Sole national park in New England, Acadia, presents unique coastal beauty and pursuits for both adrenaline junkies and leisurely hikers. Most individuals spend about two to four days here, which is just enough to take in the park attractions. But you could easily spend more than a week taking in bike rides, mountaintop hikes, shoreline strolls, scenic drives, as well as leaving time to relax on the shores of Sand Beach or Echo Lake.
Acadia N.P. Comprises more than 47,000 acres, 30,300 of which are on the eastern Mount Desert Island. In addition, 2,728 acres of the park lie on Isle au Haut and 2,266 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula.
Top Attractions in and Around Acadia National Park
One of Acadia’s most remarkable features is this wonderful stretch of sandy shoreline hiding between hills on the eastern end of Mount Desert Island. The beach is around 300m long and attracts strollers, sunbathers, and a few courageous people willing to face the 55ºF (summertime) water temperatures for a dip. A gorgeous hiking trail begins from here.
Don’t go back home from the park without hiking – or driving – to the 1530ft peak of Cadillac Mountain. For scenic views of Frenchman Bay, walk the 0.5-mile Cadillac Mountain summit path. This summit is a famous place in the early morning because it’s lauded as the first spot in the USA to watch the sunrise. You don’t like waking up early? The sunset is always a decent bet.
Waves flow into a natural opening formed into the rocks to form a thunderous splash, stretching high into the air when circumstances are apt. Steps from the street (and a parking area above) lead to this wonderful attraction, which can get crowded with tourists on fine days. Aside from the charming play of water on rocks, the viewing platform offers excellent views across the Otter Cliffs and Sand Beach.
On sunny days, the smooth waters of this 170-acre pond exhibit the image of Penobscot Mountain like a mirror. A walk around the pond and its neighboring flower meadows and forests are one of Acadia’s most famous and family-friendly activities. Follow the 3-mile nature trail around the pond before resting for a cuppa at the popular Jordan Pond House.
Top Things to do in Acadia National Park
- Bird Watching: Acadia is an excellent place to birdwatch, with many species calling the park home. Peregrine falcons, bald eagles, cranes, great blue herons, geese, ducks, woodpeckers, chickadees, blue jays, orioles, and owls, can be seen resting in the park.
- Bicycling: There is a vast network of carriage trails throughout Acadia National Park, which are closed to cars and are great places to ride your bicycle. The carriage roads are paved with crushed stone and are best navigated on a hybrid or mountain bicycle. Another option for adventure cyclists is the 20 miles long Park Loop Road, which encompasses much of the eastern part of the park.
- Hiking: Acadia has the most enjoyable day hiking in the Eastern U.S. Walking the miles of tracks is one of the greatest ways to explore the park. Immerse yourself in the flora and fauna of the land on several different hikes of various lengths, environments, and difficulty. These trails are charming, with high ocean views, accessible tree lines, stone bridges, and steep precipices.
- Paddling: The last iceberg of 18,000 years ago created the beautiful and incredible terrain of the park, leaving behind some of the clearest ponds and lakes in the Americas. Boat rental services and sea kayaking tours are offered from various establishments in Bar Harbor and provide access to Mount Desert Island and other exciting destinations.
Now You Know