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 the park boasts the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast. Visitors come from all around to hike the granite peaks, to bike miles of historic carriage roads, and to sit back and just enjoy the all-encompassing scenery. Spanning from Bar Harbor through Mount Desert Island, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore this gorgeous gem of a region. There are so many fantastic things to do and beautiful places to see 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 these straightforward 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 smooth trails. There is the Bar Island trail which crosses a sandbar 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 consider yourself more adventurous, the ladder trail loop is one of our favorites.
Bring Your Pup
Don’t leave your best friend behind! The park allows dogs on the trails as long as they are on a leash. Be sure to check the website for restricted areas and trails that aren’t recommended for dogs!
Birding at Acadia National Park
Birding is a favorite 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.
After Your Adventures in Acadia National Park
With all the hiking, climbing, and bird-watching, you’ll need the perfect place to rest your tired muscles. After your Acadia National Park adventures, return to your home away from home at Pilgrim’s Inn. Savor the relaxed pace of our quaint fishing town and breathe in the fresh air of Deer Isle and Downeast, ME.
If you brought your favorite, four-legged friend along as your hiking companion, you’ll be glad to know we offer a variety of pet-friendly cottages. It’s hard to leave your dog behind when you’re on vacation. We can’t wait to host you and your precious pooch!