This spring (the very end of April) we headed Northeast into Maine for a dog friendly camping trip to Acadia National Park. We were glad to have found that Acadia, known as one of the most dog-friendly NPs, allows dogs on all but a few mountain peak trails (due to iron rungs along the trail). We also went before the peak season for the park (usually begins in mid to late May and runs until the end of August) and barely ran into anyone on the trails. It was as if we had the whole island to ourselves!
This year's setup changed quite a bit from the ground tent we used last summer when going west with the dogs. We rigged our bed rack with a rooftop tent, and added plexiglass to surround the truck bed so that we could be in the tent while dogs spent the night in the truck bed. We do enjoy camping with the dogs, and prefer to have them in the tent with us, but getting Thorin up an 8 foot ladder didn't sound very plausible. Our first night camping was at Bald Eagle State Park in Pennsylvania and it went smoothly. We always worry some when we hear coyotes in the middle of the night, but Thorin and Athena didn't join in any midnight howling.
We continued on with our trip and finally made it to our final destination in Maine and spent sometime enjoying the Park Loop Road. The dogs absolutely love when we're driving slow and can roll the windows down to let them sniff the world around them.
During off-season, the Blackwoods Campground in Acadia is non-reservable (first come first serve, only) but we didn't have any trouble finding a secluded campsite. The nights did get fairly chilly - lows in the upper 30's. But if you're okay with roughin' it a bit- it's a lot easier to enjoy trails with dogs when the park isn't crowded.
As Michiganders, it's sometimes hard for us to not see a Great Lake when we look out at the ocean. Maine's coast reminded us some of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but the dogs learned very quickly that this was NOT fresh water all around us!
Here are pictures of the dogs making the Low Tide Hike from Bar Harbor to Bar Island!
Next we headed for a bird's eye view of our surroundings. There was quite a bit of wind as we headed up Cadillac Mountain and Athena was not having it! But the overlook from the peak was spectacular.
We spent the good half of a day tidepooling near Wonderland Beach with the dogs, who were, again, upset that the water was salty. Luckily we didn't encounter any crabs who were out to pinch noses! We honestly had the entire Wonderland area all to ourselves.
We made sure to visit Jordan Pond a couple of times during our stay. This is the main freshwater resource for Desert Island, so it's important not to let your pets drink out of it. This was the only area that we encountered other humans on the path.
In all, we had a great time exploring Acadia with the dogs, and recommend it to anyone who loves to road trip with their furry friends!
To learn more about Acadia, visit the park website https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm