1050_10c_otterpoint

Otter Point, Acadia National Park

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My first drive around Acadia National Park’s loop road was full of ooh’s and aah’s, but I think the first “WOW!” came as I reached the loop road’s most dramatic turn.

At Otter Point, the road is almost directly above the water.  The two lanes split, becoming the “high road” and the “low road” — assuring that both lanes have a spectacular view to the south and east.

If all you do at Otter Point is drive around the big curve, you’ll see plenty.  But to really appreciate all this area has to offer, stop a few hundred feet before you get to the point itself.

Just before reaching the big curve around Otter Point, you can park at the side of the road and walk over to the rocky coast.  This area is just an extension of the rocky coastline at Thunder Hole — and you can walk the entire distance, from Sand Beach all the way to Otter Point, if you want to.

There is a parking lot at Otter Point, but you’re also allowed to park your car in the right lane.  This is permitted almost everywhere along the one-way portion of the park loop road — just watch the signs.

A great time to visit this area is just after sunrise.  The entire eastern-facing coastline is lit brilliantly by the sun.  As you look north, you can see a couple of hills.  I’m fairly certain that these are Gorham Mountain (on the left, 525 feet/160 meters) and the Beehive (on the right, 520 feet/158 meters).

Visiting at sunset is a little less spectacular.  Even so, I found a good spot to prop up my feet, just below the big curve, while listen to a bell buoy clanging in the distance.

That bell buoy marks a rock called the “Spindle”.  17th century explorer Samuel de Champlain’s ship bumped into the rock, and had to take shelter in Otter Cove for repairs.  (Champlain first observed the mountain that now bears his name — which is home to the Precipice trail — in 1604.)

After rounding the curve at Otter Point, the park loop road dips into Otter Cove, before emerging out the other side of the inlet.

From the other side of Otter Cove, there are a few spots where you can look through the trees, and get another look at Otter Point.

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