My Acadia 2020

We asked you to share your favorite Acadia memories using #MyAcadiaStory. We gathered these photos and stories as part of 2020’s last fundraiser where one of FOA’s generous donors matched all donations (up to $25K). It was a great success!


Acadia is our happy place! It is where we took our first vacation together about 8 years ago, and we have returned every year since. This time, our experience was made extra special by our surprise wedding on top of Cadillac. — Abby LaPlante, Buxton, ME

I attend the University of Maine, Orono and enjoy my many weekend escapes to Acadia National Park. My first adventure at Acadia was hiking Cadillac and watching the sunset over Bar Harbor. Ever since I have visited and hiked many trails that the Park has to offer. Some of my favorites are Precipice and Beehive trail overlooking sand beach. This picture is of my boyfriend and me at the peak of South Bubble mountain overlooking Eagle Lake. –Summer Camire, Sanford, ME

To experience a magical place through the eyes of kid – not for just a few years but for your entire life. That’s what Acadia means to me. In the mid 1960s, my grandparents built a small cottage on the quiet side of the island to enjoy as a summer retreat. Some of my earliest memories involve hikes up the Precipice Trail, swimming in Long Pond, and eating popovers at Jordan Pond House with my family. These kinds of experiences often take on special significance for children, connecting them to the landscape and introducing them to the wonders of the natural world. Later in life I discovered rock climbing while living on the West Coast. I quickly realized our treasured family cottage was a short drive from some of the best granite in North America! For the last 20 years, our trips to Mt. Desert Island have always involved some climbing on the South Wall of the Precipice or Otter Cliffs. On rest days or when the weather is iffy, we’ll hike Sargent and Penobscot Mountains – or maybe we’ll just sit in the cottage and read a book. This year, we weren’t able to visit until mid-November, but we lucked into amazing weather. This picture captured our first climb on the island in more than a year and the pure childlike joy of my wife Kristin at being back on the amazing stone of the South Wall. This year, we are feeling so thankful for the National Parks and other public lands that have been protected for current and future generations. My life would be different without Acadia. It’s the one special place that has been a constant in my life, and I always feel that same excitement I did as a kid when I return to the island. What a gift. We deeply appreciate the efforts of all the public servants who manage this magical landscape, and we also honor the Wabanaki people who continue to care for the land as they have done since time immemorial. – Chris Winter – Boulder, CO.

From sunrise to sunset, beaches to lakes to woods, Acadia has everything. Our first experience in the park (and to the northeast!) will not be soon forgotten, with many cherished memories! We cannot wait to return. – Couple of coddiwomplers, Emily McCuen – San Jose, CA

Ever since moving up to the Boston area, Acadia has been such a special place for us to relax and spend time together. In November, Chris planned another trip up with close friends that we usually visit with, our second time this year, which to me just seemed like a really exciting way to end the fall season. To my surprise, after a hike up to the North Bubble summit, Chris proposed – making Acadia an even more cherished place to us. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect spot to share our engagement, and also very lucky our friends @jjcoolmae and @connorcronk are excellent photographers that could capture all the beauty! – Cortney, Boston

This photo was taken at Eagle Lake right after I completed my first half marathon running around the carriage roads in Acadia National Park. While I usually prefer to spend my time in Acadia on hiking trails, running on the carriage roads gave me a deeper appreciation for their uniqueness, accessibility, and spectacular views. Looking into the history of the roads, I realized how unique and special they must have been to the people who used them in their historical context, when there were very few other roads on the island. Now we have breath-taking winding roads like Park Loop Road or Paradise Hill Road with constant vistas, so we are more used to seeing the mountains and the ocean on our regular drives. But back when the roads were made, they were a stunning escape and way to see so much of this beautiful island that was otherwise mostly only traversable by foot. They are still a marvelous, auto-free, peaceful way to see so much of Acadia. I am very grateful for the foresight that people had in the 1910s to set aside lands for the eventual creation of Acadia as we know it today, and very grateful to all the people along the way who have protected and preserved it so that we can continue to enjoy it throughout our own lifetimes. – Emma Forthofer, Friends of Acadia Digital Media Team

This year marked 50 years that my family has spent summers in Maine. My parents, who are 89 & 93 could not come up for the entire summer due to health reasons. My sister managed to bring them for a week in September though! They were so happy to visit Acadia and Bah Habbah! – Gail, New York

– Lisa Scully-Ortega

On our first day in Maine my boyfriend, Brian, and I went to Acadia National Park & hiked Precipe Trail. It was quite a sweaty hike but absolutely so much fun & STUNNING with all the fall colors. We got to the top & I started to take a video of the view. In the video, you can hear Brian ask if I want snacks…but instead of snacks, he pulled out a ring. He said a bunch of nice things, we both cried, and then he asked me to marry him! Acadia is special to us because it’s the NP where we got engaged!

