Acadia National Park   6 comments

Acadia NP 00Where Is It: It’s in Maine. Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands off the Atlantic coast, comprise the park. It’s 4-1/2 hours north and east of Boston. From Bangor, ME, it’s 50 miles.

The Birth: This rustic area attracted the nation’s moneyed families in the late 1800s for summer getaways. The Dorr family, the Rockefellers and the Morgans all had significant hands in developing the park. President Woodrow Wilson officially established it as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8, 1916. It was later named Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, a noteworthy French supporter of the American Revolution. Finally, the park became Acadia National Park on January 19, 1929 – the first National Park east of the Mississippi.

It Happened Here: John D Rockefeller, Jr, financed and directed the construction of a network of carriage trails throughout the park, which included 17 granite bridges over a 50-mile gravel path. Much of that network is still in use today.  Cut granite stones line the road to keep visitors on the path and away from steep edges. Those stones are called “coping stones” … and they are also referred to as “Rockefeller’s teeth.”

Size: Acadia National Park has more than 47,000 acres. Park property on Mount Desert Island is 2,728 acres, 2,366 acres on Isle au Haut and 2,366 acres on the Schoodic Peninsula. The Park boundary, established by act of Congress in 1986, includes a number of private in-holdings that the Park is attempting to acquire.

# Visitors: 2,431,052 visitors in 2012. December/January are the least visited months; visitation peaks in July/August.

Plants: Over 1200 plant species are known in the Park. Incredibly, nearly a quarter of those species are non-native. Humans do have an impact on their environment!

Animals: A total of 338 bird species are confirmed as sighted within Acadia National Park  23 species of warblers have been seen in the park!

Species that used to inhabit the island include the mountain lion and gray wolf. These predators may have left the area due to the dramatic decrease in small prey and proximity to human activity. Few large mammals are now sighted in the park.

Choices: There are over 120 miles of hiking trails in the park … from the seashore to the 1500′ Cadillac Mountain. There are great tidepools to explore. And don’t miss the carriage paths, with unique granite bridges that you will travel over and under.

Fees: All park visitors are required to pay an entrance fee upon entry May through October. The cost for a 7-day pass is $20 for a private vehicle, $5 for one person on a motorcycle or on foot. Youth under 15 are free.

Staying There: Campgrounds are $20 May – October, and $10 in April and November. There are no hotels in the park. Several neighboring small towns offer lodging: Bar Harbor, Seal Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Hulls Cove, and Bass Harbor.

Contact Info:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Current Issues: Air pollution is one of the biggest concerns for the long-term healthy of Acadia National Park. Visibility atop Cadillac Mountain – one of the highest points on the east coast – has dropped from 110 miles to just 33 miles. Polluted air is also suspected of causing the levels of mercury to rise in the park’s freshwater fish.

Don’t Miss This: Spring blossoms and fall foliage are annual highlights for visitors to the park. Fall colors often peak in the first two weeks of October.


National Park Service: Acadia National Park

National Parks Traveler: The Bridges of Acadia

Running With Scissors: Postcards From Acadia

Deano In America: Carriage Road Stone Bridge

New England Vintage Chic: Arcadia National Park

6 responses to “Acadia National Park

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  1. Thank you for the link to my post! I could have spent a week running the trails at Acadia each day. I can only imagine how beautiful it is there now that so many of the crowds are gone.

  2. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Acadia, but after seeing your pictures, I would love to go back. Lovely, lovely place!

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