As is our habit on trips, we gathered several different maps of the area including the National Geographic trails illustrated map for Acadia National Park, the National Park Service brochure for the Park, and Map Adventures Acadia National Park hiking and biking trail map. The best map of the three was Map Adventures. It showed the topography, the trails, the natural landmarks, the towns, and other interesting sites, including the two gardens.
The 140-acre Thuya Garden is tucked into the western slope of Elliot Mountain overlooking Northeast Harbor. Landscape architect and civil engineer Joseph Henry Curtis built his summer home here in the late 1880s. He called it Thuya Lodge after the locally common northern white cedar (Thuya occidentalis). Curtis designed a Terrace Trail leading from the harbor to his lodge, integrating his man-made trail into the natural topography and rock outcrops along the slope.
Here are photos of the path leading from Thuya Lodge down to the harbor.
The Thuya Lodge and Gardens are accessible by hiking up the 1/4-mile Terrace Trail from a parking lot on Route 3 in Northeast Harbor or by driving up Thuya Drive to the entrance of the garden. Thuya Garden is a blend of semi-formal English garden and the natural woodland of the area. The entrance gate is made of cedar and mahogany, handcrafted with 48 carvings of natural history images by Savage and Augustus D. Phillips. Hummingbirds buzzed about us as we walked the mowed lawn along the colorful flower beds.