Nature & Wildlife in Acadia National Park
From the 1,530-foot peak of Cadillac Mountain*—the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard—to the rugged granite shores of Mount Desert Island, you can see a variety of ecosystems at work at Acadia National Park. Sculpted by relentless glacial forces, the area’s rocky terrain is home to a wide variety of species. Whether you'd prefer to explore seaweed-covered tidal pools at low tide, hike up the Precipice, or stroll through a thriving marsh or a field of wildflowers, you'll find enough diversity to fill hours of exploration on your first visit and every return visit afterward. You can follow the carriage roads that John D. Rockefeller commissioned to get a closer look at the park's forests, ponds and coastline.
While forests cover much of the park, Acadia supports more than 1,000 different plant species. These species thrive in conditions ranging from acidic, low-nutrient bogs, to tidal estuaries, to intertidal zones, to freshwater lakes and ponds, and even to exposed summits.
Acadia is also home to countless species of animals, ranging from the vital microorganisms at the bottom of the food chain to the predatory peregrine falcons that have rebounded from near extinction to repopulate the island’s cliffs. Here are a few of the species you might encounter during your stay:
- peregrine falcons (and other raptors), songbirds (including as many as 23 species of warbler), sea birds, herons, sandpipers and harlequin ducks;
- seals, dolphins, whales and other marine mammals in the waters off the coast of Mount Desert Island;
- salamanders, frogs and toads in the park’s forests;
- whelks, sea stars, crabs, urchins, mussels, periwinkles and barnacles in the park's intertidal zones;
- and raccoons, skunks, otters, foxes, deer and the occasional moose.
*From May 26 through Oct 19, vehicle reservations are required for Cadillac Summit Road between sunrise and sunset.