Acadia National Park is located on the rocky coast of "Down East" Maine, near the town of Bar Harbor, boasting the unique distinction of being the first national park ever created east of the Mississippi.
While Yellowstone and Yosemite may be more towering and famous, Acadia National Park has it's own charms that never fails to cast a spell.
Wild, tempestuous and utterly beautiful, Acadia encompasses more than 47,000 acres, most of which (30,300) is situated on Mount Desert Island. An additional 2,728 acres of the park lie on Isle au Haut with 2,266 more on Schoodic Peninsula.
Affording unusual and spectacular vistas of both land and sea, Acadia is one of the smaller national parks in the country. However, that hasn't as yet affected its place on the list of Top Ten visited national parks in the US as it continues to attract close to 3
million visitors annually.
Getting to Acadia National Park
About a six-hour drive north from Boston (I-95 north to Augusta, then Route 3 east to Ellsworth and on to Mount Desert Island), direct flights from Logan Airport are also available to the Hancock County Airport, located 10 miles from Acadia National Park. National flights
are also available into Bangor International Airport, about an hour's drive to the park.
The park has two places for visitors to learn about what the park has to offer, along with Acadia National Park maps and other tips and information on major attractions and must-sees. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the park newspaper, "The Beaver Log", for up-to-date park news and events.
The main information center at Hulls Cove is open from mid-April to the end of October, with additional help for visitors located at the park headquarters, which is open year-round.
Acadia campgrounds, lodging and hotels
The two primary
park campgrounds on Mount Desert Island are Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. Campground
facilities include comfort stations, running water, picnic tables, with showers and camping supply stores located a short distance
from the campgrounds.
For hotel accommodations, nearby Bar Harbor serves as "base camp" to many visitors who can choose from a wide variety of lodging from B&B inns to full-service hotels with on-site or convenient nearby restaurants and shopping.
What to see and do inside the park
visitors will want to drive the 20-mile Park Loop Road to become acquainted with the park's breathtaking views of ocean, mountains, and forests.
Detail map of the Park Loop Road inside Acadia National Park
While on tour,
don't miss the 3 1/2 mile trip up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, for even more stunning vistas.
For those who do prefer not to drive, the free Island Explorer bus system offers rides through the park with stops at major points of interest or rent a bike in Bar Harbor and embark on your own tour via pedal power. Another quaint mode of transportation in Arcadia National Park is via horse carriage, offered by Carriages of Arcadia that schedule everything from afternoon sightseeing
tours for families to full-blown excursions throughout the park.
National Park - The official National Park Service site featuring a complete travel guide with facts & information
on entry fees, lodging, news & events, ranger-led activities, photos, maps, driving directions.
National Park - Wikitravel - Complete overview including information on must-see attractions, campgrounds, historical background, photos, maps, camping and safety tips, with related resources.
Bar Harbor - The official site with guides and information on hotels, dining and shopping, the park and other nearby attractions with photos, directions, historical facts, and related visitor resources.