Acadia National Park runs along the coast of Maine in New England. It was originally a small area of land set aside by presidential proclamation in 1916, but with additions and a change of name, it now covers 192 km2 (74 sq mi), around 303 km2 (117 sq mi) of which are on Mount Desert Island. It is one of the smaller national parks in the USA.
The park’s terrain encompasses an ocean shoreline, woodlands, lakes and mountains in scenery created by sweeping glaciers during the last ice age, 18,000 years ago. Mountain peaks tend to be bare, the soils and vegetation scraped off by the ice, revealing the pink granite underneath. The area’s climate is moderate and wet, with frequent rainfall throughout the year and up to 155 cm (61 in) of snow in winter.
Cadillac Mountain is not only the highest mountain in the park, but also the tallest on the US east coast. It stands at 466 m (1,530 ft) above sea level, and is believed to be the first place in the US to see sunrise during certain parts of the year. As well as several climbing routes of varying difficulty, there’s also a paved road leading to the summit.
Along with chickadees, the Maine state’s emblem bird, more than 273 species of bird have been identified in the park, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons and blue jays. Deer, foxes, rabbits, squirrels and porcupines live alongside reptiles such as garter snakes and the American bullfrog.
Besides meandering along the extensive shoreline, visitors can explore 210 km (125 mi) of hiking trails. There are also 72 km (45 mi) of carriage roads, installed by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller – closed to cars, they are ideal for cycling. Activities for water lovers include kayaking and canoeing, and there are two beaches suitable for freshwater and salt water swimming.
Useful Links: Acadia National Park (National Park Service)