Acadia National Park, the first and oldest national park in the east of the Mississippi River near to Bar Harbor on Maine’s Atlantic Coastline in America is well known for its scenic beauty, geology, flora, fauna, and history. This park has about 45,000 acres of forests, lakes, mountains, wetlands, and ocean shoreline. It protects a patch of coastal Maine where the north woods tumble down to meet the wild Atlantic, cultural history, scenic beauty, and scientific values within the Acadia archipelago and Schoodic Peninsula and offers visitors a broad range of transformative and inspiring experiences among the park’s diverse habitats, glacially sculpted mountains, and bold, rocky coastline. The major part of this park is Mount Desert Island and the other Islands are –
- Bar Island,
- Baker Island,
- Little Cranberry Island,
- Great Cranberry Island,
- Bear Island,
- Sutton Island,
- Spectacle Island,
- Isle Au Haut,
- Great Duck Island.
Acadia is one of the best places on the east coast to view the Milky Way. The catching scenery and diverse resources of Mount Desert Island have attracted people for thousands of years. It’s been the place where New Englanders lost themselves into nature and learn to nourish the wild side of Down East. Settlers were arriving in a large number and starting fishing, shipbuilding, farming, and lumbering by the 1800s.
This beautiful and adventurous park offers hiking, biking, camping, breathtaking views of jagged coastlines, pristine lakes and is one of the excellent places on the east coast to view the Milky Way.
Acadia National Park is open year-round, providing access to over 2 million visitors every year to this beautiful natural resource. More than 3.5 million people visited the park in 2018.
Acadia National Park Map:
It is an American national park located in the state of Maine, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park conserves about half of Mount Desert Island, many adjacent smaller islands, and part of the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine.
For Northbound Tourists: I-95 into Maine and continue on I-95 to exit 182A.Chase the route 395 East to Route 1A to Ellsworth.
Go straight on route 3 to Bar Harbor. The Wonder View Inn is about two miles beyond the park entrance and is on the right.
For Southbound travelers:1-95 to Exit 182A and follow northbound directions.
History of Acadia National Park:
In the history of Acadia National Park in America, the first written description of Maine recorded 100 years after European trade started, where narrate Native Americans who lived the land by hunting, fishing, collecting shellfish and plants and berries.
The Wabanaki people(Four distinct tribes—the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot are known collectively as the Wabanaki, or “People of the Dawnland, who are Native American peoples. ) knew Mount Desert Island as Pemetic, “the sloping land.” They built bark-covered conical shelters and traveled in birchbark cockleboat. Historical records indicate that the Wabanaki wintered in midst forests and spent summers near the coast. There may have been two separate groups, one inland and another on the coast.
Samuel Champlain, a Frenchman, created the first important step to the historical record of Mount Desert Island. He led the enterprise that landed on Mount Desert on September 5, 1604, and wrote in his journal, and named it” Isles des Monts Déserts.” Before the newcomer landed at Plymouth Rock, Champlain visited the island that destined this land to become known as New France before it became New England.
In 1613, French Jesuit established the first French mission in America on Mount Desert Island. An English ship commanded by Captain Samuel Argall spoiled their mission, when they had just begun to build a fort, plant corn, and baptize the natives. The English victory punished Jesuit endeavor on Mount Desert Island, leaving the land in a state of limbo lying between the French, firmly entrenched to the north, and the British, whose settlements in Massachusetts and southward were becoming increasingly numerous. No one wished to settle in this contested region. For the next 150 years, the island was primarily used as a landmark for seamen.
After a century and a half of controversy, In 1759, British soldier obtained victory at Quebec by ending French supremacy in Acadia. The Native Americans dispersed and lands along the Maine coast opened for an English settlement. Governor Francis Bernard of Massachusetts acquired a royal land grant-in-aid on Mount Desert Island. In 1760, Bernard tried to secure his demand by offering free land to settlers. Abraham Somes and James Richardson accepted the offer and settled their families at what is now Somerville.
Bernard’s plans ended for Mount Desert Island because of the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In the aftermath of the war, Bernard lost his right, and the newly created United States of America approved the western half of Mount Desert Island to John Bernard, who is a son of the governor, and the eastern half of the island to Marie Therese de Gregoire, granddaughter of Cadillac. Both of them sold their landholdings to non-resident landlords soon.
Their real estate transactions made very little difference to the increasing number of settlers on Mount Desert Island. By 1820, farming, lumbering, fishing, and shipbuilding stood as the major occupations. Settlers on Mount Desert Island converted hundreds of acres of trees into wood products. Farmers harvested wheat, rye, corn, and potatoes. By 1850, the familiar sights of fishermen, sailors, and shipyards exposed a way of life linked to the sea.
