Acadia National Park: 9th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011 [40 PICS]

April 28th, 2012 Permalink

Acadia National Park along the rugged coastline of Maine may not be the first place that jumps to mind when thinking about America’s busiest parks, but maybe it should come to mind in the top 10 because it was the 9th most visited U.S. national park in 2011 with over 2,300,000 visitors. Acadia and Cuyahoga switched places from 2010, when Cuyahoga Valley National Park was ranked 9th in visitors. Acadia National Park protects more than 47,000 acres of lakes, ponds, woodlands, granite-domed mountains, and ocean shoreline along the coast of Maine. There are more than 140 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of historic carriage roads, and scenic park roads for drivers. Diverse wildlife, waterfalls, cliffs, stone bridges and scenic vistas can all be found on this cluster of islands that make up Acadia. Hikers, bikers, horseback riders, kayakers, climbers, bird watchers and photographers are among the nature lovers who visit Acadia National Park. [40 Photos]

Mount Desert Island, Wild gardens of Acadia NP

The largest island along the rugged coast of Maine is Mount Desert Island. A cluster of islands make up Acadia National Park. The photographer called this the ‘Wild gardens of Acadia NP.’ Photo #1 by Liz West

Acadia National Park Maine Sunset Over Mountain Pine Tree

‘Sunset Over Mountain Pine Tree.’ According to NPS, “Acadia National Park protects a landscape of rare scenic beauty. The vistas from the high rocky headlands encompass forested woodlands, shimmering lakes, quiet marshes, bold rocky shores, and coastal islands. On all sides, the ocean surrounds the park and strongly influences the park’s character.” Photo #2 by Kim Seng


Near the Gorge Trail Trailhead - Acadia National Park

Near the Gorge Trail Trailhead. Regarding the natural features and diversity of ecosystems within Acadia, NPS wrote, “Ocean, mountains, lakes and streams, wetlands, forests, meadows, and beaches are all found within the roughly 45,000 acres of Acadia, and each feature makes its unique contribution to the natural tapestry.” Photo #3 by Andrew Mace

Bass Harbor Lighthouse at Acadia National Park

NPS reports “The waters around Mount Desert Island are littered with shipwrecks.” By 1855 there had been so many shipwrecks that it was decided a lighthouse was needed. Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island was built in 1858 and was completed in 1876. It’s now a private residence but Bass Harbor Lighthouse remains a favorite shot for photographers. Photo #4 by Kim Seng

Kayaking at Acadia

Kayaking at Acadia looks fun and much more peaceful than extreme kayaking. Photo #5 by NPS / Todd M. Edgar

Schoodic Peninsula - Acadia National Park

Crashing waves at Schoodic Peninsula, another section or 5% of Acadia. There are 2,266 acres of the Schoodic Peninsula and it is often less crowded than other areas of the park as an estimated 10% of Acadia visitors come here. Photo #6 by Leslie Linscott

Acadia Dam

This was titled simply ‘Acadia Dam.’ Photo #7 by NPS / Clay Gilley

Cairns on Cadillac Mtn overlooking Bar Harbor, Maine

Cairns, or piles of rocks, mark the trail on Cadillac Mountain overlooking Bar Harbor, Maine. The photographer wrote, “Cadillac Mountain is largely composed of pink granite with forests of spruce and pitch pine. Views of Acadia National Park from the top of the mountain are spectacular.” Photo #8 by Princess Stand in the Rain

Jordan Pond Boardwalk for hikers and nature lovers at Acadia

Jordan Pond Boardwalk for hikers and nature lovers at Acadia. The park service wrote, “Lakes and ponds add shimmering contrast to Acadia’s forested and rocky landscape. They cover about 2,600 acres of the park, which is equivalent to approximately 7.4% of its area. Within or adjacent to the park, you will find 14 Great Ponds (natural bodies of water greater than 4 hectares/10 acres) and 10 smaller ponds.” Photo #9 by Charles Tilford

Pink granite with red bushes and ocean view, the view from Gorham Mountain during fall

