Maine Resource Guide
Acadia National Park
Downeast & Acadia Region of Maine
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Acadia National Park

Nothing exemplifies more, the unparalleled beauty of the coast of Maine’s rocky shoreline, than Acadia National Park.  This popular national treasure is visited annually by millions from around the world.

Most of Acadia is on Mt. Desert Island, which was once a granite ridge on the edge of the ocean.  Long ago, glaciers, some a mile thick, carved through this granite ridge, creating mountains, valleys, and lake beds.  As the glaciers melted, the sea rose, and valleys were flooded, transforming them into the serene mountain lakes that we know today.

Mt. Desert Island was named by Samuel de Champlain who explored the coast in 1604.  From his perspective, he was unable to see the lush forests, lakes and ponds, or the golden meadows, and so regarded it “the island of barren mountains”.

The first visitors arrived at Mt. Desert Island during the mid-1800s, and spread the word of it’s tremendous appeal. 

Wealthy Americans who were drawn to the Island were committed to preserving the land for public access by procuring donated land.

In 1917, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., awed by the beauty and diversity of the island, commissioned the building of fifty-seven miles of stone-crushed paths for horse-drawn carriages, still not open to cars.  To preserve the land, Rockefeller donated this network of paths, along with 11,000 acres to the park. Thanks to his visionary efforts, and those of earlier wealthy Americans who visited the park, the present generation, and future generations can enjoy the beautiful experience of Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park, which comprises 41,000 acres of Mt. Desert coastline is an all-year park. 

In Summertime, explore the mountain by hiking, biking, or horse - back riding along the carriage paths, or by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride.  One - Hundred and twenty miles of hiking trails extend from along the ocean, through lush forests, up steep granite cliffs, and to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, which is the highest point on the Atlantic coast.

Enjoy a swim in a warm, quiet lake, or in the chilly ocean waters of Sand Beach.

Visit Thunder Hole, and listen to the roar produced by waves crashing into this rock cleft.

Just relax along the rocky shoreline and listen to the surf while feasting your eyes on endless expanse of ocean.

In Fall, the spectacular foliage is a feast for your eyes.  The peak time is generally Mid-October.

Wintertime is beautiful and peaceful at Acadia.  Many activities are available during winter.  Specific Carriage roads and unplowed park roads are ideal for cross - country skiing and snowshoeing.  The picturesque Park Loop Road system, including the road up Cadillac Mountain, provides for panoramic view - packed snowmobile travel.            
Ice fishing and ice skating are popular activities, weather permitting.

Camping is available during all seasons. Reservations are required, and should be made early as sites begin to go by early Spring.  Campers must be prepared for extreme weather conditions.        
  

Fast Facts:

  • The second most visited National Park in the United States, Acadia National Park is open year round. Visitors can visit the visitor's center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May through early October.
  • In Acadia National Park there are more than 120 miles of marked trails. There are 17 mountains to climb. The Carriage Road consists of over 50 miles of broken stone roads. There are 18 stone bridges in the park. The Park Loop Road is 27 miles long. You can get to Sand Beach, Cadillac Mountain and Otter Cliffs on the Park Loop Road. In the park you will find 20 lakes and ponds.
  • Acadia National Park also includes substantial tracts of land off Mount Desert Island. Fifty miles from Bar Harbor by road. Acadia preserves 2000 acres on the tip of Schoodic Peninsula, the only section of the park on the mainland. A one-way, six-mile loop road skirts the edge of the peninsula, bringing into view a rugged coastline offering sweeping panoramas of Mount Desert Island. Acadia also preserves another 2000 acres on Isle au Haut, an offshore island linked to the mainland by a mail boat from Stonington.
  • Mixed terrain: Rocky shoreline, wooded uplands, marshes and a mile-long, freshwater lake offer you many opportunities for a day hiking and solitude!
Acadia Artwork
Map Link
Click map image to view map of a part of Acadia National Park.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHILE AT ACADIA?
Biking
Hiking
Rock Climbing
Canoeing
Cruises/Tours
Area Camping
Points of Interest
Park Regulations

 


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