Finally, Acadia National Park was built by President Woodrow Wilson, as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8, 1916. It became a national park with the name Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, the influential French supporter of the American Revolution on February 1919. It was the first National Park established in the east of the Mississippi River.
In 1929, the government accepted additional gratuity of land beyond the limits of Mount Desert Island. And immediately, the park was enlarged to include the part of the Schoodic Peninsula. The park was renamed Acadia National Park on January 19, 1929, at the desire of the donor of the Schoodic land.
From 1915 to 1933, the wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, who contributed to financing, designed and directed the construction of an extensive network of carriage trails throughout the park. This network surrounded by 50 miles of gravel carriage trails, 17 granite bridges, and two gate lodges, almost all of which are still maintained and in use today.
Approximately 10,000 acres of Acadia National Park burned in a fire that had begun on the mainland in a cranberry bog on October 17, 1947. The blaze was one of a series of fires that consumed much of Maine’s forest as a result of a dry year. Restoration of the park was supported enough by the Rockefeller family. Re-growth was mostly allowed to occur naturally and it has been suggested that the fire actually enhanced the beauty of the park, adding diversity to tree populations and depth to its scenery.
Currently, this park consists of 30,300 acres (47 square miles) on Mount Desert Island, 2,728 acres (4.6 square miles) on Isle Au Haut, and 2,366 acres (3.5 square miles) on the Schoodic Peninsula.
Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park:
September to through early October after the summer rush and before the temperature drop below freezing is the perfect time to travel Acadia National Park. It can be soggy, misty and rainy when you will trip in March, April, and May. As a result, you have to pack your waterproof gear.
Flight to Acadia National Park:
Boston to Acadia National Park:
There are 3 flights per day for Boston to Bar Harbor-
- Flight Name– Silver Airways 148,
Time Schedule-11:00 am→12:10 pm,
Days-Monday to Friday.
- Flight Name– Silver Airways 148,
Time Schedule-12:00 pm→1:10 pm,
Days-Sunday to Saturday.
- Flight Name-Silver Airways 149,
Time Schedule- 4:00 pm→5:10 pm,
Days-Sunday to Saturday.
- Flight Name- Cape Air 1837,
Time Schedule- 4:25 pm→5:45 pm,
Days-Monday to Sunday.
- Flight Name- Cape Air 1837,
Time Schedule- 5:05 pm→6:25 pm,
Though the fastest way to get from Boston to Acadia National Park is to fly, the cheapest way is to drive which costs $27 – $40 and it will take almost 5hour 10min.
Bangor Airport (BGR) to Acadia National Park:
The cheapest way to get from Bangor Airport (BGR) to Acadia National Park is to drive which costs $5 – $8 and takes 1h 20m and the fastest way is to taxi which costs $120 – $150 and takes 1h 20m.
Portland Maine to Acadia National Park:
The fastest way to get from Portland to Acadia National Park is to drive which costs $17 – $26 and takes 3h 18m and the cheapest is to bus which costs $9 and takes 5h 44m though there is no direct bus and also time-consuming.
Where to Stay in Acadia National Park:
Acadia National Park is made up of a cluster of islands on the Atlantic coast. This park is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike, with its woodlands, lakes, mountains, and ocean shoreline. Its central part is Mount Desert Island, which includes the enchanting town Bar Harbor. There is a wide range of Acadia National Park cabins, hotels, inns, and campsites to suit every stay.
Acadia National Park Cabins and Cottage:
- Bayview Cottages Vacation Homes- 271 Bayview Drive, Bar Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
- Moorings Inn Cottages- Manset in Southwest Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
- Bar Harbor & Acadia Vacation Rentals -61 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, Open: Year – Round.
- Windward Cottages – 28 Western Bay Way, Bar Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
Acadia National Park Cabins Pet-Friendly:
- Town & Country Cottage – 230 State Highway 3, Bar Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
- Seal Cove Cabins- Seal Cove in Tremont, Mount Desert Island, Offered: June – Oct.
- Summertime Bar Harbor – 1 Bloomfield Rd., Bar Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
- Red’s Garden – 190 Otter Creek Dr., Bar Harbor, Open: Year-Round.
- Holly Hill- Mount Desert, Mount Desert Island 04662.
- Skywater- Mount Desert, Mount Desert Island 04660.
- Clove Hitch – Mount Desert, Mount Desert Island 04660.
Acadia National Park Camping:
Campground in Bar Harbor:
- Blackwoods Campground: Blackwoods is Acadia’s most popular campground and also It is the only Acadia campground open year-round. Blackwoods has 306 campsites and all campsites are wooded.
