|ACTIVITIES IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Acadia offers a variety of activities throughout the year.
During the summer, spring, and fall, 45 miles of carriage roads are
ideal for walking, hiking and biking. In addition, over 115 miles of
hiking trails offer spectacular ocean and woodland views. Trails range
from easy to strenuous.
By automobile, visitors can drive the 20-mile Park Loop Road and take
the 7-mile spur road to Cadillac Mountain, both of which include views
of some of the most dramatic scenery along the eastern seaboard.
A variety of ranger-led programs, including bird walks, boat cruises,
evening slide programs, mountain hikes, stargazing, short talks, and
nature walks, are available from late May to mid-October.
Other summer activities include fishing, boating, carriage rides, and wildlife viewing.
During the winter, the carriage roads and the closed portions of the
Park Loop Road are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Explore Acadia with a Ranger
Learn how glaciers carved Acadia's landscape and what trees and plants
are found along trails. Cruise to an offshore island and view wildlife
en route. Learn about pioneers who went Downeast instead of out west.
These are just a few examples of what is possible when you explore
Acadia with a ranger. From late May to mid-October, park rangers lead
interpretive walks, cruises, talks, hikes, and evening slide programs
highlighting geology, marine ecology, wildlife, plant life, and human
history. When you arrive at the park, request a schedule of ranger-led
Become a Junior Ranger! For young visitors, the Junior Ranger Program
offers a variety of fun activities for explori Acadia. Purchase a
Junior Ranger Booklet, complete the activities, and join several
ranger-led programs. Upon successful completion of these activities, a
park ranger will reward a job well done.
27-mile scenic Park Loop Road begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center
and offers access to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Jordan
Pond, and Cadillac Mountain.
Park Entrance Fees are
collected at the entrance station one mile north of Sand Beach on the
Park Loop Road. In addition to the Park Loop Road, state and county
roads may offer scenic views. The road located on Schoodic Peninsula,
one hour north of Bar Harbor, offers views of the rugged coast on the
only part of the park on the mainland. Federal law requires you to wear
seat belts while driving in a national park.
Hiking and Walking
offers 120 miles of hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to
strenuous. Terrain varies from rugged shoreline and deep woods to open
mountain summits with views of the ocean and outer islands. Acadia's 45
miles of carriage roads are excellent for walking.
Acadia's 45 miles of carriage roads and portions of paved motor roads
are suitable for bicycle riding. The carriage roads have crushed rock
surfaces and wind through the heart of the park. Private carriage roads
are posted and closed to bicycles.
RULES OF THE ROAD:
Cyclists share the carriage roads with horses and pedestrians. Before
heading out, cyclists should familiarize themselves with courtesy rules
of the roads. Slow down, as speeding is discourteous to others. Be
prepared to stop. Sudden stops are dangerous on gravel surfaces. Stay
to the right. Give a clear warning before passing on the left.
Bicyclists yield to all users. Everyone yields horses. Move to the side
when stopped. Wear a helmet and carry water. Be careful! Biking is not
permitted on hiking trails.
Acadia National Park has two life guarded beaches: (Staffed Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Sand Beach, located off Park Loop Road, offers ocean swimming. The
water temperature rarely exceeds 55 degrees. Echo Lake Beach, on the
west side of the island, offers a somewhat warmer swimming experience.
Other freshwater lakes located in the park serve as drinking water
reservoirs and are closed to swimming and wading.
fishing requires a Maine state fishing license for residents 16 years
or older and non-residents 12 years or older. Non-resident licenses can
be purchased for the season or for shorter periods in town offices and
some local businesses. Ocean fishing requires no license. Be cautious
of surf conditions. Seaweed and algae covered rocks are extremely
A number of lakes and ponds on Mount Desert Island permit boating.
