Mount Desert What is known for

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HIKING

If you're up to the challenge (and climbing some nearly vertical sections on ladders and iron rungs doesn't faze you), then the Precipice Trail from the Loop Road to the 1,058-foot summit of Champlain Mountain is a memorable 1.5-mile trek - at least in late summer and early fall. From spring to about mid-August, the trail is closed so climbers don't disturb the nearby nests of some peregrine falcons that also probably enjoy the sweeping view of Frenchman Bay.

SIGHTSEEING

For an easy introduction to the natural wonders of Acadia National Park, take a scenic drive of the first order, the Park Loop Road. Pick up a map at the park's visitors' center in Hull Cove near Bar Harbor, then set your cruise control on slow for a leisurely 27-mile drive on the road that takes in some of the park's highlights, including panoramic views from the Champlain Mountain Overlook, water play at Sand Beach (with summer ocean water temps in the 50s, "swimming" here is usually a brief dip), tide pools and booming surf at Otter Point, and a 3.5-mile detour that climbs to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard.

DINING

What would a day in Maine be without lobster? Do some comparison dining at two longtime favorite lobster pounds: Beal's near Echo Lake in Southwest Harbor, and Thurston's in Benard, near Bass Harbor. Don't expect white linen tablecloths, but you'll long remember the waterfront atmosphere, and the platter of lobster, steamer clams, and fresh corn on the cob.