Things To Do In Acadia National Park | USA Travel
Updated: Dec 19, 2022
We are on a mission to visit all National Parks. Acadia National Park is the closest to home and there are many things to do. Located on Mount Desert Island on the Maine seacoast, this park is breath taking!
Acadia National Park has so much to do and discover. We have been here before but this year (2022) we did all new things! I am pretty sure we could come here for 5 years in a row and never repeat an adventure. There are plenty of things to do in Acadia National Park.
We stayed at Blackwoods Campground on Acadia with our camper, Callie. This campground was perfect for what we needed it for, we didn't expect to spend a whole lot of time at the site because we would be out exploring as much as we could. For my full review on Blackwoods Campground click here!
The first day we arrived it was cold and foggy. Unseasonably cold for late May and I was not prepared for how chilly it was despite checking the weather before we arrived. My kids didn't seem to mind and found the fog to be magical.
We decided to go hike the Jordan Pond Loop. I was a bit bummed knowing that visibility was very low and I wouldn't be able to see the sweeping views and majestic mountains that surrounded it. My mood was immediately lifted seeing how my children frolicked and ran without a care in the world. There was evidence of beavers on the tree stumps and we eventually came across a beaver dam. This trail also has a long boardwalk through a heavily wooded area which made the hike even more fun!
We were having the perfect weather for a big thunder hole sighting! Thunder Hole is an underwater cave that sometimes gets air trapped in it as the waves crash against it. Occasionally there will be a huge splash that gets the viewers wet. The poor weather was causing the waves to crash pretty hard and we definitely heard the thunder but we didn't witness a huge splash, much to my children's dismay.
After the hike and a quick dinner at the camper we decided to go into Bar Harbor for some ice cream. It was raining now and a campfire was out of the question. There are many ice cream shops to choose from in downtown Bar Harbor. We decided that which ever shop was closest to our parking spot, that was where we would go. It was dark and raining so we took our ice cream to go and headed back to our site.
Gorham Mountain Trail
The next day was GORGEOUS. It was perfect hiking weather. There was also a slight breeze which helped keep the bugs at bay. We hiked up Gorham Mountain which was a 3.5 mile out and back hike. The majority of the trail was exposed granite. My kids love climbing rocks. There were lots of viewpoints that looked over the coastline. Once we reached the summit you could see the other side of the mountain that overlooked the valley.
We decided to walk across the Park Loop Road after our hike to have lunch on the ocean! You can climb on all of the rocks and watch the waves crash against the granite. It was a peaceful restful lunch.
Biking on the Carriage Roads
One of our favorite activities to do at Acadia is to bike on the carriage roads. Both of my children can ride a two wheel bike, but my daughter was on day 23988744 with no nap and she skinned her knee pretty bad on our hike so we decided to rent a bike trailer for her. Acadia Outdoor Center was SO helpful! They gave us some local knowledge low down (telling us about a secret airplane crash on a mountain) and some helpful tips about which hike to do off of the carriage trail. They also sell ice cream, coffee (thank goodness), and apparel!
We decided to bike around Eagle Lake and take the short hike up Connor's Nubble. The lady at the rental center said that hike was the fastest and "easiest" for the epic views. I was sold!
Once we parked and started riding our bikes around Eagle Lake we noticed that the ENTIRE route to the trailhead was uphill. As you can imagine my son did not like that. We tried to bike as much as we could but we ended up walking up half of it. We arrived at the trailhead and hiked up Connor's Nubble. It was super quick and the view was incredible!
The bike ride back to the car was fun. All downhill!
I'm not sure what I was expecting out of this hike, but it didn't meet my expectations. The trail itself was one of the easiest mountain trails that we have hiked. We decided to summit South Bubble because I thought that there was a boulder that was on the top hanging off of the side. Once we got to the peak, I saw it. It did not look like a safe place for kids. Especially my daughter who never stops moving. I saw people taking pictures by the boulder but from my vantage point it looked like a HUGE drop off right behind the boulder. I was super anxious but after my husband went down and investigated he said that it was a false drop off and we wouldn't plummet to our doom if we slipped. We took our quick picture and got out of there quick!
Cedar Swamp Mountain
Remember the locals that told us about a secret abandoned plane crash site? Well we couldn't just hear that and not go see it! They gave us impeccable directions and we arrived at the site without getting lost! It was a 4.5 mile hike, so we were pushing our kids to their limit...but the knowledge of seeing something that neat motivated them. It felt like a modern day treasure hunt. The plane crash happened in 1970 and is a small prop plane. After researching it the crash site wasn't discovered until 3 months after it happened. There is still debris scattered all around the side of Cedar Swamp Mountain. It was a cool but humbling find.
If you are traveling to Acadia National Park and you want specific directions to this crash site click here!
As always thank you so much for reading and I hope that we have inspired your next adventure!