Spring in Acadia National Park
Activities: Walking, hiking, birdwatching, photography, nature preserves, and dining. Family-friendly.
Region: DownEast & Acadia
Acadia National Park is one of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the country, but if you visit in the springtime, you’ll still be on the early side and can avoid the summer buzz. Enjoy the fresh spring air and revel in the benefits of the less-crowded offseason at attractions and restaurants. You’ll want to bring extra layers with you to keep warm on the crisp mornings and cool evenings. Also, make sure to check Acadia National Park Service’s Current Conditions Page—even when it seems warm and dry, high altitudes mean that ice may linger as you approach the summit.
Explore with a spring in your step
Whether for the young or old, experienced hikers or beginners, leashed dogs or no dogs, Acadia has great year-round hiking options for the whole crew. Spring means a bounty of flora and fauna to appreciate as you explore. As mentioned above, don layers and ensure you know the park conditions before you head out.
Jordan Pond Loop
This easy trail is a mix of boardwalks, dirt and rock surrounding the beautiful Jordan Pond (no swimming permitted) and a set of twin peaks nicknamed “The Bubbles.” The area is especially lovely in the springtime, as a rainbow of wildflowers grow in the fields surrounding the pond. This is also an excellent trail for birding: be on the lookout for loons skimming the water and listen to cheerful songbirds. In late spring, don’t miss the Jordan Pond House (open late May) for scrumptious popovers and tea on the lawn.
This flat, 1.4-mile trail dotted with wildflowers leads to the ocean and a beautiful tidal pool. Kids and adults alike will appreciate checking out the diverse, tiny creatures in the pools.
Great Head Trail
An excellent birding trail, this moderate path is rocky, with stunning views of Sand Beach.
Fancy a guided tour with an expert? Check out these guided tours.
Take time to stop and appreciate the amazingly diverse flowers and plants growing on Mount Desert Island.
Wild Gardens of Acadia
With over 400 indigenous plant species, expertly organized and maintained by volunteers in 13 sections to represent Acadia’s natural plant communities, you’ll get a beautifully educational, photo-worthy experience within the serene gardens.
Asticou Azalea Garden
Head to the Asticou Azalea Garden in nearby Northeast Harbor (opens in early May). You’ll appreciate the Japanese-inspired gardens that include a cherry tree, serene pond, sand garden and colorful azaleas.
Spring is the perfect time to explore Acadia by bike. While bikes are not allowed on hiking trails, there is plenty of room for adventure, from the 27-mile Park Loop Road to the 45 miles of carriage roads that are available to cyclists.
Park Loop Road
Paved and often with one-way traffic, this loop brings you past many of Acadia’s favorite sights, including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond and The Precipice.
The carriage roads wind through the park’s mountains and valleys, with fantastic views and some challenging climbs, and over the uniquely designed stone bridges that are a highlight of Acadia. The 45 miles of crushed-rock surface is ideal for biking.
Find more information on biking in the park and nearby bike rentals here.
After an adventure in the park, head to Bar Harbor to enjoy spring’s quieter take on the charming seaside town. Whether you yearn for surf or turf, you’re sure to find what you crave.
- Peekytoe Provisions: Fresh lobster rolls, chowder and more.
- Choco-Latte: Where to get your caffeine fix or breakfast sandwich.
- The Dog and Pony Tavern: Locally-owned bar and grille, with tavern food and brews.
From Bangor: 43 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 147 miles
From Portland: 170 miles