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Acadia National Park in Winter | Yankee Classic

I drove to the base of Cadillac Mountain. In summer the summit road is often bumper to bumper, but now the unplowed road made a perfect path for my ascent on skis. It took me the rest of the morning, with frequent stops to view the interior of the island and Eastern Bay, but it was a splendid way to spend a sunny winter’s day.

At the top, 1,530 feet, I had reached the park’s highest spot — the highest spot on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil. If I had made it here at dawn, I could’ve been the first in the country to see the sun’s rays. It’s also the island’s best lookout: To the east lie the islands of Frenchman Bay with the Schoodic Peninsula beyond; to the south the Cranberry Islands, Seal Harbor, and the open sea.

You might think Cadillac Mountain was named for the well-paved road up its side, but it was named for Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac who took possession of the island in the late 1600s and later founded Detroit. If Cadillac Mountain were a Cadillac car, it would be pink, as is the granite underfoot — pink feldspar, glassy quartz, and blackish hornblende. My ski to the bottom passed in one long, continuous schuss. It matched the best backcountry skiing I have ever done.

That night I camped at the Blackwoods Campground on the southern tip of the island — as peaceful a night as I can remember. In the morning I snowshoed through the deserted park to the water’s edge and watched the sun rise on the Atlantic. I must admit, I felt clever to have such a sight to myself. Now that I have been to Acadia in winter, I may never go back in summer again.

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

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