National Park Spotlight: Acadia National Park
Throughout history, Maine has been a heavily traveled spot for plants, animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic rugged coastline. Today visitors come to Acadia National Park to hike the granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery. A recent survey brakes down the culture now thriving in the rich experience that is the Acadia National Park .
Acadia National Park, with its rocky coastlines, thickly forested and mountainous interior, and great hiking trails and cycling paths, appears to be popular with young families, according to a survey.
The study conducted in August 2009 by the Park Studies Unit at the University of Idaho reports that nearly a quarter of the visitors to Acadia that month were 15 years old or younger. Just 8 percent were 66 years or older. The overall demographic snapshot of Acadia’s visitors showed a slightly younger crowd than that at Grand Teton National Park, where a 2008 survey showed that 11 percent of visitors were above 65, and just 19 percent were 15 or younger.
The Acadia survey shows that Mount Desert Island with its national park, granite mountains, and wave-pounded shores is popular with Massachusetts residents despite their own state’s Cape Cod: Fifteen percent of those surveyed were from the Bay State, the highest percentage of any one state during the survey period. Maine residents accounted for 14 percent of the visitors.
The survey seemed to indicate many visitors had a familiarity with Acadia. While exactly half of the 854 respondents said they were visiting the park for the first time, 31 percent had visited four times or more. Sixty-one percent of the respondents said they were returning to Acadia after a five-year hiatus, while 21 percent said they had visited two or three times in the past five years, with 18 percent stating they had visited four or more times during that time-frame.
The survey also indicated that “the most common sites visited by visitor groups were Cadillac Mountain summit (75 percent) and Jordan Pond House and area (67 percent). The most common visitor activities were sightseeing/driving for pleasure (83 percent) and hiking on trails (79 percent).”
The park offers ranger-led programs from mid-May through mid-October. Programs include talks, walks, hikes, boat cruises, evening programs, and children’s programs. Check the schedule of events for details.
Camping in the Park
Looking to camp in the park? Blackwoods and Seawall Campground are the two primary campgrounds in the park; there is no backcountry camping.
Arrive prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions. Summer temperatures vary from 45º F to 85º F, spring and fall temperatures from 30º F to 70º F. You may encounter rain and fog at any time, and snow and ice are common in the winter.
Acadia National Park is located along the rugged, rocky coast of “Downeast” Maine. Most of the park is located on Mount Desert Island, which is accessible by vehicle. The park is approximately six hours north of Boston.
Source: National Parks Traveler