Pink granite with red bushes and ocean view, the view from Gorham Mountain during fall. Photo #10 by NPS / Ginny Reams

Peregrine Falcon chick after banding

Peregrine Falcon chick after banding which helps the park keep an eye on the population. “Peregrine falcons have rebounded since being on the brink of extinction in the mid-1960s. The falcons were reintroduced into the park in 1984, and have been returning of their own accord to nest successfully from 1991 to the present.” NPS further reports, “With a record of 338 bird species encountered, Acadia National Park is considered one of the premier bird-watching areas in the country.” Photo #11 by Todd M. Edgar / NPS

Bambi at Acadia NP

‘Summer Fawn.’ Photo #12 by L Haller / NPS

A trail passing underneath one of the carriage road bridges

A trail passing underneath one of the Carriage Road bridges. Photo #13 by dustin_j_williams

Along the shore of Acadia National Park in Maine

Along the shore of Acadia National Park in Maine. Photo #14 by David Patterson

A Loon -- Acadia NP wildlife

A Loon — Acadia NP wildlife. More than 20% of the park is classified as wetland with swamps, marshes and forested wetlands. Photo #15 by NPS / Lora Haller

Schoodic Coast at Acadia National Park

Schoodic Coast. Photo #16 by NPS

Frenchman Bay and Porcupine Islands around the town of Bar Harbor viewed from Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island

Frenchman Bay and Porcupine Islands around the town of Bar Harbor viewed from Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island. While Mount Cadillac rank comes in at 47th for the “highest elevation” within U.S. national parks, Acadia National Park service says, “Steep slopes rise above the rocky shore, including Cadillac Mountain, which at 1,530 feet is the highest point on the U.S. Atlantic coast.” Photo #17 by Matthew Field

Thunder Hole at Acadia -- Mount Desert Island

An occasional surge soaks the viewing area at Thunder Hole. The photographer wrote, “These waves made an awesome sound as they raced between the sides of the chasm, thundering as they burst out of the end.” Rogue waves at the park have washed people over and rescue teams have been called in. Photo #18 by Giant Ginkgo

Catching a wave...or getting cought by one In Acadia National Park on 'Ocean Drive' near Thunder Hole

Catching a wave…or getting cought by one in Acadia National Park on ‘Ocean Drive’ near Thunder Hole. Photo #19 by miss_L

Bubble Pond at Acadia National Park, Maine

Bubble Pond: The photographer wrote, “Acadia National Park preserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast of Maine. Traditionally inhabited by Wabanaki Native American hunters, fishers, and gatherers, the area includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. In addition to Mount Desert Island, the park comprises much of the Isle au Haut, a small island to the southwest of Mount Desert Island and parts of Baker Island, also nearby. A portion of Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland is also part of the park. In total, Acadia National Park consists of 30,300 acres (47 square miles or 123 km2) on Mount Desert Island, 2,728 acres (4.6 square miles or 11 km2) on Isle au Haut and 2,366 acres (3.5 square miles or 9.2 km2) on the Schoodic Peninsula.” Photo #20 by Plh1234us

Blueberry Bushes Cadillac Mountain, Frenchman's Bay, Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor, Maine

Blueberry Bushes on Cadillac Mountain, Frenchman’s Bay, Acadia National Park, near Bar Harbor, Maine. According to NPS, “Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States. During certain times of the year, it is the first place in the U.S. to see sunrise.” Photo #21 by Jim Dollar

Tombstones on Baker Island, yet another part of Acadia

Tombstones on Baker Island, yet another part of Acadia. 75% of Baker Island belong to Acadia. NPS reports, “Baker Island gives us a glimpse as to what island life was like during the 19th century. There are many structures and remnants of structures on the island that tell of the Gilley family’s 123 years of continuous habitation on the island as well as an operational lighthouse. Baker Island also provides visitors with great views of Mount Desert Island and striking ocean scenery.” Photo #22 by Todd M. Edgar / NPS

Waterfall at Acadia National Park

While hunting photos with a creative commons license, many photographers noted that if there is not much rain, then there are not as many waterfalls to be seen. Photo #23 by D Manski / NPS

