Off the coast of Maine, park visi­tors gather on Cadil­lac Moun­tain to sa­vor a spec­tac­u­lar fall sunrise.

The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL - PHOTO ES­SAY: ACA­DIA NA­TIONAL PARK

On a brisk Oc­to­ber morn­ing, peo­ple gather in the predawn hours as the sky be­gins to brighten. Wear­ing heavy jack­ets and bun­dled tight with blan­kets, they strug­gle against cold, windy weather that makes it feel more like win­ter than fall. Spread­ing out across a rocky moun­tain­top, they take part in the tra­di­tion that is ob­serv­ing the sunrise in Maine’s vast Aca­dia Na­tional Park. Its 47,000 acres, with their sharply hewn coast­line and pris­tine woods, take up much of Mount Desert Is­land, and those who make the pil­grim­age up Cadil­lac Moun­tain— the high­est point on Amer­ica’s Eastern Seaboard— are some of the first in the United States to see the sun peek over the hori­zon.

PHOTOS BY MATT MCCLAIN/THE WASHINGTON POST

Clock­wise from top: Sunrise-watch­ers last Oc­to­ber at Aca­dia Na­tional Park in Bar Har­bor, onMount Desert Is­land, Maine; a red light from the Bass Har­bor Head Light­house il­lu­mi­nates the sky near Tre­mont, at the is­land’s south end; soak­ing up the view from Cadil­lacMoun­tain; fall fo­liage in the park; a close-up of chang­ing leaves.

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