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The Islands

Acadia National Park | Maine Parks

Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island received it’s name when French explorer Champlain noted that island’s mountain tops had no vegetation. The only islands in the United States that are larger than Mount Desert are Long Island and Marha’s Vineyard. Bar Harbor, a popular summer destination, is located on Mount Desert Island.

Acadia National Park drew international attention in October of 1947 when a fire claimed over 17,000 acres on Mount Desert Island, of which 10,000 acres were part of Acadia National Park. It is believed that the fire started in a cranberry bog, but exactly how it started is a mystery.

After the fire the vegetation in Acadia National Park changed. The shade loving spruce and fir were no longer predominant. Instead the fans of the sun such as birch and aspen are currently more prevalent. As these trees grow and shade the forest floor perhaps the spruce and fir will once again reign. In the mean time these deciduous trees provide a beautiful show in the fall.

Isle au Haut

Acadia National Park is made up of more than just Mount Desert Island. The majority of this island is part of Acadia National Park. While the Isla au Haut does get tourists, in the summer the population doubles, the primary industry is actually lobster fishing.

St. Croix Island International Historic Site

St. Croix Island International Historic Site has been managed by Acadia National Park in conjunction with the National Park Service and Parks Canada. These groups work together to keep the international historic site maintained as well as organzing events such as the 400th anniversary of French settlement in North America in 2004. Both the National Parks Service and Parks Canada have a visitor center on their respective mainlands about St. Croix International Historic Site.

Cranberry Isles

The Cranberry Isles is made up of Great Cranberry Island, Little Cranberry Island (Islesford), Sutton, Baker, and Bear. Great Cranberry Island is the largest of the islands. The Islesford Historical Museum is located on Little Cranberry Island and portrays lives of the inhabitants of the Cranberry Isles over the years. The Cranberry Isles are accessible by private boat or tour boat.

Acadia National Park is actually a collection of Maine islands that make up the park itself. Learn more about the various islands. The highest peak on Mount Desert Island is called Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Learn more about Maine Lighthouses.

Acadia National Park Visitor Centers

Acadia National Park Headquarters / Winter Visitor Center
Open all year
Hours vary

Hulls Cove Visitor Center
Open seasonally
Hours vary

Thompson Island Information Center
Open seasonally
Hours vary

Activities In Acadia National Park

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

The Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is the only lighthouse on Mount Desert Island. Located on the west side of the island this lighthouse has some short trails with beautiful views. Learn more…

Cadillac Mountain

Many consider Cadillac Mountain to be the first spot in the United States to see the sunrise every morning. The theory being that due to it’s height sunlight hits the top of Cadillac Mountain before reaching any other point in the United States. Learn more…

Camping In Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a great place to camp. There are some camp sites located within the park and many other Maine campgrounds nearby. Learn more…

Acadia National Park Islands

Acadia National Park is actually a collection of islands – Mt. Desert Island, Isle au Haut, St. Croix Island International Historic Site, and the Cranberry Isles – which make up the park. Learn more…

Acadia National Park Museums

Acadia has several interesting museums in the park, including the Islesford Historical Museum and the Sieur de Monts Nature Center. Learn more…

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