The majority of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island. The park is the country’s second busiest National Park, only behind the venerable Yellowstone National Park. Acadia offers so much to explore, from the mountains to the sea.
There is a small quiet side of the park located adjacent to Winter Harbor called Schoodic Peninsula. This parcel of the park offers spectacular views of Mount Desert Island and is the “quiet side” of Acadia National Park.
Mount Desert Island is without compare as the mountains truly meet the Sea here and offers one of the most spectacular settings on the entire East Coast (if not the most spectacular)!
Bar Harbor, being the largest town on Mount Desert Island is often thought of as synonymous with the Park, but its just one town of several. Acadia visitors can also stay in charming Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, Otter Creek, Seal Harbor or Somesville.
Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor on the Southwestern end of Mount Desert Island affords visitors with both a quieter and more affordable stay. For the culturally inclined, Bar Harbor offers two celebrated music festivals offering everything from string orchestras, through chamber music, to jazz. Bar Harbor bars and clubs host a range of bands, concerts and solo artists that complete the musical mix. Learn more about Bar Harbor.
Mount Desert Island offers an endless array of activities for everyone. Some of the things to do in Acadia National Park include: a visit to Sand Beach, Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff. A drive up Cadillac Mountain for sunrise or sunset and a bike ride past the The Bubbles and high tea and popovers at Jordon Pond House. Tour the stunning gardens at Asticou or take a boat ride out of Northeast Harbor. Take a Glider or Bi-Plane Ride over the Park out of the Hancock Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton for some great perspective on Mount Desert Island.
On the ocean and land, visitors and guests can tour Mount Desert Island on their own, or let experienced Maine guides show them the way. For cyclists, there are 55 miles of carriage trails that lace their way through Acadia National Park. Bike beside crystal clear lakes and spectacular mountains or take a bus or trolley tour.
There are local companies and expert registered Maine Guides that know wildlife and the history of Downeast Acadia offering walking tours of Bar Harbor. Rent a kayak or canoe and tour on your own or better still in the company of Maine Guides and explore Mount Desert Island’s fascinating harbors and coast. Or set sail with one of the professional tour boats from Bar Harbor in search of lighthouses, whales, seals, seabirds or set sail for a day aboard a Schooner.
If you are planning to visit to Mt Desert Island in the winter, the carriage trails make for excellent cross-country skiing, the park loop road is a haven for snowmobilers and the trails under their coating of white take on a fresh new look. Acadia’s peaks and cliffs also offer new workouts to the experienced in this most challenging of seasons. Ice climbing routes abound and trails show a true wild side.