- Hadley’s Point Campground: Hadley’s Point Campground offers grassy and wooded sites, with its own fireplace and picnic table. And also tent sites, water & electric (20-30-50 Amp), full hookup campsites, etc are available. Visit and see the newest addition to Hadley’s Point Campground.
- Smuggler’s Den Campground.
Campground on Mount Desert Island:
- Mount Desert Campground: This campground is located in the heart of Mount Desert Island, just minutes from Bar Harbor and Acadia Park.
- Seawall Campground: Seawall Campground is Acadia National Park’s second-most popular campground.
Schoodic Woods Campground:
It is located in breathtaking Acadia National Park on the Maine coast and on the Schoodic Peninsula. This campground is 1.5 miles (2.5 km) southeast of Winter Harbor. It is approximately 60-70 minutes from Bar Harbor. The campground is open during the following season –
May 22, 2019 – October 13, 2019 (Peak Season).
Duck Harbor Campground:
This campground is located on Isle Au Haut Island. It’s a very popular campground. Five primitive sites are available at Duck Harbor from May 15 through October 13 by advance reservation only and advance reservations are required.
Acadia National Park Hotels & Resorts:
- Bar Harbor Manor- 3-star hotel, 47 Holland Avenue, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Hotel Bar Harbor Grand Hotel 3-star hotel, 269 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Bar Harbor Inn and Spa 4-star hotel, 7 Newport Drive, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Bluenose Inn – Bar Harbor Hotel 4-star hotel, 90 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Acadia Hotel – Acadia Hotel is a 3-star hotel and located in 20 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA. It is Bar Harbor’s only hotel situated on the centrally located Village Green.
- Atlantic Eyrie Lodge – which is located in 6 Norman Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Quality Inn Bar Harbor 3-star hotel -40 Kebo Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Hampton Inn Bar Harbor-2-star hotel,12 Norman Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Acadia Ocean View Motel-2-star hotel,323 ME-3, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
- Bar Harbor Villager Motel-2-star hotel,207 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
Bar Harbor Maine Lodging:
Tourists often search Acadia National Park lodging near the charming waterfront of Bay Harbor, just a quick jaunt from the park gateway. Top lodges near to Bay Harbor include-
Acadia Inn: This lodge is comfortable enough, which boasts a heated pool, Jacuzzi, and offers breakfast daily. Location-98 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, US.
Bluenose Inn: It offers panoramic views of Frenchman Bay, is within a 10-minute drive of Acadia Park. It features a spa, heated indoor and outdoor pools and free Wi-Fi. Location- 90 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.
Atlantic Oceanside: It is an ultra-luxurious lodge. It offers the most exclusive lodging at Acadia National Park, with only 8 guestrooms situated upon dozens of acres of lavish gardens with ocean views.
Restaurant in Acadia National Park:
Here I gather some restaurant name with address and food types to support in your vistiting time-
Jordan Pond House Restaurant:
Food Types- Tea with popovers & jam(historical), Larger meals.
Address – 2928 Park Loop Rd, Seal Harbor, ME 04675.
Jordan’s Restaurant :
Food Item- blueberry pancakes(well known), breakfast & lunch.
Address-80 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Burning Tree Restaurant:
Food Types- Locally sourced seafood.
Address-69 Otter Creek Dr, Otter Creek, ME 04660.
Thrive Juice Bar & Kitchen:
Food Types- Pressed Juices, Smoothies & Breakfast.
Address-51 Rodick St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Abel’s Lobster Pound:
Food Types- Seasonal lobster.
Address- 13 Abels Ln, Mt Desert, ME 04660.
The Common Good Soup Kitchen:
Address-19 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.
2 Cats Bar Harbor:
Food Types- Full breakfast & a cafe.
Address-130 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Food Types- Upscale dinners, Contemporary blend of Latin & American food.
Address- 318 Main St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Side Street Cafe:
Food Types- Burgers, Variety of lobster dishes.
Address- 49 Rodick St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Address-1 West Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.
Great Maine Breakfast:
Food Types-Classic breakfast.
Address- 15 Cottage St, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Reading Room Restaurant:
Food Types- Seafood, Steaks with live piano music.
Address-1 Newport Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Peabody’s at the Asticou:
Food Types- Great Dessert.
Address-15 Peabody Dr, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.
Things to do in Acadia National Park:
Watch the Sunrise:
Cadillac Mountain is known for its beautiful sunrises. It is the tallest mountain of Acadia National Park, which is 1,530 feet and also the highest altitude towards the East Coast. Especially In the fall and winter, this spot is the first place where the sun rises in the United States, and watching those sunrises is one of the most popular things to do in this park. Come and catch the first sunrise in the country.
