"Acadia National Park, Maine" Top 5 Page for this destination Acadia National Park by goodfish
Acadia National Park Travel Guide: 284 reviews and 627 photos
The priceless national treasure that is Acadia exists due to the thoughtful foresight of people who gifted and protected its wonders for the enjoyment of all. In 1901 a group of Mt. Desert Island residents created a public land trust to preserve large parts of the island from future development. The first National Park east of the Mississippi, Acadia received park status in 1919, and doubled in size over the next decade due to donations of additional land. It was the first of the National Parks to consist of parcels given by the private sector, and today covers over 46,000 acres.
Although much smaller than many of the parks, Acadia's breadth includes forests, mountains, ponds, ocean shoreline, sand beaches and even an island or two. Outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds will find more to do here than hours in the day, and those less mobile will enjoy the views of lovely Jordan Pond, a drive up Cadillac Mountain or along the Atlantic coastline. Honestly, you can easily spend a week or two here (and exploring the general vicinity) and not be able to see/do it all.
Most of the park is on Mt. Desert Island, about 45 miles from Bangor. The other two pieces are on the Schoodic Peninsula, and on Isle Au Haut (pronounced I'll-a-HO). Schoodic is east of Mt Desert Island and is accessible by car, free seasonal park shuttle or ferry (fee), and Isle Au Haut is accessible only by ferry (fee) from Stonington. To reach this island involves backtracking north off of Mt Desert Island to Ellsworth, and then driving south to the southern tip of Deer Island (Stonington). Isle Au Haut (which we didn't get to) has 18 miles of hiking trails, 60 year-round residents, a few unpaved roads, a small general store, and only allows 48 visitors a day. There are about 6 primitive lean-tos for overnight camping that must be reserved well in advance, and it's pretty much BYO everything but great for peace and quiet. Call the park or visit their site for more details if interested.(www.nps.gov/acad).
While most people choose to stay in busy (and somewhat expensive) Bar Harbor, there are many rentals in smaller, quieter corners of Mt. Desert Island as well as 2 campgrounds in the park (reference the park site for details). Rentals include B&Bs, single hotel rooms, luxury suites, guesthouses and everything in between. They have free park shuttles all over the island during peak season but you pretty much need a car to get here in the first place, and shuttles don't go to all island locations. If you have time, you'll definately want to check out some of the other villages around and outside of Mt. Desert so will need wheels for that.
Lucky us for the good folk who made this park possible a century ago, and for those (N.P.S. and The Friends of Acadia) who continue that work today!
Note: My beloved Canon Powershot died before this trip and the local camera store talked me into replacing it with a different brand. It's a beast. Apologies in advance for the tilted, fuzzy and altogether crummy shots I have to use on some of my tips!!!
- Pros:Gorgeous, great hiking, easy access from Bar Harbor
- Cons:Can be crowded during peak season,
- In a nutshell:A ton to see/do in a relatively small National Park
We stopped into Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium one night for a little something sweet? That little something turned... more travel advice
Hulls Cove Visitor Center is the best place to start your visit to Acadia. It's right off Rt. 3 about 8 miles southeast... more travel advice
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