There is a 10 horsepower limit on Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, Upper and
Lower Hadlock Ponds and Echo Lake. There is no horsepower limit on Long
Pond. All towns have launching areas for saltwater near town docks and
municipal piers. The law requires you to carry a Coast Guard approved
life vest for each passenger. A better idea is to wear them. It could
save your life! Canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and motorboats can be rented
in surrounding communities. A variety of commercial vessels offer ferry
service, fishing, nature cruises, sailing, and whale watching
National Park offers a variety of fine climbs on small cliffs created
during the last continental glaciation. Most of these cliffs are
composed of solid coarse-grained pink granite. The longest routes are
three pitches. Otter Cliffs and Great Head provide a spectacular
setting for sea-cliff climbing not commonly available elsewhere in the
skiing: Forty-five miles of carriage roads and 41 miles of unplowed
park roads are suggested for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Skiing on hiking trails is not recommended because of the uneven and
steep nature of trails, ice falls blocking the path, and trail routes
obscured by snow. Ski equipment and rentals are available in some of
the local communities. Ski tracks are sometimes laid down by volunteers
on sections of the carriage roads when snowfall exceeds four inches.
Visitors trailering their snowmobiles are encouraged to use the Hulls
Cove Visitor Center, Sieur de Monts Spring, and Jordan Pond (boat ramp
area) parking lots in order to access the Park Loop Road. Snowmobile
travel is allowed on the 27-mile Park Loop Road (except a 1-mile
section at Jordan Pond House), and most fire roads. Only two miles of
carriage roads are open to snowmobilers as connector trails. remaining
43 miles are closed to snowmobilers.
RULES OF THE TRAIL: Stay to the right; all park routes are two-way travel.
Snowmobiles must display a valid state registration.
Maximum speed limit is 35 m.p.h.
Snowmobilers must use caution and yield the right of way to anyone not on a snowmobile.
Towing people on skis or sleds is prohibited.
It is illegal to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of liquor or drugs.
Turn on your white headlight and red tail light half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, and
whenever visibility is less than 500 feet.
Drivers under age 10 must be accompanied by a person 18 years or older
on their snowmobiles. Drivers 10 to14 years old must be accompanied by
a person 18 years or older. Drivers under the age of 14 are prohibited
from operating a snowmobile on any public road. An adult may supervise
only one minor.
Call the park at 207-288-3338 for updates on snow conditions.
Sieur de Monts Spring
The Nature Center:
What role does fire play in the park? How does the park track air and
water quality? What wildlife have been seen recently? Find the answers
to these questions and more at the Nature Center located at Sieur de
Monts Spring. Open mid-June to late September. There is no admission
charge. Operated by the National Park Service.
The Robert Abbe Museum:
Each season this private museum features a major exhibit on Native
American culture from this region. Open mid-May to mid-October. Adults:
$2.00, children $.50. For information call (207) 288-3519.
The Wild Gardens of Acadia:
Managed by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, this three-fourths acre outdoor
garden reflects typical habitats found on Mount Desert Island. Each
species is labeled in its most characteristic habitat. There is no fee.
Open year round.
The Islesford Historical Museum:
Visit the maritime past at the Islesford Historical Museum on Little
Cranberry Island. Exhibits tell the story of the Cranberry Isles and
its people through ship models, dolls and toys, photographs, and tools.
The museum can be reached by mailboat or tour boats from Northeast
Harbor and Southwest Harbor. Open mid-June through September. There is
no admission charge. Operated by the National Park Service.
Concession Services (Private businesses operating in Acadia National Park)
The Acadia Corporation
is a Maine-owned company operating with the National Park Service to
provide for service and merchandising facilities in the park. The
Acadia Corporation operates the Jordan Pond House Restaurant and Gift
Shop as well as gift shops at Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole.
Contact Acadia Corporation at P.O. Box 24, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, or
provides a variety of carriage tours along the scenic carriage roads in
Acadia daily from mid-June to early October. The roads were built
between 1913 and 1940 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and are the best
example of broken stone roads in the United States. Wildwood Stables
also offers a horse camp for visitors wishing to bring their horses
with them. No horseback riding is offered through Wildwood. Wildwood
Stables is located on the Park Loop Road, one-half mile south of the
Jordan Pond House Restaurant.
National Park Tours offers narrated bus tours through the park. Board bus in downtown Bar Harbor. Call (207) 288-3327 for more information.
Oli's Trolley offers narrated trolley tours through the park. Board trolleys in downtown Bar Harbor. Call (207) 288-9899 for more information.