Most of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Easy to reach by car, the park features magnificent shorelines and scenery along with wooded campgrounds. With its rocky coast, towering granite mountains, picturesque harbors, and magnificent sunsets, Acadia is among American's most beautiful and scenic natural places and ideal for outdoor activity. Bike and boat rentals are available, with miles of carriage roads without cars. Those who tire of hiking can take a trolley around the island to view the breathtaking sites. The island's shuttle links hotels and campgrounds with tourist sites.
Places with magnificent views abound throughout Acadia, giving hikers exciting opportunities and breathtaking views for their efforts. The Beehive on the eastern side is a steep 500-foot rock outcropping. Situated north of Sand Beach, the Beehive offers a strenuous but exhilarating climb. You can hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the North Atlantic seaboard and the first place in America to see the sun rise. Whether you hike or drive to the top, the views are spectacular. Supposedly a pirate haunt, Frenchman Bay on the northeast coast offers relaxed walks in a tranquil setting. Somes Sound divides the two peninsulas and offers views of the only fjord in the eastern United States.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Acadia offers abundant camping opportunities. There are two campgrounds within the park and other sites available on Mount Desert Island just outside the park. Blackwoods Campground is on the southeastern side of the island. With more than 300 sites, Blackwoods is close to Cadillac Mountain to the north and the ocean a short walk toward the south. The forested campground has showers nearby but no hookups or utilities available. Reservations are recommended at Blackwoods, open from the beginning of May until the end of October. Winter campers are allowed to hike in December through the end of March. Seawall Campground is on the southeastern side of the southwestern peninsula, with camping on a first-come, first-serve basis. Open late May through the end of September, Seawall has picnic sites and allows six people and one vehicle per site. Campers can head southwest to Wonderland Trail. Campgrounds on Mount Desert Island are only a short distance to scenic spots perfect for hiking, biking, or boating.
Part of Acadia lies in Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island's eastern side. Bar Harbor's quaint streets are filled with charming specialty shops and restaurants, many with a down-east flavor and theme. Whale watching is available on the Catamaran, America's largest whale-watching ship. Visitors can spend a day sailing aboard the Rachel B. Jackson, a working reproduction of an 1890s coastal schooner. The Abbe Museum on Main Street contains artifacts about Maine's American Indian tribes covering 10,000 years, with children's activities available. For a change of pace, stay at the Wonder View Inn on Eden Street, close to the town's center, home of mystery author Mary Roberts Rinehart that features peaceful grounds with walking paths.