Acadia National Park Travel Guide

January 10, 2022

Acadia National Park Travel Guide

Some of the very best of the Maine coastline is protected within Acadia National Park. You’ll find rugged, rocky shores, lighthouses rising above beautiful forests, and plenty of streams, ponds and lakes that invite travelers to explore. 

Get to Know Acadia National Park

Region: North Atlantic
State: Maine
URL https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm 
Webcams: https://www.nps.gov/acad/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm 
Established: February 26, 1919 
President: Woodrow Wilson 
By the numbers:  

  • 3.4 million+ visitors per year (2019)
  • 49,000+ acres
  • Lat. 44.40897, Long -68.24728
  • 4 park entrances
  • 6 visitor centers
  • Highest elevation 1,528 ft.
  • Lowest elevation 0 ft.

Entrances 

There are five entrance stations for accessing Acadia National Park. 

  1. Sand Beach Entrance Station
  2. Hulls Cove Entrance
  3. Cadillac Mountain Entrance
  4. Stanley Brook Entrance
  5. Sieur de Monts Entrance

Visitor Centers

  1. Hulls Cove Visitor Center - opens May through October. 25 Visitor Center Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  2. Sieur de Monts Nature Center - opens May through October. 2 Sieur de Monts Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  3. Rockefeller Hall - Schoodic Peninsula - opens May through October 1 Atterbury Cir, Winter Harbor, ME 04693
  4. Islesford Historical Museum - Cranberry Island - opens June through September Main St, Islesford, ME 04646
  5. Schoodic Woods Campground - Ranger Station - opens May through October 54 Farview Dr, Winter Harbor, ME 04693
  6. Thompson Island Information Center - opens May through October 1319 Bar Harbor Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  7. Village Green Information Center - open year-round 19 Firefly Ln, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

The phone number for all visitor centers is (207) 288-3338

Entrance Fees:  

Entrance passes are required year-round. Purchase them at a check station on Park Loop Road. Everyone 16 and older needs a pass. If you have a federal lands pass you do not need an additional pass to Acadia. Purchase them online or in person. https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/fees.htm  

Passes are good for entry for 7 days from the date of purchase.

  • $30 non-commercial vehicle
  • $25 motorcycle or snowmobile
  • $15 on foot, bicycle
  • $55 Annual pass good for one year for a pass holder and vehicle passengers

Park Hours and Access:  

Acadia National Park is open daily, 24 hours a day, year-round, although activities and services are limited at night and during the winter. Check the NPS website for details about the season you will be visiting. https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/hours.htm 

Open all year? Yes, with some road closures for each entrance, dependent on weather.

Closest Airports:

If you are not close enough to drive to Acadia try flying into one of several airports and then renting a vehicle and driving to the park.

Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB) is approximately 12 miles and a 23-minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Address: 115 Caruso Dr, Trenton, ME 04605

Bangor International Airport (BGR) is approximately 50 miles and a 1-hour 22-minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Address: 287 Godfrey Blvd, Bangor, ME 04401

Portland International Airport (PMW) is approximately 178 miles and a 3-hour 15-minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Address: 1001 Westbrook St, Portland, ME 04102

Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is approximately 279 miles and a 4-hour 50-minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Address: 1 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128, USA

Things To Do in Acadia National Park

There are many outdoor activities inside the park, be sure to take time and appreciate the nature around you. There are opportunities for birding, wildlife viewing, and of course photographing the beauty around you.

Kids will like the junior ranger program, which gets them involved in hands-on activities. plus there are many areas where freshwater and ocean swimming is available. There are several historic sites to experience and be sure to stop for a picnic in one of the scenic areas.

Enjoy getting around the park with one of the guided tours or scenic drives, then venture out on your own by hiking, biking, fishing, or boating. 

Acadia has adventure year-round. Enjoy the park in winter by going cross country skiing, snowmobile riding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, or even dog sledding!

