Acadia National Park is located along Maine‘s enchanting coastline of inlets, peninsulas and cliffs, but also picturesque towns full of attractions.
Where is it located and how big is Acadia Park
Acadia National Park covers more than 19,000 hectares and most of its extension is on Mont Desert Island, Maine’s largest island connected to the mainland by Route 3.
Many of the most popular coastal resorts, such as Rockland, Rockport and Camden are not far from the park, but the closest by far is the delightful Bar Harbor, which is also on the island.
Continuing along Route 3, you will arrive at Hulls Cove Visitor Centre, a recommended stop to better organise your visit to Acadia National Park and appreciate its trails, bodies of water, breathtaking coastline, and various viewpoints.
Acadia National Park – When to go
Acadia National Park is accessible all year round, even if this does not mean finding all roads passable and services fully operational. Every season has its peculiarities, and nature is at its best in autumn.
Acadia in spring
Spring sees the awakening of nature, the scent of flowers beginning to bloom in the air. In April, many activities reopen their doors.
Acadia National Park in summer
Summer is the period that sees the greatest influx of visitors to Maine, with warm but pleasant temperatures and cool evenings. It is usually the least rainy season and very popular with domestic tourism.
Acadia National Park in autumn
Acadia always amazes visitors, but when autumn opens its doors, the park explodes in all its majesty with breathtaking colours that enhance the visual impact of the scenery.
It is the period of fall foliage when, in early to mid-October, the leaves of the trees turn red, burgundy, ochre, yellow and orange, providing a beautiful palette of colours.
The peak period of the Foliage phenomenon is not always the same, it depends on the weather and climate. To check where and when to see this spectacle in all its glory there are dedicated web services at theFoliage Forecast.
In this season, the weather starts to cool down and summer crowding decreases, leaving more opportunities to take beautiful photos and enjoy the environment to the fullest.
Acadia National Park in Winter
Winter, especially when it snows, is also full of charm because the whitewashed scenery creates a wonderful contrast with the sky and the sea. Of course, the temperatures are quite cold, but with the right clothing, it is a wonderful experience. From November, many activities and some roads are closed. Ideal for this season are cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Acadia Park – A bit of history
In 1916, US President Woodrow Wilson signed an act to grant this wonderful corner of the world recognition as a national park.
Originally named Sieur de Monts National Monument, it was later renamed Acadia National Park in 1929. It is the oldest national park in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
Before we delve into what you can see when visiting Acadia National park in Maine a little useful information for a safe visit
Acadia Park Tickets
The park ticket allows a seven-day visit. The cost on foot or by bicycle is $20, by motorbike $30, and by private vehicle $35. Admission tickets can also be purchased online.
This park in south-eastern Maine is one of the many national parks the United States boasts, and if you plan to visit more, take advantage of the annual America The Beautiful Pa ss ($80), which saves you a lot of money by not having to pay for individual access.
How to get to Acadia National Park:
Acadia Park can also be reached via the Island Explorer (usually operating from late June to early October), a bus that connects accommodation, points of interest and locations to Mount Desert Island. Even using this service, an Acadia National Park entrance ticket is required.
Acadia Maine – Where to sleep
If you like sleeping in the open air, you can choose between the two campsites inside the park: Blackwoods and Seawall, but don’t forget to book in advance as there is a risk of not finding a place
Also perfect are the accommodation facilities in Bar Harbor, the closest town to the park located a short distance from Hulls Cove Visitor Centre from which the park can be accessed.
Don’t miss the article on Bar Harbor in which you can discover the most significant attractions this location has to offer and also be tempted by a broader tour of fascinating Maine. Emotions are guaranteed.
Travelling with the Dog
If you are travelling with a four-legged friend, you will be happy to know that even inside the park you can take him or her with you on a leash.
Telephone network coverage is limited to a few areas in the park and often absent. WIFI is not available.
So if you want to go hiking in the park on your own, the suggestion in case of an emergency is to always let people know (in your accommodation and at the equipped stopover points) where you will be going in order to avoid any inconvenience.
Biking in Acadia Park
The use of a bicycle is highly recommended for some routes that deserve two wheels, especially to appreciate the Carriage Roads. If you want to try this experience, no problem, two-wheelers are available for hire in Bar Harbor.
