Travel Guide To Acadia National Park

Many people who think of New England as a tourist destination may be inclined to view it only through the lens of spring. That’s because this region, which forms the northeastern shoulder of the continental United States, is widely acclaimed for the beautiful colors that flash through its woods and timberline between March and May.

During this glorious season, it doesn’t matter which of the six states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island – you pass through. You’ll see a variety of leafy wonders in a rainbow of pinks, reds and oranges.

Each state has its own unique characteristics, and while a road trip through several states is hardly less than an epic experience, focusing entirely on one of the six states can pay off.

Maine, while claiming it’s the craziest piece of the New England puzzle will always be disputed by New Hampshire, has a distant feel to it for the largest and northernmost of the six states. Within its 35,385 square miles you’ll find everything – small cities (Bangor, Portland, Augusta); towering peaks (the massive Mount Katahdin); vast wilderness (Baxter State Park, which makes up the mountain). But perhaps its most dramatic feature is along its coast – some 200+ miles of waterfront where the Atlantic Ocean doesn’t make a careful landing, but instead launches an unrelenting assault; cliffs, etc.

Acadia National Park is the jewel in this crown of mists, foams and waves; with over 70 square miles of cliffs, beaches, peaks, forests, lakes and wetlands. Much of it is spread across the huge Mount Desert Island. The heart of the preserve. But no matter what the season of the storm, they are very photogenic.

Acadia is located about two-thirds of the way along Maine’s long arc of coastline. It observes tides by road nearly 200 miles northeast of Portsmouth, N.H., and at the state line – about 100 miles from Lübeck, where Maine ends to the east next to the New Brunswick Islands. The nearest town is Bar Harbor, which shares Mount Desert Island with the national park.

Visitors can see a fair cross-section of Acadia on the Park Loop Road, which circles the eastern half of the eastern half of the desert for 26 miles. It curves to the south of Bar Harbor, but also follows the more remote corners of the park, past the cliffs of the “Cliff Trail” and the “Thunder Hole” crevice at the water’s edge. It also connects to Cadillac Peak Road – as the name implies, this road takes visitors to the roof. Truly, a spectacular view!

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