My Bucket Journals Top Acadia NP Picks:

  • Sieur de Monta Nature Center
  • Wild Gardens of Acadia
  • Carroll Homestead
  • Isleford Historical Museum
  • Stargazing at Jordan Pond
  • Hike Compass Harbor Trail
  • Hike Jesup Path and Hemlock Path Loop
  • Carriage Road Bridges Tour 

Hike the Trails 

You can find a hike for every level of experience, from boardwalks to back-country adventures. These are the most common areas to explore:

Summit Hikes  - there are 24 summit hikes in all. These 10 will get you started!

  1. Gorman Mountain Loop - Time needed:1 to 3 hours, Distance: 3.5 miles
  2. Beehive Loop - Time needed:1 to 3 hours, Distance: 1.4 miles
  3. Cadillac South Ridge Trail - Time needed: 2 to 4 hours, Distance: 7.1 miles
  4. Jordan Cliffs Loop - Time needed: 3 to 4  hours, Distance: 5 miles
  5. Beachcroft Path - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 2 miles
  6. Cadillac North Ridge Trail - Time needed: 2 to 4 hours, Distance: 4.4 miles
  7. Gorge Path - Time needed: 2 to 3 hours, Distance: 1.6 miles
  8. Beech Mountain South Ridge Loop - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 2.1 miles
  9. Flying Mountain Loop - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.5 miles
  10. St. Sauveur and Acadia Mountain Loop - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 3.7 miles

Coastal Hikes - there are 7 coastal hikes offering panoramic views of ocean and coastline.

  1. Great Head Trail - Time needed: 2 to 4 hours, Distance: 1.7 miles
  2. Ship Harbor Trail - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.3 miles
  3. Bar Island Trail - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.9 miles
  4. Ocean Path Trail - Time needed: 2 to 4 hours, Distance: 2.2 miles
  5. Wonderland Trail - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.4 miles
  6. Schoodic Peninsula Trails - Time needed: all day, Distance: 7.5 miles
  7. Compass Harbor Trail - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: .8 miles

Lake & Forest Hikes - there are 22 forest and lake hikes. Here are a few to explore.

  1. Great Head Trail - Time needed: 2 to 4 hours, Distance: 1.7 miles
  2. Jesup Path & Hemlock Path Loop - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.5 miles
  3. Hadlock Ponds Loop - Time needed: 4 to 4 hours, Distance: 4.1 miles
  4. The Bubbles - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 1.5 miles
  5. Kebo Brook Trail - Time needed: 1 to 2 hours, Distance: 2 miles

Scenic Drives

Park Loop Road typically opens by April 15th of each year and then usually closes by December 1st due to weather conditions. This scenic drive begins at Hulls Cove Visitor Center and takes you to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain. 

Two sections of Park Loop Road remain open year-round with plowed roads- 

Ocean Drive is a scenic one-mile section along the ocean: Access via Schooner Head Road, two miles (3.2 km) south of downtown Bar Harbor. Get access to Jordan Pond Road via Route 3 and Jordan Pond Road in Seal Harbor.

Schoodic Loop & Point Road is open year-round. The 6-mile, one-way loop road around Schoodic Peninsula offers views of lighthouses, seabirds, and forested islands. Use vehicle turnouts to stop and enjoy the scenery. Stopping on the road and parking outside of designated pull-offs are prohibited.

Guided Tours:  

There are many ways to enrich your visit to Acadia National Park. Try participating in a ranger program, becoming a junior ranger, exploring as a young scientist, or going on a guided tour. 

The National Park Service requires specific authorizations for commercial businesses to operate in national parks. Approved companies provide a variety of services and tours inside Acadia, including: 

  • Backpacking
  • Bicycling 
  • Boating 
  • Day Hiking 
  • Fishing 
  • Painting & Photography Tours 
  • Skiing & Snowshoeing 
  • Snowmobile & Snowcoach Tours

Learn more at the NPS Park Website https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm  

Lodging in the Area

There are no cabins or lodges inside Acadia National Park, but surrounding areas offer many choices. We’ve included a few with yellow pinpoints on the interactive map and there are many more options with VRBO and other private rentals. Use the map below to get ideas. 

