Acadia quickly became one of our favorite national parks. It’s so unique with it’s mixture of mountain and ocean landscape and the way it intertwines within the towns throughout Mt. Desert Island. It’s hard to know where the park begins and ends!
We especially loved that Acadia National Park is pet friendly. Our dogs were able to go on all the hikes with us, which isn’t usually possible at National Parks. In fact, Bar Harbor, Maine was the most dog friendly U.S. city we’ve visited. Our dogs wrote about why it was their favorite destination, in this post. While we didn’t get to do everything we wanted during our week stay in Acadia National Park, we thoroughly enjoyed the things we did get to do and can’t wait to go back for more someday!
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Here are 5 Must-Do Activities in Acadia National Park
1. Ship Harbor Trail
There are so many walking trails that loop around beautiful lakes and ponds as well as hikes of all levels and distances that take you right along the coast. The Ship Harbor forms a figure-8 loop and leads you through thick spruce woods and then along the shore of a rocky, picturesque cove. At low tide, the rocky headland has numerous tidepools you can explore and look for creatures! Our dogs loved cooling off in the water.
2. Eagle Lake Loop
Eagle Lake Loop is perfect for an evening stroll to walk off all the “lobstah” you ate for lunch! It’s so peaceful and relaxing! The trail is evenly paved and wide so it would also be great for a bike ride too. The entire loop is 6 miles but you can walk as much of the trail as you please!
3. Hike Gorham Mountain
The Gorham Mountain to Ocean Path Loop (with a stop at Sand Beach) was our absolute favorite activity in Acadia National Park! Hiking a mountain while enjoying beautiful ocean views is so rewarding! The hike is only moderately strenuous, and the loop is about 3 miles round trip. The view at the top is worth it and one you’ll never forget.
Friends of Acadia is a non-profit organization that organizes volunteer efforts and private philanthropy for the benefit and preservation of Acadia National Park. They offer drop in volunteering 3 days a week. So we showed up on a Saturday morning, were provided with the equipment we needed, and were given options of what jobs we felt comfortable doing. Helping to restore trails in the park is truly a great experience. It will give you a much greater appreciate for our National Parks!
5. Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain
Being able to say that we were some of the first people in America to see the sunrise is pretty cool. But beyond that, it’s hands down the most beautiful sunrise you’ll ever see. Getting up at 5:00 am, driving the windy roads up, and fighting the crowds, is 100% worth it! We can’t recommend it enough and we’ll just leave this photo right here…
If Acadia National Park isn’t on your bucket list, it should be! While you’re there, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the incredible Bar Harbor, Maine. We highly recommend taking a sunset cruise on the Schooner Margaret Todd, strolling downtown, eating lots of fresh lobster, and grabbing a beer at Atlantic Brewing Company! Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are picture perfect and offer the ultimate New England experience.