Special Places in Acadia

The picture shown above was captured within Acadia National Park on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island just south of Sand Beach which can be seen in the distance. This was taken at the end of July shortly after 5:00 AM. This is a common scene of the rocky landscape one can see here and is right next to the Park Loop Road, the main artery that goes through the Park on the island. There are many special locations in Acadia National Park that you will want to see during your visit here. Take some time exploring some of the many options shown here in Acadia Magic and begin making your plans today. Be sure to also check out the lodging options. Some of the best deals can be found by talking with the property owners directly.

Sand Beach Parking GPS: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998

Carriage Roads

Besides the spectacular coastal landscapes that abound in Acadia National Park in the State of Maine, one of the great things everyone should become familiar with and experience in some form or another, whether it be by simply having a walk, or a bike ride, are the Carriage Roads. These were initiated, designed, and mostly paid for by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for the enjoyment of island visitors and boy, are we glad that they are here. Motorized vehicles are not allowed but horses and horse carriages are. A great and easy place to view or experience one is at Eagle Lake in Bar Harbor where you may walk or ride your bike completely around the Lake on a 6.1 mile section of a Carriage Road. Take some time an read about the Park History. It will add a lot to your appreciation and provide a way to share with your own children. Carriage Road Photos Page 1

Carriage Road Bridge at Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park
Kayaking next to Bear Island Lighthouse

Bear Island Lighthouse

The Bear Island Lighthouse is located off the southern shore of Mount Desert Island at the southern entrance to Somes Sound which goes North through the central part of the island toward Somesville where the earliest settlement on the island was located in 1791. The best place to view the lighthouse from land is from the shore of Manset, a section of Southwest Harbor. Better than this is from a boat which can be rented from businesses in Manset. Check out the Activities page for options. You may also want to consider getting there via a kayak as the people in this photo have done. Information about kayak and canoe rentals can also be found on the Activities page of the specific Kayak Rentals page. Note that, although the Bear Island Lighthouse is on Acadia National Park land, it is currently being leased and not open to the public. Bear Island Lighthouse Photos

Bubble Pond

On the southwestern side of Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island is a small pond call Bubble Pond. If you view it on the map, you will see that it is right next to the Park Loop Road on its eastern side. Jordan Pond and the Jordan Pond House Restaurant & Gift Shop are a short distance to the southwest. Eagle Lake is to the northwest. There is a small parking area between the road and the pond. Restroom facilities are here and a Carriage Road and stone bridge is also at this location. This is an especially beautiful spot during the autumn season. One the northern side is Bubble Brook which cascades downward toward Eagle Lake which can be accessed off Route 233 between Bar Harbor and Somesville to the West. Bubble Pond Photos

Bubble Pond in Acadia National Park
Autumn sunbursts through the trees at Eagle Lake

Picnic Area on Thompson Island

If you are like me and my family, after driving for a few hours to get to Acadia National Park can build up quite an appetite. Nothing can satisfy the hunger like a cooked Maine Lobster, steamed clams, or other coastal seafood. This is a natural lead-in to Trenton which is the last coastal town you will pass through before crossing over to Mount Desert Island. I am sure that you have seen the steam ascending from the wood fired stoves here or even got s smell of what was cooking here before. This location is often the last stop before crossing over into the land of Acadia. You can choose to eat the food at the purchase location, or even better, take it with you to the picnic area located on Thompson Island. This is what my family always did. It is more private, is right next to the ocean on a small island, and is actually on Acadia National Park land that is in Trenton. Check it out! Thompson Island Picnic Area Photos

Towns & Villages

Since Acadia National Park covers such a large area (which includes the majority of Mount Desert Island, as well as a section of the Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland, plus several smaller out islands), there are also many towns and villages which act as hosts to the Acadia National Park experience. The most well-known is Bar Harbor which is located on the northeastern part of Mount Desert Island. This is also where the cruise ships visit through the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons. Each town or village offers its own special blend of the Maine coastal experience and each has a wide variety of shops, eateries, recreational opportunities, and a selection of possible properties to stay at during your visit. Bar Harbor is the most busy area. The southwestern side of Mount Desert Island is referred to as the “Quiet” or “Backside” of the island for its slower, less busy or congested local. The Schoodic Peninsula is even more so. Check out the various areas to maximize your experiences or to customize your vacation to your preferences.

Towns & Villages near Acadia

More Stats & Facts

GPS Coordinates

  • Bar Harbor Village Green: Latitude 44.387694; Longitude -68.205155
  • Eagle Lake Boat Landing: Latitude 44.376513; Longitude -68.250634
  • Visitor Center: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
  • Cadillac Mountain: Latitude 44.368891; Longitude -68.238506
  • Park Entrance Station: Latitude 44.338797; Longitude -68.183168
  • Bass Harbor Lighthouse: Latitude 44.221991; Longitude -68.337198

This is just a taste!

Greg A. Hartford, photographer, author, publisherThis page is an attempt to put some of the special places to visit in small doses so that it is easier to view, to discover, and to digest. I am often asked about what things someone should see or visit during their first journey here. The answer always depends upon several factors such as how long will they be visiting for? Will they have their own transportation? What types of things most interest them? Approximately where will they be staying? Most people really have no idea how large of an area Acadia National Park covers. Mount Desert Island is a large island and, the old Down East Maine saying of “You can't get there from here” often can apply. Much of the Park on the main island is traveled via a one-way road for instance. Still, it is best to take some quality time to relax and explore a website like AcadiaMagic.com in order to get a feel for the place, and to get inspired by the views. Print out some favorite locations and then begin to assemble your own Acadia “Dream” vacation.

Acadia and Bar Harbor Resource Guide