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Traffic and crowds in mid July

NJ
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399 posts
113 reviews
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Traffic and crowds in mid July

We're camping in Hadley's Point from July 7-14, with plans to explore Acadia, etc throughout the week. We'll have our car, but I know that a shuttle bus stops right at the campground. We'd prefer to drive, but is the traffic or trailhead parking going to be so bad that we'll need the shuttle bus? I'm starting to picture cars everywhere, noisy trails, and crowded restaurants with long wait times. Am I exaggerating? I know that July is a crowded month, but now I'm wondering how crowded... Thanks for the thoughts.

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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1. Re: Traffic and crowds in mid July

Hi NJ!

We always take our car.

In Bar Harbor, mainly in mid-afternoon on weekends, parking is a nightmare. Exactly what sort of nightmare, you ask? Well, you may have to park a half-mile or so from town and walk ten minutes back. It's not exactly like parking right in front of the door, but it's tolerable. We get by.

Away from Bar Harbor, there's usually parking. Trails aren't noisy. Acadia National Park is large, so except for the most popular spots at the very peak times, you'll find both parking and peace.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Bar Harbor, Maine
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2. Re: Traffic and crowds in mid July

You'll be fine with your car, although sometimes the bus is convenient. If you do decide to take the bus at some point, I'd drive in to Bar Harbor, leave your car on West Street in a shady spot, walk to the Village Green where all the bus routes change over, and take the bus from and back to there. For example, you might want to take the bus to do a one-way hike. One bus will leave you off at the trailhead to the North Ridge of Cadillac. You can hike to the top and then hike down the other side on the South Ridge Trail. Walk a little way on the highway to Blackwoods Campground and the free shuttle bus will bring you back to the Village Green. Have a great lobster dinner somewhere and then walk the few blocks to retrieve your car on West Street and go back to your campground.

Some of the bus routes travel very frequently, like the Jordan Pond route. Others drive a longer route, like the campground or Southwest Harbor routes. On those longer routes it begins to get annoying to time your hikes and wait for buses.

And Acadia is never so crowded that you have to take a ticket at the trailhead. Although Sand Beach can get crowded and noisy on a hot day. By the way, I think you are right to fear The Beehive Trail. It's steep with iron rungs. A friend of mine has been hiking it for 25 years now. She loves it. But every other time she encounters someone on it who is frozen with fear. The other day she stopped to comfort a young woman who was crying and shaking. Her friends had abandoned her. My friend stayed with her and helped her down the trail. If you have to do it, only do it going up and come down the mountain a different way.

And the restaurants don't have long waiting lines because, for the most part, they take reservations. When they are full, they are full and don't take anymore. But there are enough restaurants to go around. If you can't get in one place, you walk down the street and go to a different one. I'd suggest making reservations one or two nights ahead so as not to be disappointed.

NJ
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399 posts
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3. Re: Traffic and crowds in mid July

In case anyone is wondering, we spent time in Bar Harbor several times during our week in Acadia and never had problems parking on West Street and walking a few blocks to our destination. I guess if you mind walking a bit, parking is bit of a problem, but it wasn't for us. :)

We never wound up using the shuttle and never had a problem finding a place to park at various trailheads in Acadia. I never thought the trails were too crowded, though sometimes you wait for a person to move to get out of your "perfect shot".

We were only in Bar Harbor one night at dinnertime. Some of the restaurants in Bar Harbor had long-ish wait times, but we just strolled around until we saw one that didn't!

Bar Harbor, Maine
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4. Re: Traffic and crowds in mid July

Great. Sounds like you had a good vacation !

5. Re: Traffic and crowds in mid July

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