A First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Acadia National Park

There are not any deserts to be uncovered in New England, so the identify of Maine’s “Mount Desert” Island comes as a bit of a shock to those unfamiliar with it. Right now, about fifty percent of Mount Desert Island is preserved as Acadia National Park. It’s one of the smallest but most-visited national parks in the place. When French explorer Samuel de Champlain 1st explored the New England coast in the early 17th century, he was struck by how barren and treeless this rocky shoreline was. He dubbed it the island of monts-déserts, or “barren mountains.” He wasn’t wrong—the landscape of “Downeast Maine” alongside the Bay of Fundy involving the “Mid-Coast” area and the Canadian border is one of a kind to the relaxation of New England. In this article, lush forests give way to granite mountains that increase up from the sea. It’s the greatest together the eastern seaboard this aspect of Rio de Janeiro.

Acadia has substantially to provide visitors, and even locals obtain by themselves returning time and time once again to explore its riches. If you are interested in browsing the Northeast’s only nationwide park this side of the Shenandoah Valley, it is absolutely well worth the vacation. Here, we’re breaking down how to make the most of your Acadia Countrywide Park journey.

The shore of Acadia National Park
Courtesy of Check out Maine

How to get to Acadia Nationwide Park

Through the peak summer months months, driving your automobile is convenient for everywhere except the park itself. Certainly, you can get from Logan Airport in Boston to the park’s entrance in four and a 50 percent hrs flat. But know that visitors and parking when you’re within the park could kill your vibe. If you approach on looking at a number of other elements of Maine on your excursion (this kind of as the restaurant scene in Portland, or the preppy seashore enclave at Kennebunkport), it’s possibly best to drive. If your sole focus is Acadia, there are a number of other choices.

Regional carrier Cape Air provides frequently scheduled flights from Boston to Mount Desert Island. From there, it’s uncomplicated to choose a taxi from the airport to your resort. And so long as you’re keeping in one particular of the main villages on the island (there are a number of), it’s effortless to hop on and off the Island Explorer, a consistently scheduled shuttle bus that drives loops all-around the island and via the national park, hitting all the principal places along the way. The Island Explorer’s web-site also has a very useful “Car-Free Journey Guidebook” that lists out the many alternatives for community transportation from nearby Bangor, Maine, as effectively as Boston.

What to anticipate

The temperature in New England, particularly together the coast, can be variable. Even in the peak of summer months, chillier nights can get down into the 40s, so unquestionably pack some layers. This time of yr, every thing is on the desk weather conditions-clever in New England, from dry warmth to high winds and even hail. Odds are, you can hope daytime temperatures in the superior 70s with heaps of solar and humidity. Hikers from drier climates could possibly be stunned by how oppressive the heat can truly feel. Pack levels, provide a good deal of h2o, make a prepare for where by you’re heading, and you’ll be wonderful. The Nationwide Park Service’s Acadia Countrywide Park webpage is a ought to-browse useful resource for trail closures, repairs notices, and advisories about which parts of the park may well or might not be open at any offered time.

In terms of wherever to situate by yourself, it is truly worth noting there are numerous villages on the island of Mount Desert, the most notable which include the charming town of Bar Harbor, and the sleepier Southwest Harbor. If it’s your to start with time to the island and proximity to the nationwide park entrance is your precedence, choose for anything in Bar Harbor. Southwest Harbor is about 20 minutes away by vehicle from the countrywide park (for a longer period in visitors), but, conversely, is significantly sleepier and much more very low vital than the typically crowded streets of Bar Harbor in the peak of summer months.

What to Do in Acadia Countrywide Park

Push the Park Loop Road

Acadia’s 27-mile Park Loop Road is the quintessential scenic travel, with ocean sights, lakeside splendor, and dramatic cliffs in spades. It is a worthwhile drive in and of alone, but is also the most hassle-free way to entry many of the park’s key sights like Sand Beach front, Otter Position, and Cadillac Mountain.

