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Moon Acadia National Park

Moon Acadia National Park

4.0 5
by Hilary Nangle

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Journalist and Maine native Hilary Nangle knows the best ways to enjoy Acadia National Park, from biking through coastal forests and exploring iconic lighthouses to visiting quaint towns with great shopping and seafood. Nangle offers unique strategies that help organize trips around central themes, such as A Studio Tour: Artists and Artisans and The 3-Day Best of


Journalist and Maine native Hilary Nangle knows the best ways to enjoy Acadia National Park, from biking through coastal forests and exploring iconic lighthouses to visiting quaint towns with great shopping and seafood. Nangle offers unique strategies that help organize trips around central themes, such as A Studio Tour: Artists and Artisans and The 3-Day Best of Acadia National Park. With details on hiking to ancient sea caves on Mount Desert Island, boarding a catamaran in Bar Harbor to observe whales and puffins, and enjoying fresh lobster at market price on the Schoodic Peninsula, Moon Acadia National Park gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.

Product Details

Avalon Publishing
Publication date:
Moon Handbooks Travel Series
Edition description:
Fourth Edition
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Gardens of Acadia

When immersed in the often jaw-dropping natural beauty of Acadia National Park, it may seem superfluous to seek out man made gardens, but those on Maine’s Mount Desert Island gild this already stunning landscape. While garden mavens will treasure these sights, even those who don’t know a peony from a pansy will be tickled.

Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden, Northeast Harbor:

Charles K. Savage, landscape designer and a former innkeeper of the Asticou Inn, created both Asticou and Thuya in 1956, when he learned that famed landscape architect Beatrix Farrand (Dumbarton Oaks, East and West White House Gardens, NY Botanical Garden rose garden) was dismantling her nearby Reef Point garden. He sought funding from John D. Rockefeller Jr. and purchased the azaleas for Asticou and other plants for Thuya.

Asticou puts on its best show in spring, when about 70 varieties of azaleas, rhododendrons, and laurels burst into bloom, but at other times, this 2.3-acre Japanese-inspired pocket garden is lovely, just not so flamboyant about its virtues. Highlights include a Japanese sand garden, stone lanterns, granite outcrops, and a tranquil pond, all connected by pink granite paths.

Thuya comprises semi-formal English border beds inspired by English designer Gertrude Jekyll as interpreted by Farrand as well as a woodland garden on a terraced hillside overlooking Northeast Harbor and the Atlantic. Also here is Thuya Lodge, with a wonderful library of botany-related titles.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, Seal Harbor:

Another Farrand legacy, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden was created in 1921, when the Rockefellers turned to her to create a garden using treasures they’d brought back from Asia. The enclosed garden is a knockout, accented with secret passages, a sunken garden, English floral beds, Korean tombstone figures, a moongate, and even yellow roof tiles from Beijing. It’s only open one day a week from late July to early September, and numbers are limited, so advance reservations are vital. For 2012, the garden is open on Thursdays, July 12 through Sept. 6, for two sessions, 9-11 a.m. and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Visitors receive a map for a self-guided tour upon arrival. There is no fee.

Garland Farm, Bar Harbor:

Fans of landscape architect Beatrix Farrand will want to visit Garland Farm, her last home and garden. When Farrand dismantled that property in 1955, she moved to the ancestral home of Lewis Garland, who managed her Reef Point property, and engaged an architect to build an addition to the original farmhouse and barn utilizing architectural elements and furnishings from Reef Point. The property was sold a few times, and greatly reduced in size, until the Beatrix Farrand Society, formed in 2002, purchased it in 2004. It is restoring Garland Farm to Farrand-era design and condition. The property, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hosts special events and programs. The house and garden are open from 1-5 on Thursdays until Sept. 13, for the 2012 season. There is no fee, but donations are appreciated.

Farrand and Turrets Sea Side Gardens, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor:

These two gardens on the College of the Atlantic campus are pleasant diversions. The Beatrix Farrand Garden is located behind Kaelber Hall. Designed in 1928, in its heyday, it contained more than 50 varieties of roses and was the prototype for the rose garden at Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington D.C. The Turrets Sea Side Garden is located on the ocean side of the Turrets, the 1895 cottage that’s now an administration building. Eammon Hutton, ’05, restored it as his senior project. The central fountain, created by COA alum Dan Farrenkopf of Lunaform Pottery, was installed in 2009. No fee is charged.

Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden, Southwest Harbor:

Few people find this vest-pocket seaside park, donated to Southwest Harbor in 1973, with delightful a butterfly garden established in 1998 to promote conservation education. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic. The garden is free. Note: The 2012 Butterfly Release is slated for July 26 at 3:30 p.m. ($30 age 12 and older, benefits garden).

Somesville Historical Museum and Gardens, Somesville:

This small museum, adjacent to Somesville’s iconic white bridge, has two small gardens. The Heirloom Garden contains flowering plants and herbs that have flourished on the island since the late 18th century. The Louisa Conrad Garden honors its namesake, a gardener and architect who summered on the island, and is filled with plants found in woodland gardens on the island.

Wild Gardens of Acadia, Sieur du Monts Springs:

Located within Acadia National Park, this 0.75-acre garden is a microcosm of more than 400 plant species native to Mount Desert Island. There are twelve separate display areas representing native habitats. Plants are labeled and a brochure is available.

MDI Garden Tour:

Held every other year, the 2012 Mount Desert Island Garden Tour takes in six private gardens: Sand Point, Rosserne, and The Ledge in Northeast Harbor and Blueberry Haven, Points of View, and Southerly in Seal Harbor. It scheduled 10 a.m.-4 p.m., July 28, and costs $35 in advance or $40 on the day of the tour.

Meet the Author

Despite brief out-of-state interludes for college, grad school, and stints as a ski and whitewater bum, Hilary Nangle has never been able to resist the lure of her home state. She grew up on Maine's coast, spending much of each winter skiing in the western mountains. Her sense of wanderlust was ignited when she became a Registered Maine Whitewater Guide on the Kennebec River, which gave her a chance to explore the central and northern regions of the state.

When she tired of her parents asking when she was going to get a "real job," she drew on her writing skills and began seeking out editorial work. She started out editing pro ski tour publications, and then became a managing editor for a food trade publication and a features editor for a daily newspaper. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor, contributing to regional and national publications.

Hilary never tires of exploring Maine, always seeking out the offbeat and quirky, and rarely resisting the invitation to mosey backroads and byways. To her husband's dismay, she inherited her grandmother's shopping gene and can't pass a used-book store, artisans' gallery, or antiques shop without browsing. She's equally curious about food and has never met a lobster she didn't like. Hilary still divides her year between the coast and the mountains, residing with her husband, photographer Tom Nangle, and an oversized dog, both of whom share her passions for long walks and Maine-made ice cream.

To follow Hilary's travels, visit mainetravelmaven.com.

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Moon Acadia National Park 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My husband and I found this book to be a great resource on our recent trip. It is complete and detailed, yet easy to use. Filled with maps, sidebars of history and lore, the organization of the book enabled us to quickly find anything we needed. Very helpful were the recommendations based on the length of your stay. We hope to return to Acadia in the next few years (note: 4 days is not enough!) so I am holding on to this. Highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isnt a hospital!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanna be links old sissy. She whimpers as the first sight of a cat scares her. Whats this?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meow? She purrs and rubs against dr.tims leg