Acadia National Park is one of the premier outdoor destinations in the US State of Maine, especially during summer. Acadia is in fact, the first eastern national park established in the country and the only National Park in New England. Aside from housing a plethora of plants and animals, it is also home to the tallest mountain in the Atlantic coast of United States. It’s no wonder that it is one of the most visited parks in the US and North America.
Perhaps the first place to visit while in this park is Hulls Cover Visitor Center, located off Route 3 in Bar Harbor. The center is actually perched on a hill and can be reached by climbing 52 steps. There is a special back entrance allocated for those with special needs. While at Hulls, you may inquire about activity schedules, maps and guide books. There is also a 15-minute audio/visual presentation that showcases the features of Acadia National Park. Just nearby the center is the historical Carriage Road, which has become a popular hiking and biking spot.
Situated off the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is indeed a majestic land that offers plenty of outdoor fun and activities. You can experience wildlife watching, bike historic trails or just enjoy the spectacular scenery. Hiking is especially popular in Acadia as the park boasts a range of interconnected trails, which stretch to more than 120 miles and feature varying difficulty levels.
One of the most popular hiking paths is the Acadia Mountain Trail due to its gorgeous panoramas of Southwest Harbor and Somes Sound. But the trail also is quite challenging as involves a steep 700-foot ascent. After a satisfying day of hiking, you can also opt to camp for the night at designated grounds like the Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground.
Another fantastic way to fully maximize your time on Acadia, is to go for one of the exciting National Park tours organized by the park management. The tour consists of riding a bus that travels throughout the park. Over the two-and- a-half hour trip, a guide will give valuable insights and information regarding the surroundings and the park’s occupants. There will also be 15-minute stops at notable sites including those on Cadillac Mountain. The tour is made available to the public from May through October. On top of the bus tour; you also have the option to take the narrated trolley tour that lasts 1 or 1.5 hours.
If you want something different from land exploration, why not try a narrated boat cruise, headed by a park ranger. Some of the cruise itineraries to consider include the Baker Island Cruise, the Dive-In Theater Boat Cruise, Frenchman Bay Cruise and Islesford Historical Cruise. These cruises have varying operation schedules so make sure to check before making plans.
A cruise or a private boat tour allows you to visit the smaller yet very scenic islands in Acadia. Perhaps, the most popular among these islands is Mount Desert Island. Here, you can choose to do nothing but relax and enjoy the ocean view! On Mount Desert, the seaside resort town of Bar Harbor has become a favorite among travelers exploring the Acadia National Park. Other islands to consider visiting include Ellsworth, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor. You can also choose to stay overnight on one of these islands. Aside from hotels; a variety of vacation rentals, cottages and cabins are also available for rent.