Acadia National Park is a beautiful (and honestly underrated) National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. We visited in late September 2021 and essentially had perfect weather during our time there. We spent two full days at Acadia but honestly could have stayed longer, we loved it so much.
An entrance pass for Acadia is $30 for a private vehicle, valid for 7 days, and can be purchased ahead of time or in person. We purchased ours ahead of time and just displayed the printed pass on our car dashboard whenever we parked. If using a car an extra reservation is needed for Cadillac Mountain and you can purchase one here. We stayed in Southwest Harbor which is one of the towns on the island. If you plan to come during the peak fall season make sure to book your hotel/campsite/bed & breakfast far in advance. We booked in mid-August and almost everything was already gone on the entire island, I was only able to find 2 places that weren’t already booked for the days we stayed.
The one hike we did not do was the iron rung Precipice Trail even though it is the most popular one. I was very nervous about it, however after completing two other similar trails I feel confident in our ability to conquer the Precipice and we would have done it if we had been there another day. Acadia is absolutely gorgeous so this is going to be a very photo heavy post.
Trails We Hiked
- Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
- Beehive Trail
- The Bowl
- Gorham Mountain Trail
- Ocean Path
- Sand Beach
- Cadillac Mountain
In general we did not find Acadia to have many family friendly trails. The most difficult trail we completed on the first day was the Beehive. It is short but an exposed, iron rung trail. Do NOT do this trail if the ground is wet from weather or you are afraid of heights. I recommend you research all hikes before doing them. Precipice and Beehive in particular are one way, so there is no turning back once you’ve started.
Where We Ate
Both days we ate breakfast at The Claremont, the hotel that we stayed in. For dinner on night one, we ate at Thurston’s Lobster Pound. I am not a seafood person but I really enjoyed my burger and chili. My husband tried the lobster roll and thought it was better than Reds Eats.
Trails We Hiked
- Jordan Cliffs
- South Bubble
- Jordan Pond Loop
We had planned on completing more trails this day, but Jordan Cliffs was more intense than we expected. It is similar to the Beehive but much longer and by the end of it we were pretty worn out considering the amount of hiking we did on day 1. All of these trails go around Jordan Pond and offer great views of it.
Where We Ate
After a long day of hiking, we were ready for some delicious food! We put our name in at Jordan Pond House, it does not do advance reservations but we waited about 45 minutes before being seated. They give the option of dining inside or out, it was starting to get pretty chilly so we opted to eat inside. Jordan Pond House is famous for their popovers, which come with yummy jam and butter. If you can manage the wait, its worth eating here.
Next time we visit Acadia, our goal is to complete the Precipice! Two full days is enough time to visit the park if you can only come for a weekend trip, but we plan to stay 3-4 days when we go again which I think is ideal.
What is your favorite national park? Is Acadia on your bucket list?
This post is one of three blog posts about our Fall 2021 trip to New England. You can read my post about the Claremont Hotel here and my post about Boston here.