The Sunset is equally popular in here.
Take a View:
If you’ve seen a picture of Acadia, it has probably been taken from the top of Cadillac Mountain, with the small islands off the coast showing in the distance. It’s a gorgeous spot–hike or drives up to catch the views, don’t plan on being in a big hurry to come back down.
Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park:
There are very few times in my life when I feel pleasure to drive and driving in Acadia National Park gave me this feeling during travel. When one drives along this road, will get Acadia’s most well-known sights, and can make it an efficient way to take breathtaking views. In here, along the coastal part of the route highlights Great Head, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole, along with Otter Point and Otter Cliffs, soaring 110 feet above the sea, one of the highest sea cliffs on the East Coast. This is a particularly good spot for spotting seabirds.
In most places, parking is easy to come by, though there can be some traffic congestion at popular spots. While shuttles during the busy summer season, it is technically possible to visit Acadia without a car. this is a place for exploring, and you’ll want the freedom to drive. We rented a car from Hertz for our trip to Acadia National Park and were very pleased with the experience–the representatives were very sincere, had reasonable prices, and made both pick-ups and drop – off easy.
This road is open from mid-April through November, and a small part is open year-round. Parts of the route are one-way, so you should plan to do it in a clockwise direction.
Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park :
One of the most dramatic spots in Acadia National Park is the breach of Thunder Hole between Great Head and Otter Cliffs, where a small cave has formed just under the surface of the water. As waves recede, they leave a space for air to enter the cave, so when the next wave crashes into the cleft it collides with the air, forcing it out with a thunderous roar. When the surf is high, the spray shoot as high as 40 feet into the air.
Sometime Thunder Hole doesn’t perform because the tide has to come in just the right way. But one should definitely check for the ideal time to try to hear the phenomenon.
Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park :
From 1915 to 1933, the wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, who contributed to financing, designed and directed the construction of an extensive network of carriage trails throughout the park. This network is encircled by 50 miles of gravel carriage trails, 17 stunning stone arched bridges, and two gate lodges. No cars are allowed on these roads, but they’re perfect for walking, biking, and horseback riding. For this, you can thank John D. Rockefeller and his family.
Nowadays the carriage roads are famous for walking, bicycling, horseback riding, and carriage rides that bring back the pre-air-conditioning era when Acadia was the summer getaway for wealthy families seeking leave from the city’s heat.
The tranquil and unpaved lanes are pick places for watching songbirds. The roads form are a series of loops, so you can choose almost any distance and end up where you began. In the park, excellent access points are Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, and Bubble Pond, but you may find other access points less crowded than these popular ones.
Sand Beach in Acadia National Park :
Sand Beach is a bright, gorgeous and very clear watery little beach, which is 290 yards long situated in the east of Mount Desert Island between mountains and rocky shores. The beach is largely covered by unique sand of shell fragments created by the pounding surf. The waterline can vary quite a little bit because of the difference between the high and low tide.
NB: No pets are allowed on the beach from May 15 through September 15.
There is a popular hiking trail next to the beach called Great Head. Actually, you will see from the distance It is the wall of land at Sand Beach. If you walk to the end of the beach, you will see ascending granite steps at the base of the cliffs to the left of the shoreline. The trail offers unique and spectacular views of Sand Beach with “The Beehive” in the background like the image here with the ocean on the left and the right.
People under the age of 10 think that swimming is only a good idea there because the water is freezing and the weather 65 degrees in July, but the beach is still beautiful and worth seeing.
Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park :
One of the most challenging and well-known hiking trails in Acadia National Park is Precipice Trail with an almost vertical 1,000-foot climb up to the east of Champlain Mountain. The trail is only permitted for physically fit and experienced hikers who have no phobia of heights. If you do not hike this trail alone, you must verify weather conditions before the climb. While you decide hiking in Acadia National Park, go to Acadia Hiking Trails for additional trail information, suggestions, and rules.
Bass Harbor Head Light:
The only lighthouse of Mount Desert Island’s is Bass Harbor Head Light and it is also one of the most scenic beauties of Mines. The lighthouse was established in 1858 for mariners to guide them into Blue Hill Bay and passing through the treacherous Bass Harbor Bar. The station originally had a hand-rung fog bell which was later replaced in 1898 by a 4000-pound fog bell with a specialized striking type of machinery that still placed today along with the original oil house.
