These Are the Best Times to Visit Acadia National Park, Whether You Want to See Fall Foliage or Wildflowers
When is the best time to visit Acadia National Park? Well, it all depends on what you want to see the most.
Across the U.S., many people travel far and wide to visit national parks. These protected areas are full of amazing scenery, exciting wildlife, and unique landscapes — millions of outdoor enthusiasts explore the parks every year.
In Maine, Acadia National Park is one of the many places that people like to check out. And while it’s lovely year-round, there are certainly times that are better for visiting than others. Keep reading to get an idea of the best times to visit Acadia National Park.
What’s the best time to visit Acadia National Park for fall colors?
The East Coast has a ton of great fall color destinations, but Acadia National Park is one of the best. According to National Park Reservations, the best time to visit the park for some leaf peeping is between late September and mid-October. This is just a general timeline though — to get the most accurate idea of when the peak season is, you can view reports on Maine Foliage.
During the peak season, there are numerous ways to take in the view.
If you want to enjoy the colors on an easy hike, Jordan Pond Path is a good choice. On this 3.1-mile loop trail, visitors will see sculpted mountains, incredible valleys, and of course, a fantastic view of Jordan Pond. This is a very family-friendly route and is perfect for touring the foliage.
For something more exhilarating, check out Beehive Loop. Even though this is a short 1.5 mile loop, it’s very intense — hikers have to climb up iron rungs and along exposed cliffsides. At the top of the mountain, thrill-seekers will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the coast.
Instead of hiking, you can also see the fall colors by biking Carriage Road, paddling on Eagle Lake, or driving Park Loop Road.
When’s the best time to visit Acadia National Park for wildflowers?
If you’re more of a wildflower person, the best time to visit Acadia National Park is in August and September. According to the National Park Service (NPS), this is when the park's native wildflowers — goldenrods and asters — are in full bloom.
In the wooded areas of Acadia, you can find lily-of-the-valley, goldthread, starflower, bunchberry, and more. These flowers are usually popping up in the spring, but last into the summer.
Ocean Path is great for seeing wildflowers. This trail is 4.5 miles out and back and it takes hikers right along the rocky shoreline and past a few big attractions like Otter Cliff and Thunder Hole.
When to visit to avoid the crowds at Acadia National Park:
National parks tend to get pretty busy, especially in the summer. A busy park means long waits, difficult parking, crowded trails, and typically, a not-so-peaceful experience. According to the NPS, if you want to avoid the crowds at Acadia, the best time to visit is in the winter or spring.
If you’re unable to find time to visit during these seasons and have no choice but to come during the summer, there are still some things you can do to enjoy a less crowded experience. The NPS recommends arriving early in the morning or late in the afternoon (perhaps even during a weekday), and focusing on destinations that aren’t as popular throughout the national park.
Don’t stress over it too much though, it’s pretty much impossible to be disappointed with Acadia National Park. No matter what, you will get to see great fall colors, beautiful wildflowers, or incredible mountain views.