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Ten Days in Acadia: A Kid's Hiking Guide to Mount Desert Island Review by Pam Havens

Hope Rowan
Island port Press
P.O. Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

Traditional schooling does not always have to be in a classroom setting, as nature provides all the necessary components for learning in the great outdoors.  Ten Days in Acadia: A Kid’s Hiking Guide to Mount Desert Island, by Hope Rowan, is an amazing resource for taking the learning outside.  The author takes you on a ten-day adventure around the entire Acadia Park, exploring trails as if one was actually there, re-told by Hattie’s daily diary.  Although Hattie’s family is fictitious, every detail about Acadia is true.  This on the go, 104-page, pocket guide is complete in itself.  Retails for $12.95 and requires nothing more than a pair of hiking shoes, sense of adventure, as well as time to linger in one of America’s national parks. 

What a beautiful way to enhance learning of a natural wonder that lies just north of the New England states.  Brimming with wildlife, plants, forests, weather patterns, waterways, and rock formations one will never be at a loss at where to begin learning.

Any information one may need for discovering Acadia is in this compact hiking guide.  The table of contents include maps at the beginning to understand geography, details about Acadia, preparation for hiking, hiking tips and hiking with pets.  Day one though day ten give accurate detailed information such as where to begin with the trailhead, total distance of the hike, difficulty, elevation, time to complete the hike and if there are bathrooms available.  Each day there are extras included after the hike for finding off the beaten path places to visit, as well as field notes with sketches depicting wildlife and natural surroundings.  There is even a place to record any observations made under the notes section.  At the end of the guide there is a section for rainy day activities, places of interest and helpful resources.             

This product is a fantastic resource to use with an entire family, however for those truly serious about conquering the hiking, then I suggest 8-12 year-olds as the recommended age.  Of course, this guide can certainly be modified for younger or older students.  Using this as a helpful resource for studying the state of Maine is an option or learning the details to best understand Acadia and all that this beautiful national park contains.  Any type of classroom setting, home education or unschooling family would benefit from using this pocket guide as it contains information for providing nature studies, outdoor learning, exercise, whole child experiences with an out of the box thinking style.  So much inspiration comes from reading this little book, one will have a hard time not making Acadia National Park your next vacation!

My family is quite adventurousand enjoys playing in nature as much as possible.  We feel hiking is a whole-body approach with experiencing a new perspective of learning, so exposing our children to all types is important.  My ten-year-old independently read this guide with enthusiasm, and most definitely has Acadia on his bucket list to visit now.  My husband and I have visited Acadia, before children, when living in New England and we can honestly say it is by far one of the best places in the United States to experience, especially with children.  There is no other national park quite like Acadia, and there are so many unique features about this place that spending a whole vacation here would not be wasted, nor would there be any boredom.  Acadia is truly a place of serenity that lures any adventurer in with it’s amazing trails, and scenic views.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this pocket guide to my children, and I do hope someday soon we will be able to experience this national park together.  I highly recommend purchasing this book before visiting Acadia, it is money well spent.

Learning absolutely has to happen outside of the classroom, yet a little preparation is key to ensure a successful time exploring the great outdoors.  Ten Days in Acadia: A Kid’s Guide to Mount Desert Island is wonderful resource to have when a family needs to discover something new in nature.

-Product review by Pam Havens, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018