Campgrounds In and Around the Park: 

There are four campgrounds inside of Acadia National Park, each offering an exploration of different areas of the park. There is no backcountry camping, overnight parking, or out of bounds camping allowed. Reservations for camp sites inside the park are available two month in advance.  https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/camping.htm 

  1. Blackwoods Campground - is located near the Otter creek area and Little Hunters.Beach. Address: 155 Blackwoods Drive, Otter Creek, ME 04660
  2. Seawall Campground - is located near Seawall Point and the Sewall Ranger Station.
    Address: 668 Seawall Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
  3. Schoodic Woods Campground & Ranger Station - seasonally open from May through October (check dates) It is the only campground on the mailland section of the park.
    Address: 54 Farview Dr, Winter Harbor, ME 04693
  4. Duck Harbor Campground - is located on Isle au Haut and only accessible by boat. Address: Isle Au Haut, ME 04645
  5. Bass Harbor Campground - is closest to the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and the Wonderland Area.  Address: 342 Harbor Dr, Bass Harbor, ME 04653 
  6. Quietside Campground & Cabins - outside of the park in the Tremont Area. Address: 397 Tremont Rd, Bernard, ME 04612
  7. Sommes Sound View Campground - outside of the park in the Mt Desert Area Address: 5 Spinnaker Way, Mt Desert, ME 04660
  8. Mount Desert Campground - outside of the park close to Goose Rock and Squantum Point. Address 516 Sound Dr, Mt Desert, ME 04660
  9. Mt Desert Narrows Camping Resort - on Thomas Bay near the Thompson Island Information Center. Address 1219 ME-3, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  10. Hadley’s Point Campground - outside the park on the north end near Hadley Point. Address  33 Hadley Point Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  11. Bar Harbor KOA Campground - in the Mt Desert Narrows near Thompson Island Information Center. Address: 136 County Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  12. Woods of Eden Campground - outside the park in the north near Leland Point. Address 12 Seabury Dr, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  13. Bar Harbor Campground - outside the park between Leland Point and Parker Point, north of the Hulls Cove entrance. Address 409 ME-3, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

To make a campground reservation for inside the park visit www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. For campsites outside the park use the map below. You’ll find locations and links to individual websites. 

Get Connected

The National Park Service App (NPS App) features downloadable information for all the national park sites in the country, including Acadia National Park.  This includes an interactive map, self-guided audio tours, and information to make your trip smoother and more interesting. It does not yet include live updates to lodging, campground, or road status. 

Visitor TIP

Cellular service within the park can be limited. In order to make use of the app while in Acadia, follow these simple steps before you arrive:

  • Download the app.
  • In the app, select the "Settings" option.
  • Tap the choice "Download Offline Content."

This gives you access to most of the app content (except alerts, calendar updates, and real-time updates, although accessing those items before leaving service will keep that information available in the app) Even without cellular service, the app will be able to share your location on the map and bring up all site content.

Online Map of the Park

Use our interactive map to plan your trip and view details about visitor centers, campgrounds, lodging, walking tours, and attractions

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. You can click the checkmarks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.

If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

 

 

Pin it for later!






Also in News

mountain stream and trees inside olympic national park
Olympic National Park Travel Guide

January 28, 2022

Olympic National Park is known for its pristine rain forests and breathtaking coastal areas - they offer much in the way of adventure, but the backcountry is where this park shines. Get the Olympic National Park Travel Guide with our interactive map.

View full article →

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Travel Guide
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Travel Guide

January 20, 2022

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a peaceful retreat in the urban area of Cleveland and Akron Ohio, with a broad choice for varied recreational opportunities. Get the scoop on visiting the park and view our interactive map to plan your trip!

View full article →

5 Oklahoma State Parks to Experience this Winter
5 Oklahoma State Parks to Experience this Winter

January 17, 2022

We have five suggestions for visiting Oklahoma State Parks this winter. From the far west panhandle to the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma, get inspired for winter exploration of the Sooner State. Check them out below! 

View full article →