Acadia Part III: Thunder Hole

Among the iconic stops along Acadia’s 27-mile loop road is Thunder Hole. The allure of Thunder Hole is that, when the tide is right, the waves can crash against the hole and shoot high into the air also causing noise than many says sounds like thunder. For me, the allure is less about the waterspout, and more about the high waves that hit the tall rocks surrounding the hole.

In my five years of making the trip to Acadia, I have never actually photographed the spot, opting to shoot around it instead. From the rocks around Thunder Hole, you have a great view long the coast up to Otter Cliff or toward Sand Beach. Either way, you are greeted with some great waves that you can either shoot fast, to freeze them as the crash against the rocks, or shoot long and get some great motion.

Thunder Hole is also a great place to capture the rising sun in the morning, and if you are lucky, you can get some great color combined with the dynamic surf. All of this comes with a warning though. During periods of high surf, the area can be dangerous with tall waves hitting even some of the higher points of the rocks. Last year, a large rogue wave caused by a hurricane dragged 16 tourists out to sea. Several times while out shooting at this location, I had to warn parents that were allowing their children very low onto the rocks. During my visit, the waves were not that high, and they were still covering the Thunder Hole viewing platform, an ever present reminder to respect Mother Nature.

That being said, I still recommend anyone that likes to watch great surf to definitely make the stop there. It represents the beauty of Maine’s rugged coast in a small area.

Until next time, happy shooting.


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