only 466 m high and overlooks the area. It's damn cold over there, like -3° C with insane winds. Then there's a scenic road that goes through the Eastern half of the park. Beautifully designed, it's one way with very nice stops : Great Head, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond... I stayed West from there, in Southwest Harbor, with gorgeous sunset from the nearby lighthouse.
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Re: New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 1:54 am

My first real hike there was Mt Acadia and Mt St Sauveur. Elevation is low, so it's a comfortable hike. The views from the barren summits and cliffs are amazing, but again with that low hanging sun it's hard to capture well on photos, I did my best. Next I hiked Great Head which has a very nice view towards Sand Beach and it's bay. To finish the day (which finishes at around 4 pm over there in November), I hiked Ship Harbor which rewarded me with another great sunset.
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Re: New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 2:02 am

Next I drove out of the island to another part of Acadia, the Schoodic Peninsula. It's rarely visited, but it's stunning. Probably my favorite part of Acadia, with so many little coves. Next, in the afternoon, I wanted to go back to the island, and have a hike with a good view towards the lakes instead of the ocean. So I climbed Beech Mountain and did a large loop to Canadia Cliffs. The views were the best I've seen in the parks, with relatively little effort.
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Re: New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 2:13 am

Last on the list was Cape Cod. I didn't know what to expect. I heard it's very popular with New Yorkers, that some rich people have big mansions there etc... So I didn't expect it to be so well preserved. It must be a lot more crowded in summer of course, but it feels like there's room for everyone. Unlike what us the French did with your coastline (we ruined it basically, especially around the Mediterranean coast), here there's a nice mix of towns and wild stretches of sand and dunes. It's big : I thought I could explore it in a couple of days, but it would have taken me a week to do all the walks that seemed interesting. There's not a touch of concrete or an ugly supermarket anywhere. Instead, there's nice Victorian houses, windmills, observation towers, lighthouses, piers... Appart from an ugly golfcourse, I say good job America on that one. It is expensive however, hotels are like 30-40% more expensive than in Maine.

In the end it was a nice short trip. I regret not having been able to hike in the real mountains of Maine, near the Canadian border, but November is the worst time to do it : roads are closed because it's deep mud, not hardened yet by their harsh winters.
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Re: New England : Acadia and Cape Cod in November

Fri 11 Dec, 2015 12:45 pm

Great report and lovely images, as always.

Thanks Hallu
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