Having been to many fascinating destinations around the world, I'm well aware that some of the greatest natural gems on earth exist right under my nose in the USA. With this in mind, the time felt right to begin my exploration of the national parks in this country. My first stop was Acadia National Park in Maine. Discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1604, this large, inshore island is characterized by incredible rock structures with woods consisting of pines, firs, and birches. Woodrow Wilson established the park in 1916 with federal funds, and Acadia was enhanced greatly by the philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who created a network of gravel carriage trails, granite bridges, and gate lodges. Shown below are photos taken from Mount Desert Island, the largest part of the park consisting of 30,300 acres.