The lighthouse stands 56 feet above the water and is now automated. You can’t visit the lighthouse, as the local Coast Guard commander resides there, but from the trails on either side, you can take outstanding pictures of the tower and Blue Hills Bay.
Jordan Pond House:
The deepest and clear watery Jordan Pond is Acadia’s second-largest lake, and also home to a variety of wildlife including beaver, frogs, and loons. In the 1800s, after opening this pond, the visitors arrived by carriage, where has been serving afternoon tea and popovers(a sort of hollow bread roll served with butter and jam) for more than 100 years on the lawn overlooking of Jordan Pond and the rounded mountains known as The Bubbles. Though In 1979, a fire destroyed the original building but the Jordan Pond is still the most beloved traditions of Acadia summers.
A one-mile loop forms from the Jordan Pond Nature trail which follows the rocky shoreline of the pond and returns through the woods. The 3.2-mile Jordan Pond path marge the shore. These offer a stunning view of the glacially formed pond and mountains.
The Schoodic Peninsula became a part of Acadia National Park in 1929, with unique pink granite shores, most of which can be enjoyed from the newly paved route. These giant pink granite boulders are an inspiration to artists, but also fun for kids to climb and walk on, and perfect area for picture taking, picnicking or walking down to the coast to see lobster boats ply the calm protected waters. The ocean surf crashes against the cliffs and rocky coastline, which creates a scenic beauty there. It is also a beautiful area for camping.
Most of Schoodic Loop Road is one-way. During the summer season (late June–Columbus Day) Island Explorer buses provide free transportation in and around the peninsula. Vehicle turn-out that provides opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery.
When you move out Schoodic Peninsula you will pass the seaside towns of Winter Harbor on your way at the Park Loop Road, which becomes one-way traffic at the Schoodic Head, the highest point on the peninsula at 440-feet, which is now the Schoodic Education and Research Center.
The Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts Spring and Wild Gardens:
Just the outside Bar Harbor at Sieur de Monts Spring, the Abbe Museum displays part of its immense collection of artifacts and art of the Wabanaki, introducing visitors to the Native Americans who have lived in this area for more than 12,000 years. Here exhibitions take place on the culture and history basis through multimedia and interactive display. A larger part of the outstanding collections of basketry and other ancient and contemporary Wabanaki artifacts and art is displayed at the museum.
Also at Sieur de Monts Spring are the Wild Gardens of Acadia, where pine-needle and stone paths wind through a dozen small gardens, each filled with plants native to different local habitats. More than 400 plant species are represented in just under one acre of well-planned gardens. This is also a good place to see birds.
Acadia National Park Hiking:
Some best hiking trail are below-
Hiking at Acadia Park:
- Champlain Mountain & Beehive Loop Trail,
- Gorham Mountain Trail,
- Precipice Trail,
- Great Head Trail,
- Bubble Rock,
- Heart of Acadia Loop,
- Beech Mountain Trail,
- The Bowl Trail,
- Jordan Cliffs Trail,
- Cadillac South Ridge Trail,
- Cadillac West Face Trail,
- Penobscot Mountain Trail,
- Acadia Mountain Trail,
- Beachcroft Path Trail,
- Razorback Trail,
- Long Pond Trail.
Hiking at Bar Harbor:
- Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail,
- Bar Island Trails,
- Ocean Trail.
Hiking at Southwest Harbor:
- Flying Mountain Hiking Trail,
- Beech Cliff Loop,
- Perpendicular Trail,
- Wonderland Trail.
Hiking at Mount Desert Island:
- Indian Point Blagden Preserve.
Acadia National Park in Winter:
Welcome to Acadia in winter. Every year more than 2 million tourists travel to Acadia National Park and there are days when it seems like they’re all there at the same time. But only a small part around 5 percent traveler visit this park when the snow flies. 85 percent of them are Mainers, mostly residents of Bar Harbor and surrounding towns, who come from December to March, and they actively avoid the park in summer. This season serenity is in a supreme state in everywhere.
People who love skiing, superb snowshoeing, scenic drives, uncommon birds, serenity, etc, for them, this is the perfect timing to visit here. If you appreciate it then come and do enjoy yourself.
Things to Do in Winter:
- Scenic Drive: The maximum portion of Park Loop Road is closed in winter, but Only Ocean Drive and Jordan Pond Road are accessible. Ocean Drive is on Schooner Head Road to Otter Cliff and Jordan Pond Road in Seal Harbor. Sargeant Drive along Northeast Harbor to Acadia Mountain and ME 102A to Bass Harbor Head Light offers a scenic winter, where the grounds are open for visitors year-round.
- Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
- Winter Hiking
- Ice Fishing
- Dog Sledding and Skijoring