Acadia National Park - Must See Spots
Carriage Roads off Hulls Cove Visitor Center
The network of Carriage Roads at Acadia National Park are deal for soaking in the breathtaking views the park offers as you bike or e-bike (lithium powered electric bikes). No autos are allowed on the carriage roads. Financed originally by John D. Rockefeller, these roads hug the contour of the land which serves to maximize the scenic views. Their inclines and turns are also gradual - originally for the sake of horse-driven vehicles when designed personally by Rockefeller. These also make it easy for cyclists today.
Ebikes are ideal for traveling across the distinct sceneries and spots within the park. The E-bikes offered by Island Time E-bike Rentals are ideal for roaming the park’s carriage roads, as well as the main Park Loop Road. You can check dates and book here.
The rental process is easy. The meeting point is:
- Hulls Cove Visitor Center
- 25 Visitor Center Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA
They will meet you in the parking lot at the visitor center and you can hop on an ebike with direct access to the carriage roads. They will meet you back at the starting point when you are finished. If you finish before the full rental period then there is a bike rack to lock your ebikes up.
Cadillac Mountain Summit
Cadillac Mountain is the most popular spot at Acadia - and rightfully so. It is the first spot in the US Eastern seaboard to see the spectacular sunrise it is famous for. Just have a look at some of the sunrise pics on this site alone. There is a registration system to enter the Cadillac Summit Road that takes you to the top. Get more information and register here: https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/vehicle_reservations.htm. Be aware that you will face a ton of traffic even in the pre-dawn hours for tourists driving to the summit to watch the sunrise.
Conveniently, you can also take a bus tour that takes you atop Cadillac Mountain along with Thunder Hole and Sand Beach, two must-see spots that are also mentioned below. One of the benefits of this guided bus tour is that the friendly drivers are very knowledgeable and interested in sharing information about the stops and Acadia in general. You also don't have to deal with the traffic to Cadillac Mountain. The tour makes three stops within the town of Bar Harbor and the National Park to witness firsthand the views and wildlife that make this island so special. Stops include Cadillac Mountain, Sieur de Monts Spring, and Thunder Hole. You can check dates and book here.
The Gorham Trail makes the list because this is a relatively easy trail that from a compact area offers spectacular, panoramic views of the coastline, including Sand Beach. The ascent is also a gradual 500 feet. More about the trail here
The Ocean Path Trail makes the list because this is a relatively easy trail that from a compact area offers you to experience the Acadia coastline, including Thunder Hole and Sand Beach. The roar and crash of the waves pounding against rock at Thunder Hole in such an animated manner is a most unusual site. The waves relentlessly crash into a crevasse and then make a thundering sound while splashing high in the air. The cliffs around there can be as high as 40 feet so do take precaution. More about the trail here
Frenchman Bay - Sailing Cruise
Sailing Frenchman Bay where Bar Harbor is situated offers a wonderful experience with a fresh ocean breeze, calm waters, and beautiful views of the rugged terrain of Mount Desert Island. Wildlife you can expect to encounter or view include seals, osprey, porpoise, and bald eagles. There are also a couple of picturesque lighthouses.
The Tall Ship Romantic Sunset Sail with Beer, Wine and Music offered via Viator, a TripAdvisor company, is an ideal way to partake in this aquatic experience. This guided tour is offered on one of their Tall Ship sailboats so this is also a way to partake in Bar Harbor's maritime heritage. These sail-powered boats are spacious, very maneuverable, and stable, making them ideal for the calm waters of Frenchman Bay. Their sailing tours enable you to explore the protected waters inside the Bay. You can soak in the beautiful views of the mountains of Acadia and Mount Desert Island while enjoying wine and music. The captain and the crew are well versed with the region's history and will be glad to share their know-how. You can check dates and book here.