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Acadia National Park is one of America’s most unique national parks as it is nestled right on the Atlantic Ocean, so when you climb up amongst the mountains, you’ll have beautiful ocean views for miles. With the beautiful and quaint town of Bar Harbor nestled in between the park and the ocean, you’ll be swept away on your visit and want to move their permanently.
Interested in what you can find in Acadia National Parks and which hikes and activities are must do’s? Read below to get started on planning your perfect national park vacation.
Read more: Hiking Essentials: What to Pack for the Perfect Day Hike
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
Hours: The park is open 24 hours although the visitor centers have specific operating hours. Check here for hours.
- Hull’s Cove Visitor Center in Bar Harbor, ME
- Sieur de Monts Nature Center in Bar Harbor, ME
- Village Green Information Center in Bar Harbor, ME
- Islesford Historical Museum in Islesford, ME
Entrance Fees: Acadia National Park does charge an entrance fee for the park and it varies on if you are entering on a car, motorcycle, or as a person riding their buses. You will have to display the pass to park or ride the bus. You can also purchase an Acadia Annual Pass if you plan to visit multiple times throughout the year. You can get more info about the passes here.
Size: 47,000 acres
Transportation: You can park your car at trail heads in the park (for a fee), or you can ride their bus system which includes multiple buses that make large loops around the park with frequent stops.
Best Time to Visit
Acadia National Park is a beautiful place to visit year-round. However, the most popular times to visit are in the summer and fall due to Bar Harbor’s beautiful weather and fall colors. Check out all the activities you can do in Acadia National Park below.
Fall in Acadia National Park
Fall is absolutely beautiful in Acadia National Park. The park simply explodes with beautiful fall hues. You can’t go wrong with just about any hike or just take a drive through the park on Park Loop Road. Before you plan your trip, check out the fall foliage map tracker to plan your visit during peak foliage.
Hiking is an absolute most if you visit during the fall, and with hikes of all difficulties you can find one that suits your adventure level. Recommended hike: Cadillac Summit Loop Trail. This trail is beautiful and one of the most popular hikes year-round.
Check out the Acadia Night Sky Festival which takes place during the beginning of fall every year.
Go on a haunted tour where you can tour historic venues and take part in haunted tales. Check out Red Cloak Haunted History Tours or Bar Harbor Ghost Tours for a look into Bar Harbor’s spookiest spots.
Drink beers at Acadia Oktoberfest which has great beers, food, and entertainment.
Winter in Acadia National Park
Winter is the least frequented season for Acadia National Park as the temperatures reach sub-freezing and many of the major hiking trails are shut down. However, you can still find things to do in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park in winter. Beware that many of the small restaurants and shops close during the winter season, so plan accordingly.
Take a scenic drive. While most of the main Park Loop Road is closed for the winter there are still a few beautiful drives you can take including Ocean Drive and Jordan Pond Road.
Go cross-country skiing on the park’s carriage roads. You can rent equipment in the local towns around the park.
Try out ice fishing. Ice fishing is a popular past time between January through March.
Spring in Acadia National Park
Spring is a great time to visit Acadia National Park if you want to avoid crowds and don’t mind cooler temperatures. Make sure to check park facility hours as most park amenities and roads don’t open until April.
Check out the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain or the Great Head Trail to experience the sunrise in the United States. The views are breathtaking.
Summer in Acadia National Park
One of the peak times to visit Acadia National Park is in the summer, when the weather is beautiful and the town of Bar Harbor is thriving. There are so many things to do in Bar Harbor, ME in the summer you’ll want to give yourself enough planning time to see it all.
Take in all the ocean views on a breathtaking hike. There are tons of beautiful hikes you can go on in that offer both mountain and ocean views. Recommended hike: Beehive Loop Trail.
Check out some of the beaches in the area via the Ocean Path or Great Head trails.
Shop at all of the cute businesses located in Bar Harbor. There’s something for everyone- from apparel to Maine foods to knick knacks. It’s easy to spend an entire day walking around the town.
Best Views in the Park
Check out the sunset at Beech Mountain for breathtaking views and a colorful evening sky. The hike difficulty level is not too difficult to hike back after the sun has set.
Match your beautiful sunset with a sunrise hike on Great Head trail which offers beautiful sunrise views across the Atlantic Ocean.
Best Hikes in Acadia National Park
One of the most popular hikes in Acadia National Park is the hike to Cadillac Mountain. There are multiple routes to get to the summit. The Cadillac North Ridge Trail is a 4 mile out and back trail and you can get to the trail head via the trail parking or by riding on the bus.
Another popular hike is the Beehive Loop Trail which you can combine with the Champlain Mountain path. The entire hike is a 6.6-mile loop that takes you to beautiful peaks that offer wide ocean views.
Hiking shoes. Don’t forget a good pair of hiking shoes to support your feet during the longer mileage hikes. Check out the Columbia Women’s Hiking Shoe or the Columbia Men’s Hiking Shoe.
Hiking pants. Yoga pants are great for hiking, but if you’re looking for hiking pants with some storage check out a pair of these hiking joggers complete with zipper pockets.
Water bottle. Don’t forget to hydrate! Make sure you bring along your reusable water bottle on your hikes. Some trails offer fountains along the way so be sure to check it out before you go.
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