New England’s Crown Jewel: Acadia National Park Near Bar Harbor, Maine
With the warmer weather and states opening up after long months of social distancing, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite regions of the United States – the highest rocky headlands of Maine and Acadia National Park, located near the city of Bar Harbor.
I traveled to Maine right after my Kilimanjaro trek a couple of years ago, and the rocky northern Atlantic coastline that help make Maine so special have remained dear to my heart.
If you’re ready to plan a summer trip, or are still waiting a bit to see what happens with the pandemic, now is the perfect time to use these photos as inspiration to get your bags ready to visit one of America’s favorite national parks!
Note: Acadia National Park will implement a phased reopening due to the 2020 pandemic. Usually, park amenities open on May 1st but in 2020, the park plans to open the main visitor center on June 1st and the campgrounds on June 15th.
That’s the plan, but if there’s anything we’ve all learned in the last two months, it’s that plans are written in sand . See website for specific information.
Misty summer morning with the sea and wind pounding the Acadia National Park shore.
Jordan Pond, located in Seal Harbor in the town of Mount Desert.
Acadia National Park Information
One of the nation’s most beloved parks, Acadia protects an area of coastal Maine where the north woods tumble down to meet the wild Atlantic Ocean. The park boasts an abundance of ecological habitats and a rich cultural heritage.
If you want to see the other side of the wild Atlantic, check out what to see and do in Ireland!
Historically, Acadia National Park is the first national park east of the Mississippi River and sprawls across half of Mount Desert Island. Visitors will find other portions of the park on smaller islands and the mainland.
For generations, Acadia has been the place where New Englanders escape into nature and learn to cherish the wild side of downeast.
With 3.5 million visits per year, it’s one of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the United States. There is plenty to see and do: visitors enjoy 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads.
Related post: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Guide will help you explore North Carolina and Tennessee!
Sea birds are plentiful in the park.
A great hike up the South Bubble of Acadia National Park.
Cadillac Summit Road meanders along the ridge line.
Another view from Cadillac Summit Road.
Related post: For more outdoor activity inspiration, these national park virtual tours are sure to help satisfy your travel itch.
Acadia Fun Facts:
- Named after the French settlers who were expelled from Atlantic Canada by the British, Acadia is the nation’s easternmost national park.
- If you’re an early riser, the park is one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise each day.
- At low tide it’s possible to walk the Bar Island Land Bridge to a tiny portion of the national park on Bar Island.
- Hulls Cove Visitor Center, the start of Acadia’s scenic Park Loop Road, leads to a curvy 27-mile route that includes a steep drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain.
- The park’s Sieur de Monts area features the Wild Gardens of Acadia, the park’s Nature Center, and an older branch of the Abbe Museum.
- Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake are navigable by kayak, canoe, and low-horsepower motorboat.
- Sand Beach, protected by the Great Head peninsula, is probably the best place in the park to take a dip in the ocean.
- During summer, ranger-led boat tours journey to far-off Baker Island with its pioneer homes and graveyard, 1855 lighthouse, and cluster of huge natural granite slabs dubbed the “dance floor.”
View of Jordan Pond.
Sunset on the NPS Loop Road around the Schoodic Peninsula.
Fun little amphibious guy enjoying the sun while sitting on a log.
There is an abundance of wildlife in the park.
With 0ver 100 miles of trails, hiking is a great way to see the park!
Rocky Maine coastline from an underwater perspective.
(All photos used in this photo journal are courtesy of Unsplash.)
Ready to Plan?
The past couple of months have been quite challenging where travel is concerned with many people following CDC guidelines, staying home staying safe, and socially distancing.
As states reopen though, I hope this photo essay helps inspire you plan a future trip to Acadia National Park!
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Have you been to Acadia National Park? What did you like the most about your visit? Let us know in a comment below.
Breathtaking vistas for sure. Absolutely gorgeous country. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome Beth! Let me know if you want some additional information on Acadia National Park.
I live here and we love Acadia…not open yet but I am looking forward to it. We try to go once a year and stop in for popovers at Jordan Pond.
Love this! I would live to visit one day soon! Your pictures and post makes me ready to go!
So amazing and breathtaking! Your pictures have us feeling like we are there.
I would love to go there! Beautiful photos too!
These pictures are just amazing!! Thank you for the tips! We hope to visit this amazing park soon.
Looks beautiful! Would love to visit one day!
Wow, so picturesque! I’d love to hike here some day.
This is absolutely stunning! I would love to visit here! THank you so much for the detailed information!
I love your pics! Especially that under water one!
WOW! What a beautiful place to visit! I’ve never been to Maine!
This place looks amazing! I’ve wanted to explore it more because outside of Boston, I haven’t been to any areas of New England. Hopefully one day I can take my husband!
This early riser would love this park and the gorgeous sunrise!