2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island in Frenchman Bay. This is the “Down East” area of Maine. It is also home to Acadia National Park including Cadillac Mountain, the highest point within 25 miles of the coastline of the Eastern United States.
This is an easily walkable city. The cruise ships anchor in Frenchman Bay and tender passengers to the Town Pier. From the pier, it’s only a short walk to Main Street and shopping; or the Shore Path with beautiful views of the bay, Porcupine Island and the fabulous “cottages” of the wealthy; or to the museums, tour companies and, most importantly, restaurants.
The history of Bar Harbor is rich and varied. The Native Americans lived here long before it was discovered by the French mapmaker, Samuel de Champlain in 1604. By the mid-1800s, the artists of the Hudson River School were painting landscapes of the area and selling them to wealthy and influential men and women in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. The popularity of these paintings that depicted the mountains and the sea lured many to come and stay for the summer. Eventually, the wealthy built “cottages” (most designed by architect William Ralph Emerson) in the classic shingle style. Because these folks were rich and powerful, they contributed much to the area. George B. Dorr was a tireless spokesman for conservation and devoted 43 years of his life, energy and family fortune to preserving the Acadian landscape. With others, Dorr established the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations in 1901. The sole purpose was to preserve land for the perpetual use of the public. By 1913, Dorr was able to offer 6,000 acres of land to the federal government. And in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act establishing Lafayette National Park (the first national park east of the Mississippi.) The name changed to Acadia National Park in 1929. John D. Rockefeller built and donated the roads. Today, the park encompasses 47,000 acres and includes sea, forests, lakes, and mountains. It is beautiful!
We had a lovely day in Bar Harbor. We began with a short walk through town, had lunch at Paddy’s Irish Pub, and took a 2 ½ hour tour to Acadia National Park on Oli’s Trolley. (We ordered the tickets on-line for 42.40/pp.)
We have lots of photos to show you!
Now on our way to Sydney, Nova Scotia.