In 5 National Parks, Hidden Gems and Roads Less Traveled – via NYTimes

As park visitation rises, serenity in nature can be elusive. But even the most popular U.S. national parks have overlooked treasures and entrances that aren’t clogged with traffic.

The sun rises on the horizon with tree-covered mountains and calm pond in the foreground

Great Head and Sand Beach are viewed at sunrise from the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park. (Photo by Lily LaRegina/Friends of Acadia)

Via the New York Times (full story):

Home to bobcats, harbor seals and peregrine falcons, the 48,000-acre Acadia National Park, which had four million visitors last year, is spread across sections of Maine’s windswept northeastern coast.

Stephanie Clement, the (then-interim) chief executive and conservation director of Friends of Acadia, said that areas like Mount Desert Island, home to Cadillac Mountain, can feel overrun in the summer; she suggests choosing the more secluded Schoodic Peninsula, the only section on the mainland.

The Schoodic Peninsula is an hour’s drive from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center on Mount Desert Island. From the campground near the entrance, visitors can walk or drive on the park’s new roads or bike the 4.3-mile loop to Schoodic Point, the tip of the peninsula where views of the turbulent Atlantic Ocean are vast. “It is a great recreational experience,” Ms. Clement said.