One of the star attractions in New England, you should definitely visit Acadia National Park at least once. Comprising a few islands just off the rocky coast of Maine, this is the only national park in this corner of the United States.
This pristine area of wilderness is gorgeous all-year round, from the snowy winters to the lush, green summers to the spectacular foliage of the fall. Particularly in summer, Acadia National Park is an extremely popular destination, getting overrun by thousands of tourists. The best time to visit would be June or September, if you’re after peace and quiet. The best weather, of course, is in the peak summer months of July and August. Accommodation comes in a wide variety of options, from basic campsites to luxury hotels and everything in between.
Acadia National Park has several great attractions, including gorgeous landscapes, man-made structures and countless opportunities for outdoor activities.
Let’s continue with a look at a few reasons why you should make Acadia National Park your next destination.
6 Reasons to Visit Acadia National Park
Many lakes dot the Acadia landscape, ranging from small ponds to relatively large bodies of water. It’s not only coastlines in the park—if you don’t like salt in your hair after swimming in the ocean, you can always opt for swimming in the freshwater lakes. Jordan Pond is arguably the most popular lake, its shore the location of a restaurant. A hiking trail loops around the lakes, offering scenic views of Bubbles Mountain.
Acadia National Park is the child of wealthy philanthropists of the early 20th century. It became an official national park in 1919. From 1915 until 1933, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was responsible for the creation of 54 miles (72 kilometers) of carriage roads through the park that would allow visitors to enjoy the park’s natural beauty. Almost all these roads are still in use today and are used as walking and cycling paths.
Bass Harbor Head Light
Possibly the most picturesque of all the lighthouses on the Maine coast, the Bass Harbor Head Light is the only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island, which is Acadia’s main island. Its setting couldn’t be more “Maine”, perched atop a sheer rocky cliff with waves beating against the shore underneath. The views from the stony beach below are phenomenal, especially at sunset.
Beaches and Coastline
Essentially a national park of islands, Acadia National Park is characterized by its rugged coastline, which is dotted with sand beaches. The appropriately named Sand Beach is the most popular and the largest beach. It’s one of only two beaches within the park that has lifeguards—the permanently chilly ocean water might not be ideal for swimming, though. Sunbathing, however, is brilliant.
The inner regions of the park’s islands, particularly Mount Desert Island, are home to hills and mountain ranges. Many hiking trails and one auto road lead to the summit of 1,527-foot (465-meter) Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the entire east coast of the United States. The panoramic views from the summit are jaw-dropping, taking in much of Acadia National Park and island-dotted Frenchman Bay. This mountain is also said to be the first place where you can see the sun rise in the United States.
With natural landscapes featuring everything from wild coasts to mountain summits and lakes, this amazing national park is crisscrossed by hiking trails—countless of them. I would suggest hiking to the summit of Cadillac Mountain on one of the many trails on the mountain first. If you’re up for more, consider climbing Champlain Mountain along the Precipice Trail, probably the most challenging and steep hike you’ll ever do. Other suggestions are the Bubble Rock Trail and the Great Head Trail.