Acadia National Park is a stunningly beautiful park located along the coast of Maine. It offers a variety of activities and breathtaking scenery to explore. From hiking and biking to kayaking, wildlife watching, stargazing, and more, there’s something for everyone at Acadia National Park.

One of the most popular attractions is Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard at 1,530 feet above sea level. This mountain provides gorgeous views of both the Atlantic Ocean and nearby islands. Visitors can also take part in ranger-led walks or drives around the summit for an even better look at the landscape.

For those looking to get out on the water, kayaking is highly recommended. There are plenty of calm waterways within Acadia’s borders that offer exciting new perspectives on local wildlife and stunning coastal views from a different angle. Some areas even provide guided eco-tours with knowledgeable paddlers who can provide insight into some of the park’s best spots.

Acadia Park Overview

Park Hours

During the summer months, Acadia National Park is open daily from 8:00am until sunset. In the winter months, the park opens 8:00am to 4:30pm daily with additional extended hours on weekends. Visitors can take advantage of the various activities available throughout the park such as hiking along the many trails, exploring scenic overlooks, paddling along bodies of water, and enjoying wildlife in its natural habitat.

The Visitor Center is located in Bar Harbor Village. It provides exhibits about Acadia’s history and culture as well as helpful information about visiting this spectacular national park.

Hiking Trails in Acadia National Park

For hikers, there are over 120 miles of trails throughout Acadia National Park ranging from easy strolls through scenic woodlands to strenuous hikes up rugged peaks like Dorr Mountain or Penobscot Mountain. Trails like Gorham Mountain Trail with its wide open views atop rocky cliffs provide ample reward for hard work! Plus many trails offer chances to spot local wildlife such as whitetail deer, moose, coyotes and more. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just getting started, there’s something here for all skill levels!

Wildlife in Acadia National Park

Additionally, numerous species of flora and fauna can be found within Acadia National Park. Wildlife that lives in the area includes;

  • Bald eagles
  • Moose
  • Peregrine falcons
  • Deer
  • Coyotes
  • Porcupines
  • Beavers
  • River otters

Acadia Outdoor Recreation

The abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities such as kayaking, hiking, biking, and rock climbing make Acadia a remarkable destination for athletic vacations.

Acadia National Park Hotels

For visitors looking to stay near Acadia National Park, there are a variety of lodging options available in and around Bar Harbor. Accommodations range from cabins and cottages to luxury resorts and luxurious inns. Many hotels offer stunning views of the park’s majestic mountains, forests, and seascapes.

Whether you’re looking for an oceanside getaway, a quiet cabin nestled in the woods, or a place close to downtown Bar Harbor – there is something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorites that are close to the park.

  • The Asticou Inn
  • Acadia Hotel (Downtown)
  • Balance Rock Inn
  • Harborside Hotel & Spa

Best Things to do in Acadia

1. Jordan Cliffs Hiking Trail

Jordan cliff hiking trail acadia

The Jordan Cliffs Trail is the most popular trail in Acadia National Park. This spectacular 3-mile loop trail offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore some of the park’s most breathtaking landscapes. As you make your way along the trail, you will pass through thick forests, dramatic cliffs, and lush meadows teeming with wildlife.

2. Stargazing

If you’re looking for a unique nighttime experience head over to Blackwoods Campground where visitors can witness one of nature’s greatest shows: The Milky Way Galaxy stretching across an inky black sky filled with stars! Stargazers will also have a chance to see renowned constellations such as Orion’s Belt or The Big Dipper without any light pollution to block their view – it’s truly a once in a lifetime experience!

3. Drive Park Loop Road

Park Loop Road is another popular attraction in Acadia National Park. Spanning 27 miles, the road takes travelers through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the region. Along the way, you can explore local historical sites such as Fort Knox and Sieur de Monts Spring. Additionally, there are plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife, including moose, eagles, seals, and many more species.

Acadia Park Loop Road

The road also passes through picturesque forests and mountains with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. At the end of the drive, visitors can take a boat tour around Bar Harbor for an unforgettable experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

4. Sand Beach

Sand Beach in Acadia National Park is a breathtaking sight. Sitting at the base of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by giant cliffs, this beach offers visitors an unforgettable experience. The water is a stunning shade of turquoise and the sand is soft and inviting. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the most popular destinations in Acadia National Park! As you take in the views, you may spot harbor seals or porpoises as they swim in the waters nearby.

sand beach acadia national park

Visitors can enjoy a refreshing swim or relax on the beach with friends and family. Birdwatchers will find plenty to see here, from bald eagles soaring overhead to puffins diving underwater for food. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore along the coast with trails that lead to hidden coves and scenic overlooks.