In Acadia, the stream that flows from Somes Sound to Somes Pond is a popular spot for photographers

In Acadia, the stream that flows from Somes Sound to Somes Pond is a popular spot for photographers. Somes Sound is often described as the “only fjord on the East Coast.” Photo #24 by Pablo Sanchez

Fall - Canada Cliffs Acadia National Park, Maine

Fall – Canada Cliffs. Photo #25 by NPS / Ginny Reams

Acadia National Park during Tropical Storm Earl

Acadia National Park during Tropical Storm Earl. Photo #26 by Andrew King

Acadia National Park Waterfall in the Forest

‘Waterfall in the Forest.’ Photo #27 by Howard Ignatius

Maine, Mt. Desert Island, Acadia National Park -- Looking north to the Sand Beach area from the Otter Cliffs

NOAA said of this photo, “Maine, Mt. Desert Island, Acadia National Park — Looking north to the Sand Beach area from the Otter Cliffs.” Photo #28 by Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.) / NOAA

Acadia Sand Beach from above

Sand Beach from above. Acadia reports, “Sand Beach, in Acadia National Park, is nestled in a small inlet between the granite mountains and rocky shores of Mount Desert Island. This gorgeous 290 yard long beach is one of the most popular points of interest on the island.” Photo #29 by Black.Dots.

Summer flowers and Baker Island

Summer flowers and Baker Island. Photo #30 by NPS / Sheridan Steele

'Sheep' dog at Acadia National Park where dogs have fun too

‘Sheep’ dog at Acadia National Park where dogs have fun too. Photo #31 by H.L.I.T.

Taking in the View

Taking in the view. There are 125 miles of historic hiking tails through forests and up mountains. Photo #32 by NPS / Sheridan Steele

Carriage Ride at Acadia National Park

Carriage Ride along the scenic 45-mile carriage road system. Other visitors choose horseback riding, hiking, biking, snow skiing in winter, climbing, tidepooling, swimming, kayaking or scenic driving. Photo #33 by NPS / Ray Radigan

Acadia National Park -- Winter and heavy winter seas

Winter and heavy winter seas. Photo #34 by S. West / NPS

Autumn at The Tarn, Acadia NP

Autumn colors and fog at The Tarn. Fall is an especially busy time at Acadia due to the kaleidoscope of autumn colors found in the Maine foliage. Photo #35 by NPS / Ginny Reams

The Fall of Acadia

‘The Fall of Acadia.’ The photographer wrote, “The trail leads to the site of Old Farm the horme of George Dorr, one of the original advocates for the acquisition of land for Acadia National Park. The home site is located at Schooner Cove. The house has been torn down, but remains of george’s salt water swimming pool, fed by the tide, can still be seen.” Photo #36 by InAweofGod’sCreation

Acadia NP Rangers in action after earthquake blocked and damaged some trails. This was taken along 'Precipices Trail Railing'

Acadia NP Rangers in action after the 2006 earthquake with a 4.2 magnitude blocked and damaged some trails. This was taken along ‘Precipices Trail Railing’. TripAdvisor states, “This is the most challenging trail in Acadia. It has many rungs and ladders along the way and an exposed and almost vertical 1,000 foot climb so it is only recommended for experience hikers or the physically fit. If you have the stomach for it, this is an amazing trail.” Photo #37 by NPS

Winter Cobblestone Bridge at Acadia

Winter Cobblestone Bridge. NPS says, “The historic carriage road system at Acadia National Park features 17 stone-faced bridges spanning streams, waterfalls, cliffs, and roads. The design of each bridge, such as Cobblestone Bridge, is unique.” Photo #38 by E. Weston / NPS

Woods of Isle au Haut, Acadia National Park

Woods of Isle au Haut. 2,366 acres of this isle belong to Acadia National Park. Photo #39 by Jim Dollar

Four jump into the frigid water of Echo Lake, Acadia National Park, Maine

Four jump into the frigid water of Echo Lake. Photo #40 by Jake Folsom


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