Hiking in Acadia National Park
Courtesy of Pay a visit to Maine

Hike, hike, and hike some much more

Did we mention you ought to hike while you are in this article? There are around 158 miles of climbing trails in Acadia National Park, with selections ranging from spouse and children-friendly to downright grueling. The most classic is possibly the hike up Cadillac Mountain, in particular at sunrise, as it’s amid the to start with places in the nation to see the sunlight rise over the Atlantic.

Though the crowds have a tendency to adhere to Cadillac (there is a automobile road that finishes at the summit), locals adore to summit “The Bee-hive,” a demanding hike that involves granite ways, iron via ferrata rungs, and just more than enough scrambling to continue to keep items fascinating. The moment you access the prime, however, you’re dealt with to sights that are as great as wherever else in the park. You also have only a portion of the travelers. And keep in mind, the Nationwide Park Service’s Acadia web site is a excellent resource for live updates on which trails may possibly or may perhaps not be closed for repairs.

See Acadia from the water

Climbing trails throughout Acadia Nationwide Park make it probable to walk throughout numerous of the park’s rugged pure capabilities. Seeing them from the water gives a exclusive point of view to the park’s geography. Capture a experience with Bar Harbor Whale Check out Co., which features whale viewing tours, puffin tours, lighthouse excursions, as well as a from-the-water tour of Acadia Countrywide Park. You are going to see issues that you would in no way if not see from land-based adventures.

Kayak to an oyster farm

Okay, Bar Harbor Oyster Organization’s oyster farm may not technically be in the confines of Acadia Countrywide Park. But this is an exercise that absolutely any visitor to Mount Desert Island—especially all those who enjoy food—should contemplate. Aquaculture has exploded in New England in current decades, and this modest domestically owned operation utilizes its farm tours software to give a glimpse into the day-to-day everyday living of a contemporary farmer. The tour goes two times a 7 days all through July and August—note, it books up speedily! You get to kayak out to the company’s oyster farm and taste some new bivalves plucked straight from the water.

Glamping lodge with string lights at night
Courtesy Graphic

In which to keep

Terramor Outdoor Resort Bar Harbor

As the only entire-service glamping house situated on Mount Desert Island, Terramor is the variety of property that could effortlessly rest on its laurels. The good news is, it doesn’t. This out of doors vacation resort normally takes all the work out of tenting, so you can concentrate on the exciting stuff. It is virtually unfair to get in touch with the tents listed here “tents.”  They have Frette linens, Pendleton blankets, screened-in porches, private bogs, and private fireplace rings. The property also has an out of doors pool and hut tub, and a highly experienced workers can suggest on hikes, canoeing, and biking in the countrywide park. You can also brush up on your outdoorsy expertise like creating fires and reading path maps. New for this summer is TerraS’Mores—a rotating menu of gourmet s’mores these types of as lobster and brie s’mores, summer time strawberry s’mores, and candied bacon s’mores. You might just be unable to go back to normal camping at any time again.

Queen Anne’s Revenge

Anyone enjoys a comeback story. The in advance of-and-following pictures on Instagram of this inn’s modern renovation are almost nothing small of jaw dropping. 3 neighboring 19th century cottages ended up reworked into present-day nevertheless historic hideaways. They are surely one particular of the most interesting areas to continue to be on the Maine coast this summer. No two rooms are the exact same, and your remain contains a totally free continental breakfast every single morning. Seeking for one thing a lot more substantial? The inn is conveniently located within just strolling length to all that Bar Harbor has to give.

West Street Hotel
Courtesy of West Road Lodge

West Street Resort

A rooftop pool? In Maine? You bet—and it is also the only pool on the entire island with views into the national park. The hotel’s cafe Stewman’s Lobster Pound is one particular of the greatest in Bar Harbor for a vintage Maine lobster bake. In the meantime, the hotel’s pub Paddy’s is a reliably pleasurable place for a nightcap. Keep in intellect, the hotel is 18+. On an island which can be intensely household-oriented in the course of the warmer months, this is a welcome reprieve for grownups. And if you are trying to travel with youngsters, check out out the hotel’s sister home, Harborside Resort, in which young children are welcome. It’s throughout the avenue.

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