I’m originally from Pittsburgh- before I moved to Western Mass for a job 10 years ago, I had only been to New England once before. I was looking around for a new place to camp and hike with my boyfriend and we decided to give Acadia a try. It was love at first sight! We’ve been back 8 times, are now married and live in Boston. Best of all, this year we get to share this special, beautiful place with our baby boy. I can’t wait to watch him explore the park as he grows up. – Kimberly Lucey – Western MA

I moved to Boston at the beginning of this year, just before the pandemic shut everything down. Although it’s been a struggle acclimating to a new place at a truly bizarre point in history, I can say without hesitation that Acadia has helped me (safely) cope with everything happening in the world right now. This photo was taken on the first day of my very first visit to Acadia this past summer with my two best friends who are, like me, are also Angelenos currently living in the Northeast. We fell in love with the rugged hikes, spectacular vistas, and stunning colors. I’ve since made a return trip in autumn to experience the fall colors and am hoping to one day come back with my family when it’s safe for them to travel out to me. I have been fortunate enough to have visited a fair number of many National Parks in my time, but Acadia is truly one of my absolute favorites. – Lesley – Boston, MA

Acadia is the first national park in the USA we visited together as a couple. Beautiful experience. – Karolina & Filip

Acadia is one of my favorite places to explore. I’ve been to Acadia the last 2 years for camping and hiking. The rocky coastline never gets old. During my last visit, I hiked three mountains, and picked up less than half a bag of trash. I love seeing clean trails! Other highlights include when grey seal popped it’s head up right behind our kayaks! It was definitely one of my favorite moments! We plan to visit at least once a year going forward!

We escaped from the darkness of this time to go see the magical rays of sun peaking over the coastline from Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, Maine! Here we found the light again in the most beautiful sunrise on the planet!!! – Mauricio Verme and Karla

One of my favorite moments I’ve had working as a Summit Steward was during a hike down from the summit of Cadillac. Nearing the end of my hike I ran into a mother and daughter who were extremely friendly! It was the last day of their vacation and they were detailing to me all of the exciting things they had the opportunity to see on their trip. The daughter asked me lots of questions about my job, wildlife, plants and my favorite things to do in the park as we hiked the remainder of North Ridge. It was really a joy to experience her excitement and to see a piece of my young love for the park reflected. I remember going home that day and feeling extremely grateful to have the opportunity to see on a daily basis how Acadia has the capacity to inspire. – Zoe Smiarowski, Friends of Acadia Summit Steward

Our passion for travel has been constantly changing in 2020 and we’ve been doing our best to explore locally. We never imagined that such an awe inspiring place like Acadia National Park was located only 4 hours from our home. As you can see, our daughter took a particular liking to The Sand Beach. – Kailah and Kyle Fredette – Dover, NH

My two friends and I are part of the hiking group @hiker_babes the North Shore, Massachusetts Chapter. Only the three of us went because of the virus but we hope to visit Acadia with more people in the future! It was my first time (I’m the girl in the tank top). There’s something about the place where mountains meet the sea and the light meets the dark that is beyond our understanding or ability to express. You just feel it! We got goosebumps watching the sunrise Saturday November 21, 2020 as we came up onto the South Ridge Trail from West Face Trail about 6:30am. This is us about 20 min later as we stopped for coffee just short of the summit of Cadillac Mountain! – April, Corrie, Lauren – North Shore of Massachusetts

Acadia is special to us because this is where we took our honeymoon. Acadia National Park has been on both of our bucket lists for a long time and we got to cross it off together. Acadia was the perfect little getaway for us. We loved the fall colors the most. – Rachel Mercer – St. Louis, MO

This is me, Shelly, and my beloved Oded. It’s our first time in Acadia national park. We came all the way form Israel. We are both 51 and yet this is our first time in this National Park and I must say, I’ve never seen such beauty. – Shelly & Oded – Israel

We spent 5 perfect days in Acadia National Park. Every day we started with watching the sunrise over cadillac mountain, hiked some of the numerous incredible trails, ate lunch on a summit overlooking the ocean and the park, and ended our day with a refreshing dip in the ocean at sand beach. The week we spent in Acadia was pure magic. We weren’t prepared for the breathtaking sunsets over bar harbor, saltwater from the atlantic mixed with mountain freshness, creating a scent we wanted to bottle and smell forever, and the panoramic views of the ocean waves crashing against pink granite cliffs etched into the backdrop of lush green mountains. Our family will treasure our time at Acadia for the rest of our lives.
– Kassidy McCowan – Tampa, FL

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – Irvin Guadarrama – Orlando, FL

My name is Lynne Skaskiw and I traveled to Acadia National Park from Delmar, NY (Albany) for the first time this past month, to try to find some solace from the crazy world we find ourselves living in right now. Being that it was Halloween, the stores in Bar Harbor suggested wearing costumes, so I decided to wear my Village Volunteers Fife and Drum uniform instead. With my fife in hand (my drum stayed home) I went off on my adventure. It was absolutely beautiful! I got to play my fife at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, as well as at one of the overlooks. I also met some lovely people along the way. I definitely found what I was looking for, just a little peace. Acadia National Park is an amazingly, magical place that I long to visit again. – Lynne Skaskiw – Delmar, NY

Acadia is where my husband and I have grown our relationship with each visit over the last 7 years. We fell deeply in love on Champlain Mountain, got engaged on Pemetic Mountain, and got married on Hunters Beach. Hiking Acadia’s trails in all seasons has taught us about partnership, intention, patience, communication, gratitude, humor, and love. Acadia National Park holds a special place in our hearts now and for years to come!
-Staci & Keith Loverock – Reading, MA

Read More Stories