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National Park Action Guides
Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park
Click for full map.
Where adventure sports go coastal

Ultimate Itinerary
Park Information

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., knew a special place when he saw one. Staggered by the beauty of Mount Desert Island, where his family—as well as the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Carnegies, and Astors—built lavish summer “cottages,” he donated 11,000 acres [4,452 hectares] of land to Acadia.

Today the park is one of the country’s most recreationally diverse retreats: In it, you can scale pink granite cliffs, canoe quiet creeks, hike up bald-topped mountains, or sea kayak among rocky isles. Maybe you can’t own Acadia, Gilded Age style—but at least you can play there.

All prices in U.S. dollars

Park Information
The Ultimate Itinerary


Drive Park Loop Road early and secure your site at Seawall campground, on Mount Desert’s southern tip. Then hike up Acadia and St. Sauveur Mountains; the views of Somes Sound, the lower 48’s only fjord, are spectacular from both.


Less busy than Cadillac Mountain, Sargent Mountain has equally arresting sunrise views.

After the 2.5-hour hike, rent a mountain bike from the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop ($17 per day; +1 207 288 3886) and cruise the park’s carriage roads. The Around Mountain and DAY Mountain Loops are two of the best routes. Along the way, stop for a regionally famous pick-me-up: popovers at the Jordan Pond House.


Take the 11-mile [18-kilometer] Seal Cove-to-Clark Cove sea-kayak tour with Maine State Sea Kayak Guide Service (+1 207 244 9500; www.mainestatekayak.com), in Southwest Harbor. The high peaks are always in sight, islands abound, and the rugged granite coast is dotted with coves and harbors.


Experienced rock climbers can tackle crack and corner routes while lobster boats rumble below at Otter Cliff, with 80-foot [24-meter] routes rated 5.4 to 5.12. Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School (888 232 9559, U.S. and Canada only) teaches basic technique to non-climbers here and at nearby crags.


Cross Mount Desert’s eastern half on a 10.5-mile [17-kilometer] hike linking the big, bald peaks from Gorham Mountain in the southeast corner of the island to Norumbega Mountain beside Somes Sound. Ladders and iron rungs will help you ascend the steepest pitches.

Park Information

Permits: None are required for campgrounds (backcountry overnights are not allowed). For certain kayaking routes, you may need a use permit; check with park rangers for details.

Contact: For a trip planner, Contact Acadia National Park (+1 207 288 3338; www.nps.gov/acad).

For the full Acadia guide, pick up the May 2002 Adventure.

Next: Go for the trekker’s trifecta in Glacier National Park >>


  Other Park Listings
    •  Introduction
    •  Acadia
    •  Glacier
    •  Grand Canyon
    •  Grand Teton
    •  Great Smoky Mountains
    •  Olympic
    •  Rocky Mountain
    •  Yellowstone
    •  Yosemite
    •  Zion


Related Web Sites

Acadia Travel Guide Online
Get in-depth information from National Geographic, including driving tours, photographs, links, maps, and more online.

Gear Guide: Mountain Hardware
Adventure magazine checks out the most overlooked climbing destination in the Eastern U.S.—Acadia National Park.

The Eastern Edge: A Climbing Nirvana in Acadia
Adventure magazine checks out the most overlooked climbing destination in the Eastern U.S.—Acadia National Park.

Maine Travel Links
Get travel tips; lodging, restaurant, destination, recreational information; and more from Traveler magazine.


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