Is Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Mount Dessert Island, your final destination on your Maine adventure? We at Camden Windward highly recommend a trip north to this wonderful National Park. Acadia National Park is approximately 2 hours from Camden Maine and the Camden Windward House. Some guests of Windward House do the park as a day trip. Bar Harbor is not as quaint as Camden Maine and Camden is a lovely place to base your trip out of. Also, the lodging in Bar Harbor may be limited because of the amount of traffic through this island. Acadia National Park is on Mount Desert Island (MDI). If you want some quiet time we suggest that you not stay in the little downtown of Bar Harbor. There are many little towns on Mount Dessert Island where you can access the National Park of Acadia. If you want to walk to the many restaurants, shops, boat watching tours, then we recommend staying at the Bar Harbor Inn. This Inn is a great location for exploring the small town of Bar Harbor.
The trip up from Camden Maine to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, is a beautiful drive north on Rt. 1. Along the way we highly recommend that you stop at Fort Knox and the Penobscot Bay Bridge Observatory. The Fort and Observatory are approximately 1 hour from Camden Windward House. This is a nice place to stop on your trip north. The Fort and the observatory have bathrooms and spectacular views. The Penobscot Bridge has an observatory at the top. You take an elevator to the top of the bridge and have wonderful views of the bay. The Fort is a wonderful structure that you can tour for hours. Bring a picnic and eat in lovely Fort Knox Park on the Bay. A fee is charged to go to the Fort and the Observatory. I usually tell guests to buy lunch from the Camden Deli in downtown Camden Maine and eat it right in the park of Fort Knox. This way you do not have guess at restaurants along the way. You also get to stretch your legs for the second half of your trip to the park.
In Acadia National Park there has 125 miles of hiking trails. Stop at the visitors center first and get a map, then plan your day. Make sure your bring a camera, bottled water and some granola bars. link to description of Acadia National Park Hiking Trails: http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/upload/HkingTrails-2011-NEW.pdf. Good break down of very easy to strenuous trail selections.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK – Opens April 15, closes October 31.
April 15 – June 30: 8 am – 4:30 pm
July – August: 8 am – 6 pm
September: 8 am – 5 pm
October: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Entrance Pass – Private vehicle: $25.00 for 7 days, motorcycle $20.00 for 7 days, per person $12.00 no car or vehicle
2015 Free Days at the park:
To encourage Americans to explore our country’s natural beauty, rich history and culture, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the National Park Service will waive entrance fees on 9 days in 2015.
January 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 14-16: Presidents’ Day Weekend
April 18-19: First Weekend of National Park Week
August 25: National Park Service Birthday
September 26: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
Other things to do on the way to Acadia from Camden Maine.
1. Big Red Chicken Barn in Ellsworth
2. LL Bean Outlet in Ellsworth