Acadia National Park is one of the fifty-eight National Parks in the United States and it is in the state of Maine. The park’s original name in 1916 was Sieur de Monts National Monument before it was changed to Lafayette National Park in 1919. The current name was given to the park in 1929 and it is the oldest National Park East of the Mississippi River. Fifty miles of carriage trails, 17 granite bridges and two gate lodges were designed and constructed between 1915 and 1933 and most of them have been maintained and are still used today.
Everyone who visits Acadia National Park will want to begin at Hulls Cover Visitor Center, Park Headquarters or Thompson Island Information Center. These three places are where everyone can learn more about the park and pick up information for their visit. There is even a Junior Ranger Program for the kids. The Islesford Historical Museum can be found on Little Cranberry Island and visitors can go on to the stern of a lobster boat and see the tools that the fishermen use on a daily basis.
There are many scenic areas that visitors can choose to go to as they are hiking, biking and climbing through the park and each one is unique in its own way. Cadillac Mountain measures in at 1,530 feet and it is the tallest mountain in the park and along the East coast of the United States. The three-and-a-half-mile road that leads to the mountain is closed during the winter months and whenever there is inclement weather.
Isle au Haut is an island inside the park and while part of it is owned by the government, the rest is privately owned. There is a limit of how many people can visit the island every day, but the ones who do go over can hike along eighteen miles of trails. The trails are rough, but seeing the marshes, bogs and wooded uplands make the trek worthwhile.
Visitors who want a more relaxed way of seeing most of the park will want to drive along Park Loop Road. This twenty-seven-mile-long road offers extraordinary views of not only the mountains, but the forests and the shoreline as well. People will find that they have plenty of opportunities to pullover while driving the loop, so that they can take pictures, breathe in the fresh air and watch for wildlife.
The Wild Gardens of Acadia covers less than an acre of land, but guests will see plenty of native plants and birds. All of the plants are labeled to help people determine what each one is and there is nothing better than enjoying an afternoon stroll or a picnic lunch alongside the spring-fed brook. Nearby on Mount Desert Island is the Bass Harbor Head Light. This is the only lighthouse on the island and it is the private residence for the commander of the local Coast Guard unit. There are trails on either side of the lighthouse that people can walk along to see spectacular views of the ocean.
Acadia National Park is a beautiful place to visit throughout the year and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep everyone busy during their time there. Visitors should keep in mind that they will not get to experience all areas of the park during the winter months because of road closures. However, they will still be able to enjoy spectacular views from other areas of the park as they are skiing or doing other winter events.