Acadia National Park Guide

acadia national park sign

Acadia National Park

Located on the rocky coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is home to the tallest mountain on the US Atlantic coast. All of the reaches of this extraordinary place begin on Mount Desert Island, headquarters of ANP.

The History of Acadia National Park

French explorer Samuel de Champlain gave the island its name in 1604. In time, it became home to a scattering of enthusiastic New Englanders – mostly farmers, lumbermen, shipbuilders, and fishermen searching the Atlantic for lobster.


Soon the beauty of the area began to attract artists, particularly those from the Hudson River School of painting including the likes of Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Their renderings of beautiful Acadia National Park appeared on magazines and in galleries across the nation.

But no artist’s palate can do justice to the amazing vibrant colors of autumn in Acadia National Park. Yet it was to escape the sweltering summer heat in New York City that pushed the super wealthy to beautiful Acadia. They often built storybook mansions which they modestly called cottages. It wasn’t long before Mount Desert became a playground for the privileged.

Acadia Carriage Roads

Acadia is America’s first national park east of the Mississippi and the only National Park comprised of 100% donated land. John D Rockefeller Jr, train as a landscape architect, undertook the designing of Acadia’s Carriage roads. He spent 20 years and 20 million dollars on these roads and strictly forbade the use of automobiles on them.


Today Park visitors still enjoy these carefully crafted miles of beautiful roads. You can still enjoy them in a horse-drawn carriage or by bicycle. Today’s Acadia National Park finds Itself frequented by cyclist, Beach dwellers, hikers, and boating and Theseus.

Acadia National Park Carriage Road Map

Forty-five miles of rustic carriage roads weave around the mountains and valleys of Acadia National Park. Rockefeller, a skilled horseman, wanted to travel on motor-free byways via horse and carriage into the heart of Mount Desert Island. His construction efforts from 1913 to 1940 resulted in roads with sweeping vistas and close-up views of the landscape. His love of road building ensured a state-of-the-art system.

Rockefeller’s interest in road building grew naturally from his father’s. John D. Rockefeller Sr., the founder of Standard Oil, had built and landscaped carriage roads on his Ohio and New York estates. From his father the junior Rockefeller learned many techniques that he applied to building his Mount Desert Island carriage roads.


Acadia National Park Hiking

Below is a downloadable PDF which includes information on some of Acadia’s hiking trails. Unless otherwise indicated, round-trip distances include the route out and back on the same trail. Many park trails, however, can be combined to make loops and longer routes. Inquire about accessible trails. Use caution while hiking; many trails have steep sections and uneven footing. Stay back from cliff edges; serious falls can occur. Always carry a trail map when hiking in the park!


Trail Names and Closures – The park is in the process of renaming some of its historic trails. Your map may differ from trail signs. The Precipice Trail and portions of the Orange & Black Path, Jordan Cliffs Trail, and Valley Cove Trail are generally closed from March 15 to August 15 to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Call (207) 288-3338 for more information.

Acadia National Park Lodging

For those of you looking to relaw, sightsee, and not rough it up so much, Acadia National Park offers lots of options when it comes to lodging. Below are a few of it’s finest places to stay while visiting this historic & majestic place:

The West Street Hotel

50 West Street, Bar Harbor


Open: Seasonal

West Street Hotel

Bar Harbor’s newest luxury boutique hotel – Featuring modern sophistication and amenities for the most discerning traveler. Luxurious accommodations abound, many with magnificent ocean views. The West Street Hotel features Maine’s only rooftop pool offering a unique sanctuary atop the bustling downtown Bar Harbor streets and shops. Guests and groups are privileged with exclusive access to the Bar Harbor Club.

The Bar Harbor Inn

Newport Drive, Bar Harbor

207-288-3351 • 800-248-3351 or email

Open: Mid-March – Nov. 30

The Bar Harbor Inn

The Bar Harbor Inn is one of the most noticeable and elegant properties in Bar Harbor, Maine. Located on the northeastern shore of Mount Desert Island next to the West Street Pier, it provides an unsurpassed view of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Many rooms have fireplaces and balconies. The famous Reading Room Restaurant and lounge is on the premises for your convenience and culinary enjoyment.

Hampton Inn Bar Harbor Hotel

12 Norman Road, Bar Harbor


Open: Seasonal

Hampton Inn Bar Harbor Hotel

Bright and modern, Bar Harbor’s newest hotel offers stunning views of the ocean and mountains from a private location just a short walk from downtown. Guest rooms feature an upscale design – sleep well in the clean and fresh Hampton bed® and enjoy amenities including free WiFi, refrigerator, and work desk. Upgrade to a suite for more space and amenities, including balcony with ocean views. Join us each morning for Hampton’s free hot breakfast buffet, featuring our famous freshly baked waffles. Amenities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, and 24-hour business center.

See More Acadia Lodging Here

Acadia National Park Camping

To really get the full natural experience and capture the beauty of Acadia’s Wilderness, you will ideally camp. The more time breathing the Atlantic air amidst the beautiful landscape and biodiversity, the more you’ll absorb and appreciate Acadia’s true magnificence.


NOTE: Acadia National Park is constantly striving to improve its accessible facilities and services so that all visitors have access to park resources. Accessible interpretive programs are listed in the monthly program schedule. Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available to use on the programs. There are also accessible campsites, trails, restrooms, carriage roads and carriage rides within the park. At the Hulls Cove Visitor Center, there are audio description and captioning for the introductory video. Further information is found in each section or consult the park’s Access Guide found on the park web-site or at park information centers.

Downlowd This PDF Guide Provided by

No matter how you choose to experience Acadia National Park,  you’ll certainly be glad you went. If you’ve been there, or when you get home, we’d love to hear from you. Please share photos, videos and feedback in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy Acadia!

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