Acadia National Park

Maine, United States North America icon North America

Acadia National Park is located in the northeastern corner of the state of Maine, United States on Mount Desert Island.  The national park boundaries encompass an area of 76.7 square miles (198.6 sq km) and account for about half of the total island territory.

Acadia is special serving as the first national park declared east of the Mississippi River and the only national park in the northeastern part of the country.  Visitors can look forward to experiencing the rugged coastline, the varied forests, and the east coast mountains.

Although not all the high as mountains go, Cadillac Mountain with a height of 1,530 feet (466 m) is the tallest mountain in the park and the highest point within the first 25 miles (40 km) along the entire eastern coastline of the United States.

The claim to fame of Cadillac Mountain is that it is the first place in the United States where you can see the sunrise.  Additionally, Thunder Hole is a rocky-crevassed place along the coastline where the ocean waves pound loudly with sounds of thunder.

Along with the ocean, water features of the Acadia include lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands.  One of the highlights is Jordan Pond which covers an area of  187 acres (76 ha) while reaching a depth of 150 feet (46 m).  Echo Lake features the sole freshwater swimming beach.

The wildlife of Acadia includes black bear, coyote, fox, moose, and white-tailed deer as some of the larger mammal species visitors might see.  Beaver, fisher, groundhog, mink, raccoon, river otter, porcupine, and weasels are some of the smaller fun species people like to see.  Bird-lovers will enjoy the 331 species that call the national park home including various raptors.

Acadia Highlights

About half of Mount Desert Island is committed to the national park.  Hiking the trails and experiencing the various facets of nature is the highlight.  The rocky and rugged coastline, crashing waves, whistling wind through the trees, scenic lookouts over the ocean, and various ponds and lakes delivers a series of sights, sounds and smells to stimulate the senses.

There are 27 miles (43 km) of scenic roads around the park delivering a series of picturesque views of the ocean and coastline.  The main road also takes you to the top of Cadillac Mountain for stunning views of the ocean, coastline, and of the Acadia area.

Trails of Acadia National Park

There are numerous trails throughout the park which provide opportunities to explore the richness of nature found throughout Acadia.

Ocean Path: The easy and popular hike takes hikers along part of Acadia’s stunning coastline.  There are multiple entry and exit points making it easy to enjoy as much of the trail as desired.  The whole trail travels from Sand Beach to Otter Cliff.

Cadillac Mountain Loop:  This loop trail travels to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.  The peak represents the highest point in the national park and early risers can reach the peak to catch the view of the US’s first glimpse of sunrise.

Jordan Pond Path:  This loop trail takes hikers on an easy journey to and along Jordan Pond.  The trail delivers views of mountains and the lush forest blanketing the mountains and surrounding the lake.

South Bubble Mountain:  This trail is a bit more strenuous as it ascends to the top of South Bubble Mountain.  There are cliffs along the way so pay attention to footing and particularly children if they are with you.

Acadia Highlights

  • Cadillac Mountain
  • Sunrise
  • Coastal scenery

 

 

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