Acadia National Park is a natural Maine masterpiece and one of our favorite places near Deer Isle. The rugged coast offers both beautiful views and wildlife diversity, while Acadia National Park boasts the tallest mountain on the United States Atlantic coast. Visitors come from all around to experience the beauty of Acadia National Park, whether they want to hike the granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or sit back and just enjoy the all-encompassing scenery. This year is also a very special time for the Acadia National Park, marking its centennial! There are so many things to do in Acadia National Park, but here are just a few of our favorite ways to spend your day!
Hiking at Acadia National Park
A great day at Acadia National Park wouldn’t be complete without some hiking. There are a series of trails throughout the park that range in difficulty from very easy to strenuous. If you’re taking baby steps into this whole hiking thing, then you might want to start out with some of the very easy options. There is the 1-mile Bar Harbor Shore Path with harbor and island views or the 1.4-mile Wonderland Trail through evergreen forests to the rocky ocean shoreline. Some uneven ground but mostly level surfaces await on easy trails. There is the Bar Island trail which crosses a sand bar to a forested island around low tide, the 4.4-mile Ocean Path from sandy beach to sea cliffs, or the 5.4-mile Schooner Head Trail from town through deciduous forest.
Some steep grades blended with those level stretches show up on the moderate Acadia National Park trails. Try the 2-mile Champlain North Ridge Trail with pine slopes and views of Frenchman Bay or the 1.1-mile Beech Mountain Trail along the vista of Long Pond. You can also select from the 1.8-mile Gorham Mountain Trail with a granite ascent to an ocean view or the 2-mile Long Pond Trail with a rocky shoreline walk.
Steep grades and many steady climbs await on the park’s strenuous trails. Select from options such as the 2.5-mile Acadia Mountain Trail with views of Somes Sound or 1.6-mile Beehive Trail that includes iron rungs on ledges of exposed cliffs for a steep ascent. Other options include the 2.2-mile Perpendicular Trail on Mansell Mountain with rocky stairs and views of Long Pond, or the 4.6-mile Sargent Mountain Trail, with a ravine, evergreen forest, and steep sections to open ledges. If you are more adventurous, the ladder trail loop is one of our favorites.
Birding at Acadia National Park
Birding is a popular activity at the park, and there are several areas ideal for bringing out those binoculars and spotting some spectacular feathered friends. At the Sieur de Monts Spring Area, you will explore the wild gardens and meadow or embark down one of a few trails to choose from for your bird watching whimsies. The Bear Brook and Beaver Dam Pond is another popular location, with a picnic area and pond and wetland across the street. The Precipice Trail is a peak place for nesting peregrine falcons from mid-April through early August, and other raptors have been spotted passing by. However, this trail is the most strenuous and well known in the park and should only be attempted by experienced hikers in good physical condition, who have no fear of heights. Feeding flocks of songbirds are plentiful at the easy Carriage Roads! Be sure to bring binoculars and possibly a camera to snap some photographs.
Acadia National Park Centennial
2016 marks the Acadia National Park Centennial. In celebration, the park has constructed a year-long, community-based schedule of events! Some summer events include: narrated ferry rides from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June until October, a centennial group exhibit from local artists during the month of June, art and music in the Village Green of Southwest Harbor from June 17-18, Acadia Day at Fenway Park on June 19, a partner dance and birthday party on June 24, the Nature Center ribbon cutting ceremony on June 25, the Acadia Trad Festival from June 26-July 1, the Bar Harbor Music Festival season from July 3-31, a Fourth of July celebration, the annual strawberry festival on July 12, Acadia Authors Night on July 19, Open Garden Day on July 23, a Lobster Picnic Sunset Cruise Safari on July 28, and many other lectures, workshops and events. For a full list, visit the website.
2016 Fee Free Days
August 25-28 National Park Service Birthday
September 24 National Public Lands Day
November 11 Veterans Day
After Your Adventures in Acadia National Park
Come back to Pilgrim’s Inn on Deer Isle after your explorations in Acadia National Park and enjoy the relaxed pace of our island community. At Pilgrim’s Inn, you will receive luxury treatment, delicious breakfasts each morning, on-site access to our adjacent restaurant, and of course, many friendly faces! We hope to see you soon here on beautiful Deer Isle. For more information on what to do in the area, download our free vacation guide!