5. Paddleboard Echo Lake

Along the shoreline, visitors can explore the many coves and inlets that offer secluded areas to swim or simply relax. Boating is also popular here with plenty of opportunities to get out on the lake for fishing and other fun activities. Those looking to explore further can take scenic hikes along nearby trails that wind through some of Maine’s most beautiful landscapes.

Echo Lake has something for everyone, from awe-inspiring nature walks to exciting kayak trips around the lake! Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or an adventure-filled day, Echo Lake is sure to provide something special.

6. Visit Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor Maine is a small coastal town situated on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, within the boundaries of Acadia National Park. This charming seaside destination has become a popular tourist destination for its spectacular views and outdoor activities. Visitors to Bar Harbor can enjoy an abundance of arts and culture including galleries, artist studios, museums, unique shops, and numerous restaurants.

7. Jordan Pond House Restaurant

Jordan Pond House Restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants in Acadia National Park. Located at the northern end of Jordan Pond, this classic New England restaurant overlooks the beautiful pond and provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can enjoy a variety of traditional favorites including lobster rolls, fried clams, and wild blueberry pies. The restaurant also offers an array of fine wines that perfectly complement the local cuisine.

In addition to its delicious dishes, Jordan Pond House Restaurant also prides itself on its excellent service. With attentive staff and well presented meals, customers can enjoy a truly memorable dining experience in a relaxing atmosphere. After dinner, guests can stroll along one of the many nearby trails or take a leisurely canoe ride across the tranquil pond.

8. Tidepooling in Acadia

Tidepooling in Acadia National Park is an experience that all outdoor enthusiasts are sure to appreciate. This natural activity involves exploring the rocky intertidal area of the park, where small pools form and are filled with fascinating sea creatures. There are a variety of species that can be seen while tidepooling, such as snails, crabs, starfish, urchins, mussels, and even clams.

At low tide periods in the park visitors can explore these small habitats along the shoreline to observe these animals in their natural environment. To get an up close look at what lives in these tidal zones, one should bring water shoes or boots when visiting the beach. It’s important to never disturb or remove any wildlife during tidepooling as it is against park regulations and can harm sensitive habitats.

In addition to observing incredible marine life in its natural habitat, visitors can also learn about the diverse ecology that exists in the intertidal zone. While exploring this unique environment one may come across sand dollars or other interesting shells among rocks near the shoreline.

9. Acadia Birdwatching

Acadia National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers looking to observe some of the most unique and vibrant species in the area. The park boasts a wide array of habitats, from vibrant forests filled with thick foliage to rocky shorelines that provide the perfect perch for viewing birds.

Some of the most commonly seen birds in Acadia include:

  • Black-Capped Chickadees
  • Downy Woodpeckers
  • Tufted Titmice
  • Northern Cardinals
  • American Robins
  • Eastern Bluebirds
  • Pileated Woodpeckers.
  • Bald Eagles
  • Osprey

In early spring and late fall one can also find many migratory species passing through Acadia National Park. Warblers, vireos, swallows and sparrows are just some of the more interesting birds that can be observed during migration season. Shorebird enthusiasts should head towards Sand Beach in search of Piping Plovers and Oystercatchers while birders looking for waterfowl should check out Jordan Pond at dawn or dusk when ducks and geese are most active.

Regardless of your skill level or interests, birdwatching in Acadia National Park will always prove an exciting experience! With its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife it’s no wonder this place is such a popular destination for both amateur and professional bird watchers alike.

10. Bike Riding

Acadia National Park is a great destination for those who love to explore the outdoors on two wheels. The park offers over 45 miles of carriage roads perfect for cyclists looking for an easy and scenic ride. These gravel-surfaced pathways are car-free and ideal for families or anyone looking to take in the sights while enjoying the fresh air. For those looking for a bit more adventure, there are plenty of single track trails that wind through the trees with varying levels of difficulty.

bike riding in acadia

The most popular mountain bike route is Precipice Trail which starts at Echo Lake and leads up into the hills above Sand Beach. The trail has some steep climbs up rocky terrain and can be quite challenging but also provides breathtaking views from high atop Cadillac Mountain.

Bike rentals are available near Bar Harbor if you don’t have your own equipment but it is important to note that helmets are required when cycling in Acadia National Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Acadia national park from Portland Maine?

Acadia National Park is approximately 150 miles from Portland. Located on a rocky peninsula, this 47,000 acre national park offers visitors stunning views of the ocean and forests. It is easily reached by car in around three hours via I-95 or US Route 1, or alternatively by airplane to the nearby Bangor International Airport.

Where is Acadia national park located in Maine?

Acadia National Park is located on the Atlantic coast of Maine in the United States. The park is home to a variety of landscapes, ranging from peaceful oceanside beaches to towering mountains and lush forests. The highest point in the park is Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 feet above sea level, offering stunning views of the coastline.

Designated as a United States National Monument in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, Acadia remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maine. In 2022 over 3.9 million people visited Acadia NP (Data Source: National Park Service)