Rugged granite mountain peaks meet the sea at Acadia National Park in eastern Maine. Carved by glaciers some 18,000 years ago, the craggy landscape promises one outstanding photo opportunity after another. Sheer cliff faces collide with the pounding surf, small fishing and sailboats ply Frenchman Bay and the air is perfumed with fir trees and the Atlantic Ocean. Protecting over 47,000 acres, almost half of Mount Desert Island, Acadia's scenic trails are a hiker's dream. However, with scores of hard-packed carriage roads, bicyclists and equestrians are equally at home.
The Park Loop Road twists around and over sculpted mountain terrain, leading travelers to sweeping views of the coastline and the crashing surf. Why drive when you can hike the 125 miles of trails and bike 57 miles of carriage roads crisscrossing this park. You'll pass beneath fir trees, discover hidden tide pools, gaping rock fractures and drop-offs unreachable by car. Head to Wildwood Stables for horseback riding and horse-drawn carriage tours along the wooded roads of Mount Desert Island.
Ranger-led boat cruises provide a watery perspective of Acadia National Park. Watch real-time video as a diver scours the ocean floor for marine specimens to bring onboard the boat of a Dive-in Theater Cruise. The Downeast Windjammer Cruise combines the area's natural and human history aboard a four-masted schooner on Frenchman's Bay, and the Baker Island Cruise explores a remote island sculpted by the surf and rarely visited by anyone but ocean birds and sea creatures.
Camping and Dining
Afternoon tea with popovers and jam on the lawn of the Jordan Pond House is a time-honored tradition. The restaurant's location overlooks picture-perfect Jordan Pond and the Bubbles, a pair of smooth, granite peaks. Acadia maintains two campgrounds within the park. Blackwoods is more popular, located just a few miles outside of the dining and attractions in Bar Harbor. Seawall provides quiet camping on the other side of the island, with little noise but the crashing waves and ocean breeze.