Acadia National Park

Mount Desert Island, and what would eventually become Acadia National Park, has a long history of recreational visitors dating back to the late 1880’s.  There has been much written about this unique island in books, travel guides, websites and films.  This page is simply meant as a launching off point as you begin your journey leaning about one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

Unlike most other national parks, Acadia in not concentrated in one area but rather spread across most of Mount Desert Island.  You are never more than a few miles from a park boundary and there are many access points from which to enter the park.  There are also many areas on the island, outside of park boundaries, to experience the beauty and culture of the area.  

Acadia National Park

Island Explorer

Maine Office of Tourism

Bermels' Guide to MDI and Bar Harbor

Acadia Magic 

Mount Desert Islander

Outdoor Activities

There is an endless supply of outdoor adventures to have on Mount Desert Island including 130 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of carriage road to walk, run or bike, and over 120 miles of shoreline to explore.  There is freshwater swimming as well ocean swimming (for the more hearty!).  Commercial trips include boat excursions such as whale watching, birding and nature tours, sailing schooners, deep-sea fishing and lobstering, sea kayaking, and small boat sailing.   There are also rock climbing outfitters, glider and other airplane rides, and horse drawn carriage rides, just to name a few other options.   

Click here for more things to do in Acadia. 

Getting there

From the south, take Interstate 95 towards Bangor

At exit 182A, follow I-395 to Route 1A SOUTH towards Ellsworth.

Continue straight through Ellsworth on Route 3 towards Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor. When you reach the head of the Island, you will cross a bridge and come upon a traffic light.

Bear left to go towards Bar Harbor; bear right to go towards Somesville and Southwest Harbor.

Estimated Driving Time:

From Boston – 5-6 hours

From Portland – 3 hours

From Bangor International Jetport – 1-1.5 hours

From Bar Harbor/Trenton Airport – 10 minutes

Nearby towns and shopping

Mount Desert Island has several towns, each with it’s own very distinct character.  Best known, Bar Harbor is the “tourist” town with lots of shopping, restaurants and outfitters.  Lesser known but certainly worth visiting are Northeast Harbor, a beautiful harbor accentuated by mansions and yachts; which hosts the Coast Guard Station and Southwest Harbor, the working town on the island, hosts the Coast Guard station.  Both also have shopping and restaurants.  

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce

Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce

Southwest Harbor–Tremont Chamber of Commerce

Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture: 207-288-9432

Weather and Climate

Round here the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Not only is weather variable throughout a single day, but with the island’s mountains, there are several micro- climates on the island.  It can easily be sunny in Somesville, foggy in Northeast Harbor and raining in Bar Harbor- all at the same time.  This variability allows you what I call “dialing in” your weather.  If it’s hot- head to the ocean.  If it’s windy, hike in the woods.  If it’s sunny- climb a mountaintop.  

Check out today's weather and live webcams from around the island.