There’s something about running water, hiking trails, and mountains that sets my heart on fire. Ever since I was little, I could leave no stream without putting my bare feet in; I couldn’t walk past a rock without climbing it to see what it looked like from the top. A Girl Scout and an avid camper, nature has always been an important part of how I see the world. But as I sit here writing this, a college student of nineteen, I’m keenly aware of how much more adventure is out there. I am surrounded on a daily basis by opportunities for conservation and appreciation of nature and yet, sometimes, I choose to ignore it. And so, as I take you with me on my feature of the National Parks, let’s see what we can learn about all there is out there to witness outside of our own little world.
Our first visit will take us northeast onto the rocky coast of Maine to Acadia National Park. In the past, this seashore played home to Native Americans, French Settlers, and Rockefellers alike, but today is serves as a haven for conservation and majesty unparalleled by any shore you’ve ever seen. Back in 1916, conservation spokesman George B. Dorr made the effort to protect Acadia from human expansion and industry and it has remained, ever since, a prized gem of the American landscape. But why should all this matter? Well, let’s see for ourselves.
Acadia is celebrated for its “multi-seasonal” ability to invite adventure. In one visit you could visit a lighthouse, go bouldering, hiking up trails, or take to the seashore. Even if deep wilderness adventuring isn’t for you, Acadia also has a network of carriage roads that offer a peaceful and historic walk through the park without the tougher trails. Truly, there is something here for everyone.
But whether you’re a nature lover like me or just someone who wants to get away, a must do on any trip to Acadia is to visit the highest mountain on the Atlantic coast- Cadillac Mountain. According to the National Park Service, on certain days of the year, you can be the first person in the United States to see the sunrise if you climb to the top early in the morning. 1,528 feet above sea level, you can stand there and experience the sun greeting the coast for the very first time. Why should it matter if you have to get up at about 4 am to do it? Get out your hiking boots because this is the chance of a lifetime!
It is for experiences like this that the National Parks cannot be discounted. In our fast-paced lives it can become so easy to forget our surroundings. When’s the last time you watched the sunrise or took notice of the way a river catches the light? We don’t do this often enough! Eventually, we’ve all got to learn to take notice. Wake up early every once in a while and appreciate the world around you; don’t be so consumed in your own life that you turn down a chance to adventure deeper into the world. And visit Acadia National Park! Who wouldn’t want a chance to see that mountain, that seashore, and that sunrise for themselves?
For more information: