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Great Maine Vacations Home: Acadia National Park Maine

Acadia National Park, Maine

As you sit at sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain, you will understand why each year thousands of vacationers head to Acadia National Park in Maine, the....

..."First National Park East of the Mississippi". Located primarily on Mount Desert Island, with outcroppings on Isle au Haut and Schoodic Peninsula, in Maine's Downeast region...

...the Acadia Park covers nearly 47,000 acres, including conservation easements.

With 125 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage roads, kayaking, canoeing and fishing, saltwater and freshwater swimming beaches...

...Acadia Park camping at four locations, and spectacular cliff side overlooks, the park is one of the most scenic places to vacation to, or visit in Maine.

Cadillac Mountain

Update March 19, 2013... Reports, including one on fenceviewer.com (online news from Hancock County), say that due to sequestration cuts the official seasonal opening of the Park will be than usual this Spring. See highlighted box the ANP Maine Information section below for links to the National Park Service.


Only minutes from the waterfront of Bar Harbor, Maine, the park is easily accessible from either the Hulls Cove Entrance on Route 3, or further south from the Cadillac Mountain Entrance.

Open year-round, fall foliage in Acadia is very popular, and when winter weather conditions permit...

...the park offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Because of icing, winter hiking in Acadia can be treacherous and is often not advised.

Acadia Coast Rocks Additionally, most facilities, including the...

...Hulls Cove Visitor Center, museums, picnic areas, Duck Harbor Campground and Seawall Campground, and many roads, close during the winter months.

Since the 3.5 mile summit road to Cadillac Mountain, and portions of the scenic Park Loop Road - a 27-mile paved road that winds along the rugged coastline and the park's interior...

...are shut down from December 1 through April 14, and at other times when inclement weather creates dangerous driving conditions...

...it is wise to visit an Acadia visitor center before entering the park off-season.

Acadia National Park, Maine Information

Jordan Pond Leaves Staffed by park rangers, several area visitor centers provide free Acadia information. If you visit between June and October don't miss out on the free Beaver Log...

...the park newspaper with Acadia ranger-led program schedules, tide charts, sunrise and sunset times, and information on fees and safety.

Also at any visitor center you can pay the Park Loop Road entrance fee - currently $20 per vehicle from June 23rd to early October, $10 from May 1st to June 22nd and early October to October 31, $5 for a pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. Vehicle passes and individual passes are good for seven days, including the day of purchase. You may also buy an Acadia Annual Pass for $40.

(Please note, current Acadia Park entrance fees may be higher.)

Hulls Cover Visitor Center - Open from April 15 through October 31, the Hulls Cove Visitor Center is an excellent place to begin a visit. Located to the right of the Hulls Cove entrance, the center offers...

...a free 15-minute audiovisual program about the park (available in English, French, and German), a bookstore, a 3-D map of Mount Desert Island, restrooms, drinking fountains, and available for purchase - an Acadia auto tour. But when visiting, beware...

The Hulls Cover Visitor Center sits at the top of a small hill, with fifty two steps leading up to it. For people who cannot navigate the stairs or need a wheelchair accessible entrance, use the handicap parking lot which sits at the top of the hill, to the left of the visitor center.

Park Headquarters, Winter Visitor Center - Open year-round (although closed on weekends from April 15 to October 31) Park headquarters is located on Route 233, just west of Bar Harbor. The facility serves as a Winter Visitor Center when the Hulls Cove Visitor Center is closed. Free park information, restrooms, drinking fountains, and a bookstore are available.

Thompson Island Information Center - Open from mid-May to mid-October, with displays of Acadia area information, restrooms, drinking fountains, and a nearby picnic area, the Thompson Island Information Center is located on Route 3 at the head of Mount Desert Island.

Acadia National Park, Maine Audio Tour

Sieur de Monts SignRecommended by Michelin Guides, Mobile Guides, AAA, (and myself), the Acadia National Park Audio Tour is available at park visitor centers and at some motels and hotels in Bar Harbor.

The cover of the CD proclaims that it is "A Guided Tour in the Comfort of Your Car!".

The auto tour CD is a wonderfully informative narrative of the Acadia history and what you are viewing as you travel through the park. It takes you from...

...Hulls Cove Visitor Center parking lot, to Frenchman's Bay overlook, and on to...

  • Fire of '47 Overlook
  • Sieur-de-Monts Nature Center
  • Beaver Dam Pond
  • Schooner Head Overlook
  • Sand Beach
  • Thunder Hole
  • Otter Point
  • Gulf of Maine and Cranberry Island Overlook
  • Jordan Pond parking area
  • Bubble Pond parking area
  • entrance to Cadillac Summit Road
  • top of Cadillac Mountain
  • Sargent Drive (from junction of Routes 233 and 198

Accompanying the CD is an Acadia National Park map, printed driving instructions, and photos of Acadia with instructions on how to use them as desktop images.

Acadia Bus, the Island Explorer, and Acadia Tours

Carriage Road Sign Although having your own car will give you total flexibility, there is a wonderful way to experience Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park in Maine without driving. The propane-powered Island Explorer Bus has eight bus routes linking Bar Harbor ...

..."hotels, inns, and campgrounds, with destinations in Acadia National Park and neighboring village centers".

The Island Explorer is operated by Downeast Transportation out of Ellsworth, Maine. In addition to offering bus service in Bar Harbor and the Acadia Park area, they also offer car-free alternatives for getting to and from Mount Desert Island. For more information...

Island Explorer - www.exploreacadia.com, 207-667-5796, info@exploreacadia.com

For Bar Harbor cruise ship passengers and tourists who would rather enjoy Acadia sightseeing without the hassle their automobile, Acadia bus tours and open air trolley tours are also available, through...

National Park Tours - www.acadiatours.com, 207-288-0300, acadiatours@hotmail.com

And...

Oli's Trolley - www.acadiaislandtours.com, 866-9-Trolley (866-987-6553), acadiatours@aol.com

Also...

Select lodging in Bar Harbor offers motor coach tours for groups.

Operating from Wildwood Stables on the Park Loop Road, Carriages of Acadia offers the truly unique experience of horse-drawn carriage tours on the world famous carriage roads built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. For more information visit...

Carriages of Acadia - www.carriagesofacadia.com, 877-276-3622, info@carriagesofacadia.com

Throughout the park, ranger-led programs on the mountains, in the forests, and by boat, are a great way to be introduced to the Acadia history, it's geology and wildlife. Ranger led Acadia schedules are available at the park visitor centers.

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