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Are you seeking a nature adventure that will challenge your comfort zone and remind you of how daring and bold you are? Do you search out new ways to heal yourself? Why not try swimming to heal, and use the beautiful natural setting of Acadia National Park as your setting.

Located in the northeast state of Maine, the area is known for it’s refreshingly brisk water. I spent a week here exploring the park, and having the guts to swim in the chilly water has left me with lots of pride for my badge of courage.

If you’re a trauma survivor (like me) you may dedicate your life to reclaiming what was stolen from you as a result of the trauma. And there are a multitude of ways to self heal. Living life boldly and redefining your limits is an awesome way to do this.

Acadia is an ideal setting for this spiritual work of all kinds, but swimming here will definitely enrich your body and mind. When you re-frame the situation as an intentional act of bravery, this strengthens self esteem.

For women seeking to mend the wounds of childhood trauma, the act of plunging into Acadia’s seas symbolizes a courageous leap towards empowerment. Beaches with waves, lakes, and shoreline…Acadia has it all.

Even if you only dip a toe in, the very act of bravery and courage to try new and ‘scary’ things is itself an act of self-healing. It broadcasts the message that you believe in yourself and your ability to do hard things. There’s a belief and a trust in yourself that you will be okay.

Finally, playing and splashing in the water gives you an opportunity to reclaim the joy and laughter that childhood trauma stole from you. For more ways to embrace your childhood joy by mindfully healing through nature, read here.

Let me start by saying I had no intention of swimming in Acadia National Park in Maine. Frigid water usually doesn’t appeal to me. However, I made a commitment to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and embrace the wild side of life. Ok, maybe swimming in cold water isn’t exactly high- risk craziness for some people. But for me, it definitely qualifies.

swimming to heal
Sign at Sand Beach, Acadia NP

Access your own tolerance for YOLO opportunity. Decide for yourself after your test the literal waters up to your ankles. Whatever wet (or dry) path your take, it’s undeniable that the waters in Acadia are worth taking a chance. Of course you can also heal in warm waters just as easily!

What I learned from my act of courage is that swimming in Acadia is truly a rejuvenating experience, especially for older, active, nature-loving women like myself.

Having the choice to swim in either lake or ocean, Acadia offers some of the most pristine and captivating waters nestled within its breathtaking landscapes. The non glacial-fed lakes beckon you to take a dip.

Acadia’s pristine lakes, such as Jordan Pond and Echo Lake, provide serene settings for a peaceful swimming in Acadia. The temperatures in these picturesque lakes is refreshingly cool and invigorating, making it perfect for a quick dip. In addition to feeling enlivened, some find that swimming here is a form of self-healing, allowing you to escape the stresses of everyday life and immerse yourself in the healing embrace of nature. The is an energy to lakes that I have found deeply healing my entire life.

swimming to heal
Spectacular Jordon Pond Lake. Go early to avoid the crowds. Bring your journal for more self-healing opportunities.

There’s nothing quite like ocean swimming in New England. Of course, the water is still on the bitter side. Thanks to the Gulf of Maine receiving input from the frigid Labrador Current and deep-seas. But don’t despair, even if you only dip your toes in, you’ll still find something to love about the Atlantic Ocean.

swimming to heal
Another Beautiful day at Sand Beach

The most popular and easily accessible beach is called Sand Beach. Besides being Acadia’s only sandy ocean, it also offers tide pool viewing among the rocks. Another great feature is the nearby hiking trails—The Beehive, Great Head Trail, and Ocean Path. They’re all wonderful trails but my favorite was Beehive because I love the challenge of rock scrambling. When you want to sit and rest, grab your field guide and start writing!

For those who love hiking, Acadia National Park offers numerous trails that lead to hidden coves and secluded beaches. After a rewarding hike, there’s no better way to unwind than by taking a leisurely swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The empowering feeling of conquering a challenging trail and then immersing yourself in the water is truly unparalleled.

swimming to heal
Iconic View of Sand Beach from Ocean Path Trail

Three popular hiking trails—The Beehive, Great Head Trail, and Ocean Path will not disappoint and can be combined with a dip in Sand Beach. Although these trails are a side note to the amazing swimming, they still rank as many other national park hikes, including ones in Virginia, and California. are The sandy beach located in a picturesque cove on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. It’s great for wading, swimming, hikes and scenic views.

Three ways to secure parking for Sand Beach is getting there early, getting there late, or being lucky. The lot for Sand Beach is typically full, so cars line Park Loop Road bumper to bumper. coastal section, is one of the park’s most heavily-visited areas.

I would truly be remiss if I didn’t put in a plug for Schoodic Peninsula. Admittedly, you can not swim here. However, you can tide pool and there are so many other reasons to check out this park of the park I just had to include it.

Schoodic Pennisula is a well-kept secret within Acadia National Park, and it’s easy to see why. As you venture here, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking vistas of rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and the ever-present symphony of the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocky shores. The untamed beauty of the wilderness is a powerful reminder of the Earth’s majesty, making it a perfect spot to connect with nature.

swimming in Acadia ocean

For those with a love for hiking and camping Schoodic Peninsula provides ample opportunities to satisfy your adventurous spirit. The hiking trails here cater to all levels of fitness, ensuring that even if you’re new to hiking, you can still embark on a rewarding journey. A favorite among visitors is the Schoodic Head Trail, which leads to a stunning summit with panoramic views of the surrounding area.

I hope I convinced you to include time in your itinerary to observe the mighty Atlantic Ocean at Schoodic Pennisula. And you don’t even have to get wet or feel cold!

So now that you have the facts about swimming in Acadia, which will you choose? Can’t make up your mind? Try both! There are so many reasons to put on your bathing suit and embrace the moment, especially if the weather rises to above 80 degrees. You’ll really appreciate the refreshing break from the sometimes penetrating sun. Relief from the heat brings an even deeper sense of connection with the natural beauty with gratitude for a dip in its crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re swimming in the freshwater lakes or along the rugged coastline, you’re surrounded by the raw power of nature, which is a humbling and spiritually enriching experience.

Among the many effects of trauma, fear tops the list. And swimming in cold water conjures discomfort and therefore fear. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Instead, the refreshing waves can become a metaphor for embracing risk, washing away the past, and emerging stronger.

Swimming in Acadia National Park is not just about risking the brisk waters; it’s about embracing the essence of your bravery. By connecting with the wilderness, you are reminded of your very own wild side. As a result, you can empower yourself to go beyond your limits while leaning into the gentle and inspiring natural world.