American Essence

Acadia National Park

Along Maine's coast, you can see waves crashing along cliffs, tranquil pools, and jagged shores—and anytime of year is a great time to visit
BY Denice Rackley TIMEFebruary 22, 2022 PRINT

Acadia National Park offers unique scenery. Cliffs dissolve into rocky shores and fade into the ocean, pristine lakes beg for canoes to glide across their surfaces, and forests glow when fall colors descend on the once emerald leaves.

Epoch Times Photo
(Peter Wood for American Essence)

The park’s 49,000 acres host 3.5 million visitors a year. Maine’s only national park, Acadia offers unique scenery on the eastern seaboard. There are plenty of outdoor adventures to suit every individual.

With over 40 miles of shoreline encompassing several islands and 26 mountains, Acadia offers diverse outdoor activities; hiking, biking, and boating opportunities abound, and there is rock climbing for the adventurous or bird-watching for those who like to relax and wonder.

Epoch Times Photo
The morning fog rises over the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. (Peter Wood for American Essence)

Rustic campsites, 18 miles of trails, and a lighthouse make a visit to Isle au Haut, which is only accessible by boat, worth the trip. Seeing the first rays of sunrise touching the ocean from Cadillac Mountain or rappelling down Otter Cliffs at the southeast end of Mount Desert Island offer visitors unforgettable memories. Don’t miss the perfect picnic spots on Sand Beach or coastal trails like Ocean Path.

Visitors enjoy 158 miles of hiking trails if they want to explore on their own. There are also 45 miles of carriage roads to enjoy the horse drawn carriage rides offered by the park—or pack a lunch and explore by bike. Bass, brook and brown trout, and salmon await the lucky fisherman, and bird-watchers will not know where to look first with 300 species of birds inhabiting the park.

Epoch Times Photo
A view of Monument Cove. (Peter Wood for American Essence)

Acadia is one of the top 10 national parks. Summer months are busy. Entering from the welcome center at Rockefeller Hall on Schoodic Peninsula offers less crowded access than the main visitor center at Hulls Cove. Ranger-guided boat or carriage tours are available for those who want to sit back, enjoy the sites, and learn about the park. For others who like a bit more participation, try the guided bike tours.

Exploring the park from the water affords you a view like no other. Off-season adventures abound. The snow-kissed trails are perfect for winter adventures of hiking and skiing.

  • Location: Maine
  • Established: 1919
  • Size: 49,052 acres
  • Annual visitors: 3+ million
  • Activities: hiking, biking, boating, fishing, rock climbing, bird-watching; Winter activities: snowshoeing, skiing
  • Other attractions of note: 3 main areas within the park—Mount Desert Island is the largest.
  • Schoodic Peninsula, northeast of the mainland, is 2,366 acres.
  • Isle au Haut, to the southwest, is only accessible by boat. Baker Island and Bar Island also have national park land.
Epoch Times Photo
The sun sets over Pretty Marsh Harbor on Mount
Desert Island. (Peter Wood for American Essence)
Epoch Times Photo
(Peter Wood for American Essence)

This article was originally published in American Essence magazine.

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