Waves crash against a rugged coastline, the ocean spray hitting seagulls and harbor seals perched on the rocky shore. Beyond the coast lie woods, waterfalls, and jagged mountain ridges. The area belongs to Acadia National Park. Spread across parts of Maine’s northern coast, Acadia is the oldest national park in the eastern United States.
The park, which welcomes around two million visitors a year, was first established in 1919. But for thousands of years before the park’s creation, the land was home to Native American tribes, including the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot.
The more than 47,000-acre preserve is located mostly on Mount Desert Island, a 108-square-mile coastal island shaped like a lobster’s claw. Other bits of Acadia are scattered on smaller nearby islands and on a peninsula jutting from Maine’s shoreline.
Want to get around the park’s islands but forgot the boat? No problem! During low tide, a mile-long gravel path is exposed between Mount Desert Island and Bar Island. Tourists can walk the rocky route to visit the Bar Island sections of Acadia before the tide rises again.
Sights and Sounds
Acadia is one of the country’s smallest national parks, but it packs in a lot of sites! The park boasts rocky beaches, wetlands, spruce-fir forests, and granite peaks. One of Acadia’s major highlights is the 1,530-foot-high Cadillac Mountain, the tallest point on the eastern coast of the United States. Another is Thunder Hole, a semi-submerged cave off the coast of Mount Desert Island where crashing waves sound like bolts of thunder.
The park is also home to a range of animals including bobcats, harbor seals, luna moths, walruses, bullfrogs, and peregrine falcons. With all its cool features, you’ll definitely say “Hooray” for Acadia!