Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park – Mount Desert Island, Maine – November 2023

Acadia National Park – Mount Desert Island, Maine – November 2023

Acadia National Park is only 15 minutes from the place I’m staying in Maine this month, and I’ve visited the park several times. It’s one of the country’s most popular national parks but is very quiet in November. Perfect! With 26 mountains, 32 historic bridges, and 45 miles of rustic carriage roads, there is always something new to explore in Acadia.

Over the years, friends and family have raved about their visits to Maine and Acadia National Park. When planning where I wanted to travel this fall, Maine and the New England area kept rising to the top. I’d been told that November is no longer peak season for tourists or amazing fall colors, but that didn’t matter to me. My travel adventures are more about experiencing new things no matter the time of year—whether places are “off-season” or not.

Dubbed the “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” Acadia encompasses 49,075 acres, preserving about half of Mount Desert Island, part of the Isle au Haut, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, and portions of 17 smaller coastal islands. Phew!

Surprisingly, Acadia is the fifth smallest national park by land area but consistently ranks among the most-visited parks in the United States. From May through October, it’s a challenge to experience most of the park without feeling crowded. I’m happy to be exploring it during the off-season! I’ve only seen a handful of cars and people during my visits.

First set aside in 1916 as Sieur de Monts National Monument, it became Lafayette National Park in 1919—the first national park created east of the Mississippi River and the only national park in the Northeast. It was officially named Acadia National Park in 1929. The park was created entirely by private land donations, including from John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

In the early 1900s, Rockefeller—who had a summer home in nearby Seal Harbor—had the idea to create a system of roads through Mount Desert Island in which cars were forbidden. He began purchasing land in the park and made designs for a carriage road system. In the end, the roads cost him nearly $3.5 million. Acadia’s 45 miles of carriage roads are one of its best features. They offer opportunities for walking, biking, and equestrian use without worrying about vehicles.

I’ve had such a fun time exploring Acadia and would love to spend an entire year in this area—to see the changing seasons as well as the return of summer tourists next May. I think a return visit is in my future!

Acadia National Park fun facts:

  • Acadia is one of the few national parks that allow dogs.
  • Barack Obama was the first sitting president to visit Acadia.
  • At 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the entire Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.
  • Large blocks of granite lining the park’s roads serve as guardrails. These coping stones have affectionately been called “Rockefeller’s teeth.”
  • The park contains 158 miles of hiking trails.
  • Acadia is considered one of the premier bird-watching areas in the country, with a record of 338 bird species encountered.

Here’s a photo gallery of my favorites from Acadia National Park. Enjoy!

San Antonio River Walk
Fiume Pizzeria and Wine Bar
San Antonio River Walk
San Antonio River Walk
Arneson River Theater
Arneson River Theater