Sun sparkling on the water. Granite cliffs plunging dizzingly down to rocky coves dotted with lobster buoys. The smell of pine and campfire smoke in the crisp, salty air. The bald heads of the mountains poking through sweaters of spruce. Since the days of the first “rusticators,” generations of visitors have fallen under Acadia’s spell.
Now nearly 3 million people visit the park (www.nps.gov/acad ) every year, making it the most-visited national park in the system. Yet, even during the height of summer, its 46,000 acres leave plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the scenery. Glacial ponds, cliff-side walks, and mountainous hiking trails are all part of the mix. And while most of the park is located on MDI , the two sections off-island leave even more elbow room for roaming.
The Schoodic Peninusla north of MDI is a perfect day trip to hiking trails on secluded coves. Plan ahead for the trip to Isle Au Haut , an undeveloped lobstering island where only 48 visitors are permitted each day.