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Acadia National Park

..., Acadia National Park encompasses over 47,000 acres (190 sq. km) of granite-domed mountains, woodlands, lakes and ponds, and ocean shoreline. Such diverse habitats create striking scenery and make the park a haven for wildlife and plants.

Acadia is located on Mount Desert Island along the eastern coast of Maine. The park is 264 miles from Boston and 50 miles from Bangor, Maine.
Acadia probably stems from a name given to the area by the explorer, Giovanni Verrazano, when he sailed by in 1524. The shoreline reminded him of a part of Greece named Arcadia.
Visitors will note the term 'Downeast' when coming here. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Maine was a shipping capital. When schooners sailed from Boston to ports in Maine, they traveled to the east. They also sailed downwind (with the wind at their backs). This led to the expression "Downeast."

Pronounciation hurdles: Mount Desert Island vs. Mount Dessert Island Samuel Champlain, a French navigator and cartographer, sailed by Mount Desert Island in 1604. He named it "Isles des Monts Desert," with the accent on the last syllable, as it is in the French language. He wasn't implying that it was a desert. The phrase means "island of barren mountains." That's why it's pronounced both as it is spelled and as the French meaning would be pronounce (dessert).

Acadia only has two campgrounds on Mount Desert Island as well as 5 lean-to shelters on Isle au Haut. There are many other types of accommodations in nearby towns.
See also Page Data & Facts for the official Websites of the cities.

There are many miles of shoreline to explore, over 120 miles of hiking trails to climb.
Acadia is an excellent biking park. There are 45 miles of carriage roads that are open to bikers and walkers. The 27-mile Park Loop Road is also open to bikers, but there is no shoulder on the road, which is shared with cars and campers. You must bike with the traffic flow on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road. Biking the Park Loop Road is not advised during the busy part of the day. Always wear helmets and obey safety rules when biking. Bikes can be rented in nearby towns.

Between mid-May and mid-October you may accompany a ranger on a hike, shoreline walk, or boat cruise.

Two beaches offer salt water or fresh water in which to swim. A variety of ranger-led programs will introduce you to Acadia's diverse natural and cultural history.

Pets may not be left unattended and need to be leashed or otherwise physically restrained at all times. Pets are allowed in all park locations except Sand Beach, Echo Lake Beach, Isle au Haut campground, ladder trails, and inside public buildings. It is requested that dogs are not brought on any ranger-led activities. Service dogs or sight-guiding dogs may accompany their owner to all park locations unless the area is closed to all visitors.

Acadia's weather is largely a product of latitude and marine influences. On a daily and annual basis, Mount Desert Island temperatures are more moderate than those of inland Maine. The Maine coastal climate has been ranked second only to the Pacific Northwest in annual precipitation. This moisture occurs in every form at Acadia. Ice storms are regular in winter and early spring, and rain is frequent in every month. Fog is common during June, July, and August. Water temperatures: Between 55 and 60 degrees F in the summer. Black Flies usually are most numerous between mid-May and mid-June, but that could vary from spring to spring. They breed in running water, so they will be more prevalent if it is a rainy spring. Mosquitoes vary depending on the weather and location. Peak time of Fall Foliage is usually the first two weeks of October.

Visitor Centers
Park Headquarters / Winter Visitor Center
Open All Year
November 1 - mid April: 8 am - 4:30 pm daily
mid-April - October 30: 8 am - 4:30 pm M-F
Located on Route 233 near Eagle Lake
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 24, December 25, and January 1

Other Visitor Centers are not open year round, please check with the NPS Website for details.




Document Information
Source: National Park Service
Last modified: 20040915
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