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Hit the Road: an outdoor adventure to Acadia National Park


Head to the coast at Acadia National Park. | Photo via @xanderadamsphoto

We’re kicking off our summer road trip seriesHit the Road — with an outdoor adventure-themed trip to Acadia National Park. With more than 20 mountains, 64 miles of coastline, and over 1,100 plant species to discover, this area is a great destination for experienced adventurers + novice nature seekers alike.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~5 hours

Avg. number of visitors: 4.07 million in 2021

Avg. high in June: 73º

🥾Things to do

Ocean Path, ~4 miles

This walk can take anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours to complete, depending on your pace. About two miles from Sand Beach you’ll come across Thunder Hole, a rock formation that when hit just right by the waves, creates a thundering sound.

Cadillac Mountain Loop Trail, ~.05 miles

This short and easy loop will deliver some of the best views of the park. Once you get to the summit you’ll see panoramic views, Bar Harbor + many smaller islands.

Pro tip: this is one of the most popular sunrise locations, since it’s one of the first spots in the US to see the sun — reservations are required to drive to the summit May through October.

Beach Cliff Ladder Loop, ~2.2 miles

This trail gives you a little bit of everything — iron rungs + ladders to climb, coastline views, and thrilling cliff walks.

Sundew Trail, ~2 miles

This hike is roughly an hour and a half and located on the Schoodic Peninsula, best known for the iconic coastline. The loop trail features coastline views + on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of Mount Desert Island + Cadillac Mountain.

Looking for something more challenging? Check out the Beehive Loop or Precipice Loop. Wanting a chill adventure? You can drive up Cadillac Mountain.

🍽️ Fuel up after hiking

Side Street Cafe, 49 Rodick St., Bar Harbor, ME

The family-owned cafe is known for serving up lobster rolls, macaroni and cheese + blueberry pie — al pretty much all the Maine staples. There are gluten-free options and plenty of outdoor seating. Reservations are recommended.

Geddy’s, 19 Main St., Bar Harbor, ME

Come as you are to this family-friendly local spot that has been serving up fresh seafood, gluten-free options, and artisan pizza for over 40 years. Watch the boats sail in, enjoy the historic memorabilia + vintage photos decor. Pro tip: don’t skip on the Firecracker Martinie or even better, a local blueberry beer.

Thirsty Whale Tavern, 40 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME

This casual kid-friendly joint is perfect for fueling up after your adventures. Enjoy local seafood, pub fare and wash it all down with a local root beer.

🏕️ Cozy campsites + cabins

Blackwoods Campground

Wake up to the sounds of the ocean. Blackwoods Campground is within walking distance to the ocean and located on the east side of Mount Desert Island, about five miles south of Bar Harbor along Route 3. Most of the sites are designed for tents, however some can accommodate travelers with RVs.

Schoodic Woods Campground

Explore the park’s newest campground located on the Schoodic Peninsula, approximately 60-70 minutes from Bar Harbor.

Plus, stay tuned for the July installment of our Hit the Road series. We’ll be highlighting a 30-mile road trip.

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