Setting my alarm for 3:15 am, we left the RV around 3:45 am (yes, still dark outside). It's about a 30-minute drive from the Woodlands KOA where we were staying to the summit of Cadillac Mountain (due to the winding mountain road and traffic). Yes, it is very busy here at sunrise during the summer.
Because we arrived early (sunrise was at 5:21 am), we had no problem finding a parking space. The area did fill up very quickly though and there were not enough spaces for all of those who wanted to park here. Bring a flashlight and blanket so you can find a cozy spot on the rocky summit to await the first rays of the sun.
Cadillac Mountain (elevation 1,530') is the highest point within 25 miles of the shoreline of North America (between Nova Scotia and Mexico peaks, south of TX). During the fall and winter months, Cadillac Mountain is the first sunrise in the United States. Mars Hill (150 miles NE of here) is the first sunrise in spring and summer; and West Quoddy Head in Lubec, ME, is for the few weeks around the equinoxes.
By 5 am, there were lots of people on the mountain. We were hoping for a more quiet setting as there were groups of rowdy kids (late teens/early twenties) in the area when we were there. (I guess we're just getting old...ha!) Nonetheless, once the sun started peaking over the horizon, it was stunning.
And the colors of the sky and bay gradually changed as the sun rose over the water. The Porcupine Islands dotting Frenchman Bay add to the beauty of the sunrise here.
Just beautiful. The photos do not do it justice.
We stayed as the suns rays reflected off of the bay.
I was so glad we did this. We picked up some groceries (yes, the local grocery store, Hannaford's in Bar Harbor opens at 6 am) and got some fresh blueberry filled doughnuts (perfect) And I took a lovely nap in the afternoon!
For additional information about Acadia National Park, clinch on www.nps.gov/acad.