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Acadia National Park in 3 days

Updated on January 11, 2019
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We've been surfing, camping and hiking for 20 years. We love visiting new places and sharing our story.

Getting there

We drove up 95 from VA. It’s a good little haul, so we stopped and camped in New Hampshire on the way. The numerous State Parks throughout the Northeast are an added bonus when you’re journeying toward Acadia. The terrain really begins to change as you enter Maine. Most of the east coast is flat and grassy. In Maine the coast turns rocky with hills and jagged mountains. You really feel like you’ve left the east coast.

Our first view of the rocky coast

We camped in Camden Hills State Park on the way to Acadia.
We camped in Camden Hills State Park on the way to Acadia.

Must sees

Precipice Trail was always at the top of our list. Once we arrived we found some more points of interest. Our favorite adventure was likely the boat tour. It was super informative and enjoyable. Here are a few things we definitely thought were worth doing:

-Biking the carriage paths

-Precipice trail

-Thunder Hole

-Cadillac Mountain

-Sand Beach (crowded)

-Bass Harbor Head Light (lighthouse)

-Eagle Lake

-Bar Harbor boat tour (incredible)

Precipice Trail

It was a strenuous hike, but worth the views.
It was a strenuous hike, but worth the views.

Gear tips

We went in the summer, so the weather was near perfect. It was chilly at night, but not cold. Be sure to bring jackets and dress in layers. You won't regret it. It gets warm during the day, expect to sweat. However it’s not the heat you’d endure a few hours south. We rented bikes, but if you can bring them you should. There are lots of great places to ride. We rode the carriage trails and had a blast.

Best time to visit

Summer was perfect for camping. We went late August. Crowds are peaking, but it’s not terrible. September is cooler, but more secluded. Spring is also an option, but there will be snow on many trails. We enjoyed the break from the heat in Virginia. The weather in August was near perfect. The water is icy compared to our beaches back home. It’s a relaxing cool weather park in the dead heat of summer. Even though it was crowded in summer, we found parking to be fairly easy. More than once we had t

Bass Harbor Head Light

Short hike with a great view
Short hike with a great view

Cadillac Mountain

So many great views to discover in this park
So many great views to discover in this park

Who should go?

Acadia is very popular. It’s one of the most visited parks. If you’re into seclusion, this park may not be your best bet. a. There are nice resorts and lodges in town (Bar Harbor definitely felt like a tourist trap). The park has lots of hiking trails with amazing views of the bay and Cadillac mountain. We plan on visiting again because we enjoyed it so much.

Lunch on the trail

Every lunch break offered incredible vistas
Every lunch break offered incredible vistas

Camden Hills State Park

The scenic overlook wasn't terrible.
The scenic overlook wasn't terrible.

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