15 things you absolutely must see in Acadia national Park
There are many things to see in Acadia Park. Let’s start with one of the most important events:
1. ACADIA NIGHT SKY FESTIVAL
Acadia Night Sky Festival is a celebration that has been held every September since 2007 after the Bar Harbor Conservation Commission (BHCC) first sanctioned the need to preserve the night sky of Mount Desert Island and surrounding communities as the darkest on the East Coast.
With the aim of mainly admiring the starry sky in an environment still free of significant pollution, where the Milky Way and much more can be admired in all its brilliance.
During the five days of the festival there are many activities (some for a fee) and there is always something to involve everyone, from children to astronomy enthusiasts.
2. Park Loop Road
The Parrk Loop road is a scenic 43 km route that surprises at every turn and can be travelled by car or on two wheels. It starts at Hulls Cove Visitor Centre and is mostly one-lane. Viewpoints, including Otter Cliff Overlook, allow one to fully appreciate the wonder of the park.
3. Carriage Roads Acadia Naional Park
These are fairly paved roads, crossed in several places by historical stone bridges, along which no motor vehicles are allowed.
In fact, they were built in the first half of the 20th century for the benefit of those passing through on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or in a carriage.
These tranquil and fascinating routes, which cover more than 70 km, were commissioned by John Rockefeller Jr, a great businessman and philanthropist who financially supported many projects in various fields during his life. Among the most popular carriage roads are those around Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake.
4. Bass Harbor Head Light
A 10-metre high lighthouse facing the ocean operated by the US Coast Guard, not open to visitors but symbolic, surrounded by forest and perched on the cliff. It was built in 1858 to guide sailors entering Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. It is visible from a distance of 13 nautical miles.
5. Cadillac Mountain
It is the highest mountain on the east coast of the States with an elevation of 456 metres. Its summit can be reached by car from May to November, but can also be reached on foot thanks to a path that is for the most part easy to follow, except for some sections that are a little more complex.
Cadillac Mountain is also a great location for stargazing, stargazing, and more. In fact, weather permitting, arrange to enjoy the evocative light and shadow of dusk, then the magic of sunset and finally the spectacle of the starry sky. It is also by mid-year the first lougo to see the sunrise in the United States. It will be an indelible memory.
6. Gorham Mountain
In the vicinity of the coast, this 160-metre mountain is another location I suggest for admiring the sunset and the beauty of the bay. It can be reached comfortably by car or via a footpath ideal for those who enjoy physical activity.
7. Jordan Pond
It is one of the most pristine lakes in the park, surrounded by mountains, with a maximum depth of 46 metres. Canoeing and kayaking can be practised here, but swimming is prohibited.
8. Eagle Lake
It is the largest freshwater lake in the park surrounded by mountains and lush forests, with a boat mooring. Fishing is possible if you have a Maine licence.
9. Echo Lake
A freshwater lake with a maximum depth of 20 metres and the forest around it creates a grandiose scenic backdrop. Fishing and swimming are possible, and the southern tip of the lake hosts a small beach embraced by greenery and water. This location can be reached from route 102.
10. Sand Beach
It is a small beach located between the rocky shoreline and the mountains, just north of Thunder Hole and accessed from Park Loop Road. The water level is influenced by the tides. The sand consists mainly of shell fragments.
11. Thunder Hole
Tides have always given rise to emotionally charged phenomena, and this site is no different when a rumble of thunder accompanies the surge of waves within a cove along the coast visible among the viewpoints from Park Loop Road.
12. Otter Cliff
About 11 km from Thunder Hole, one can appreciate a spectacular 34-metre-high rock that is very popular with those who wish to climb while also enjoying a beautiful view of the ocean.
13. Somes Sound
The only existing fjord on the east coast is located right in the middle of Mount Desert Island and if you look at the map you will see that it splits the southern section of the island in two. Crossing it by boat is evocative, so highly recommended.
14. Pretty Marsh Picnic Area
If you are looking for a quiet place in nature where you can refresh yourself and take a break, this area is ideal. It is an area in the middle of the forest, equipped with tables and grills for cooking, perfect in all respects: practical and scenic. The area is not accessible during the winter season.
What animals can be seen in Acadia national park Maine
The park’s animal world ranges from deer to coyotes, squirrels to hares, raccoons to otters, ducks to foxes, gulls to herons and peregrine falcons to red lynx. The Jordan Pond area is a favourite spot for beavers.
The Flora of Acadia np
Pines, maples, cypresses, ferns, cedars, dogwoods, lilies of the valley, violets and other plants embellish, colour and perfume the park.