Acadia National Park, Maine

Bass Head Lighthouse

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Jordan Pond
Bass Head Lighthouse

Bass Head Lighthouse

Acadia National Park is the first US National Park built east of the Mississippi River. Bass Harbor Lighthouse (pictured), located on Mount Desert Island, was built in 1858. Head here for a quiet getaway with picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean. 960 1280

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Acadia's Islands

Acadia's Islands

More than 2 million people visit Acadia National Park each year. According to the US National Park Service, the average visitor spends 3 to 4 days in the area, which allows some time to visit some of the small islands that are also part of majestic national park. 960 1280

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Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain

Travel like the President, and visit Bar Harbor, ME. Put on your best walking shoes, and take a hike up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. 960 1280

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Biking Near Somes Sound

Biking Near Somes Sound

Go biking on a scenic park road by Somes Sound, a body of water that runs deep into Mount Desert Island. The sound almost splits the island in 2, and is often described as the “only fjord on the East Coast.” 960 1280

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Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond

As beautiful as it might seem, outdoor enthusiasts and their pets are not allowed to wade in the clear waters of Jordon Pond. Some types of boating are permitted in the pond, which sits between the Penobscot Mountain and 2 mountains known as the “Bubbles.” 960 1280

Maine Office of Tourism  

Bass Harbor

Bass Harbor

Visit Bass Harbor, ME, a serene fishing village located on the southwest section of Mount Desert Island. And if you’re looking for lobster, you’ve hit a goldmine. This well-protected natural harbor ranks as one of the most lucrative lobster-producing ports in Maine. 960 1280

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Thunder Hole

Thunder Hole

Experience the crack of the waves as they slam into the rocky shores of a small inlet called Thunder Hole. Water is forced out of the end of the inlet -- a small cavern -- which creates a water spout as high as 40 feet and thunderous roar. 960 1280

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Carriage Road Bridges

Carriage Road Bridges

This is just one of Acadia National Park’s Carriage Road stone bridges. Don’t look for any car traffic on these bridges. The 57-mile network are free of motor vehicles, but hikers, bikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, and limited snowmobile activities are allowed. The bridges are made from the granite found on Mount Desert Island. 960 1280

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Kayaking on Long Pond

Kayaking on Long Pond

Go kayaking, and enjoy the beautiful scenery along on Long Pond. There are 2 Long Ponds. “Little” Long Pond is located west of the Seal Harbor. This area is located outside of the park, and it is great place for a scenic walk. The larger Long Pond -- sometimes referred to as “Great” Long Pond -- is further west of Somes Sound and Echo Lake. 960 1280

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Acadia's Luxury Homes

Acadia's Luxury Homes

Explore the area near and around Arcadia National Park. Take a short road trip, and gawk at some of the amazing luxury home along the road. 960 1280

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Rocky Cliff Climbing

Rocky Cliff Climbing

Climb to new heights! Visit Acadia National Park for awe-inspiring sea-cliff climbing. Experienced climbers must register in logbooks at Otter Cliffs’ South Wall of the Precipice and Canada Cliffs. Great Head offers some incredible and generally hard climbing over the ocean. But for beginners, we suggest you head to South Bubble. 960 1280

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Sand Beach

Sand Beach

Nestled in a small inlet between the granite mountains and rocky shores of Mount Desert Island, Sandy Beach’s water temperature rarely exceeds 55 degrees in the summer. Visitors can access the beach via the Park Loop Road -- just after the park fee entrance station on the northeastern side of the island. And if you don’t have wheels, the Island Explorer Shuttle Bus has a pickup and drop-off point at the beach, and it stops every half hour during the summer peak season. 960 1280

Maine Office of Tourism  

One of America's great National Parks, Acadia National Park is composed of ocean, mountains, forests, streams and ponds, wetlands, meadows and beaches. Nature lovers cannot help but be sated after visiting this paradigm of natural wonders, which rests mainly on Mount Desert Island, but also extends to the Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut and a dozen tinier islands. The park's dramatic geological extremes are the results of glacial activity and a melting process that shaped the area into islands, coves and kettle ponds, and a 10,000-year-old shoreline so "new" that finding sand is almost a rarity.

The plant and animal life in this 47,633-acre park is vast and accessible. Fisherman will find 28 species of fish lurking in the coves and streams, and bird-watchers will be awed by more than 300 species of birds (including a whopping 23 species of warblers, and that old icon -- the bald eagle), which call this park home.

Acadia reflects all that is New England, with glimpses back to the days when wealthy New Englanders first began settling the region -- there are winding carriage roads and quaint stone bridges ideal for hiking, biking and breathing crisp Maine air. With vistas that leave even the most experienced parkgoer speechless, the 27-mile Park Loop Road features the likes of Cadillac Mountain, the North Atlantic coast's highest promontory, and Thunder Hole, where views of waves smashing against the coast give visitors a powerful sense of how this very wondrous park was shaped.

Geological History
More than 500 million years ago, sand, silt and mud were deposited by rivers and transformed by pressure into bedrock, which tectonic plate movement and volcanoes ultimately warped into a mighty mountain range. The driving power of wind, water and glaciers wore down and shaped the range, and the glaciers' meltwater helped create the Gulf of Maine. As the glaciers melted, landmasses emerged. Today the forces of the ocean waves and winds are still shaping the area.

Park Activities
The variety of geological features offers something for everyone. There are 115 miles of hiking trails looping through the park and 45 miles of carriage trails, which are perfect for walking, biking or horseback riding. Fishing, boating, skiing, snowshoeing and wildlife watching are also available. One of the park's true gems is its educational ranger-led programs, which include boat cruises, mountain hikes, stargazing, bird and nature walks, short talks and evening slide programs.

Where to Stay
Experience Acadia's natural glory by staying at one of the park's campgrounds, only a 10-minute hike from the ocean. Blackwoods Campground is open year-round, and has sites for small and large tents, RVs up to 35 feet, pop-ups and vehicle campers. Facilities include comfort stations, cold running water, a dump station, picnic tables, fire rings and water faucets. Reservations are required from May through October.

Side Trips
Just outside park limits on Mount Desert Island is the quaint town of Bar Harbor. Museums explore everything from the town's rich Native American heritage to its distinct microbrews. Bars, restaurants, an art-deco theater and two annual music festivals ensure a town rich in culture and activities.

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