Wanderlust America

Take a Journey through the Acadia National Park

Located along the mid-section of the Maine coast, southwest of Bar Harbor is The Acadia National Park. Whether you are just a fan of U.S. National Parks, or a visitor bound for Maine, this national park is a must-visit tourist attraction for everybody.

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There are so many hiking spots available in Acadia National Park that a book exists just on this topic alone. 150 miles of identified trails exist within the park, so whether you are just looking to stroll along or looking for a challenging climb, there is something for everybody.

For beginning-level hikers, you can hike along the Ocean Path. It is a two-mile stretch from the Sand beach parking lot to the Otter point parking lot. There is also Wonderful Trail, a 1.4-mile walking trail, and the Jordan Pond Loop Trail which is a 3.4-mile trail.

For people with experience in hiking, there is a 1,530-foot ascent on Cadillac Mountain via the North Ridge trail which offers magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. After completing it, you can say you climbed to the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard. If you want other picture-worthy hikes, embark on a 0.7-mile hike from Bubbles Divide Trailhead parking lot on the Park Loop Road to the summit of South Bubble.

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Things to do at Acadia National Park

You can watch an early sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain, as it is one of the first spots in the U.S. to greet the sun early. You can soak your feet in the cold Atlantic water of Sand Beach.

You can even sit in a horse wagon along John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s broken-stone carriage roads and rumble along them. Have some afternoon tea at the Jordan Pond House. Check the golden lights across Otter Cliffs at sunset. Most of the stuff to enjoy at Acadia National Park are picturesque moments that can be captured in guidebooks, calendar images, and family memories.

Visitors who are there for only a few hours a day due to their cruise ship layover in Bar Harbor end up seeing the park’s highlights at the Park Loop Road. You can also board the Island Explorer Bus that travels along this route. If you want to take your vehicle to the spot, then you should stop at scenic views such as Thunder Hole and Jordan Pond.

People with more time and energy to dispense can go for more outdoor adventures as there is so much is waiting for them. Hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, bird watching, fishing, kayaking, stargazing, and skiing are some activities for the athletic visitors. You can also check the schedule of ranger lead programs which are offered mid-May to Mid-October.

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Other Activities

  • Horseback Riding – Acadia boasts of its distinct stone bridges and 45 miles of carriage roads. These are scenic backroads maintained especially by the National Park for recreational use such as horseback riders and sightseeing by horse-drawn carriages.
  • Biking – The most popular biking options within the park are crushed stone carriage roads and the Park Loop Road. Make sure you know that class 2 and 3 e-bikes are prohibited from biking here.
  • Boating – You can rent canoes and kayaks and go on a tour in and near Acadia National Park. Some of these tours include National Park Sea Kayak Tours, National Park Canoe & Kayak Rentals, and Coastal Kayaking Tours. You can also go on a private boat to many saltwater launches, lakes, and ponds that are open.
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Within the Acadia National Park, there are four options available for campers. There are two seasonal campgrounds on Mount Desert Island: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. Both campgrounds do accommodate RV’s but primarily host tent campers. Schoodic Woods Campground is another one that has a variety of amenities including electric and water hookups.

There are many camps and cottages outside the park as well. Some of these are Hadley Point Campground and the dog-friendly Tide Watch Cabins.


There are so many things to do in Bar Harbor that visitors usually decide to go there to stay for accommodations. Many of the best hotels and inns near Acadia National Park are located here. These include luxurious properties such as Balance Rock Inn and Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina. If you are looking to stay from all the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor, then you should consider The Claremont in Southwest Harbor. This is a historic hotel that just reopened in 2021 complete with a sweet shop, bakery, and two on-site restaurants.

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Getting there

The address for the Acadia National Park is 20 McFarland Hill Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Let us look at some of the ways of getting over there.

  • Car – If you are coming through Mount Desert Island, from Boston I-95 north to Augusta, Maine, then Route 3 east to Ellsworth, and Mount Desert Island. If you are coming through the Schoodic Peninsula, take I-95, north to Bangor, Maine, then take Route IA east to Ellsworth. In Ellsworth, head north on the U.S. on Route 1 for about 17.3 miles to Hwy 186. Turn right on Highway 186 and drive 6.5 miles. Turn left at the yield sign, continue 0.5 miles, and turn right on Schoodic Loop Road.
  • Plane – If you take direct flights from Boston’s Logan Airport they land right at Hancock County Airport, just 10 miles away from Acadia National Park. Car rentals are available at the airport.
  • Public Transport – It is a rare New England destination that can be accessed through public transport. Traveling from Portland, Maine you can reach Bar Harbor via a bus or plane. Also, during peak season, the Island Explorer Bus connects many points on Mount Desert Island to Acadia National Park. You can check Island Explorer’s Car-Free-Travel Guide for anyone who wants to utilize public transportation to get there.
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What to Wear

When  visiting Acadia National Park, you must pack the right gear for yourself. Let us list some of the essentials when visiting the park.

  • Layered Clothing
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Hats and sunglasses
  • Rain Gear
  • Col weather gear for winter
  • Water bottle
  • Extra towels and clothing


  • From May to October, a park entrance pass is required for admission. Throughout the rest of the year, admission is free. Passes can also be purchased online and printed before your visit.
  • Cell phone service is extremely limited, so you may want to switch off your phone or keep it in airplane mode to avoid draining your battery.
  • It is a pet-friendly park with leashed dogs allowed on 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads.
  • Drones are not allowed at Acadia National Park
  • Make sure you download the official Acadia National Park apps on your phone or tablet to get full information about the park and what it offers.
  • Even if you may not be a morning person, make sure you wake up early to view the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain. You are sure to not regret it.

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