Acadia National Park: Hours, Costs, and Things to Do

Known as the Crown Jewel of the Northeast, ACADIA National Park welcomes 3.5 million visitors each year.

The park is home to a number of birds such as hawks and eagles, making it an ideal spot for bird watchers.

Acadia National Park stretches over 45,000 acres in Maine


Acadia National Park stretches over 45,000 acres in Maine

What is Acadia National Park and where is it located?

Inhabited for more than 12,000 years, Acadia National Park dates back to Native American tribes including the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes, collectively known as the Wabanaki, meaning people of the Dawnland.

The tribes lived in present-day Maine, and when settlers colonized the area in the early 1700s, the Wabanaki fought back.

Their hardiness allowed them to keep their homes in Acadia National Park, even though the federal government forbids them from harvesting sweet grasses inside the park.

The park has had four names throughout its history: Pemetic, Sieur de Monts, Lafayette, and finally Acadia.

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It was officially established in the late 18th century when wealthy summer visitors and local community members came together to form civic groups that managed the development of the national park.

President Woodrow Wilson signed a land conservation law into law in 1919 and established it as Lafayette National Park, but when the National Park Service accepted another land donation in 1929, it officially became Acadia National Park.

The park now covers 49,000 acres with 45 miles of carriage roads, 27 miles of historic motor roads and 158 miles of hiking trails.

What are the opening hours and entrance fee for Acadia National Park?

Acadia National Park is open to visitors 24 hours a day, all year round. The park remains open on public holidays, but depending on the time of year, visitors should check the park’s website for road closures.

For those wishing to enter using a non-commercial vehicle, the fee is $30 per person and is valid for seven days.

The cost for those without a vehicle is $15 per person, with the exception that those under the age of 15 can enter the park for free.

Acadia National Park was established in 1929


Acadia National Park was established in 1929Photo credit: Getty

What can I do in Acadia National Park?

Acadia National Park offers year-round family fun, from hiking and camping to horseback riding and boating, this park has something for everyone.

For history buffs, the park is home to some of the earliest carriage roads and gatehouses that were gifts from John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family.

Because the park stretches along the Maine coast, historic lighthouses from the early 19th century are strategically placed throughout the park.

Memorials are scattered throughout the 45,000-acre park, from small plaques commemorating those who donated land to physical memorials and walking trails.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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