Another 50 facts about Acadia National Park

50 more favorite facts about Acadia National Park:

1. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha visited the peak of Cadillac Mountain, as well as Ship Harbor and Bass Harbor Head Light during a three-day visit to the park in July of 2010.

2. Acadia National Park is the first national park with trail maintenance financed by an endowment, called Acadia Trails Forever and consisting of $4 million in park user fees and federal money and $9 million in private donations from Friends of Acadia, a Bar Harbor-based private, nonprofit organization.

Waterfall Bridge in Acadia National Park

Waterfall Bridge is one of 17 spans in the carriage road system of Acadia National Park.

3. John D. Rockefeller Jr., who financed and personally oversaw construction of the famed carriage roads from 1913 to 1940 and 16 of the 17 carriage road bridges, died in 1960.

4. Rockefeller donated the carriage roads to the National Park Service, which also assumed the enormous task of maintaining the roads. The roads were extensively upgraded between 1992 and 1995.

5. Of the 17 carriage road bridges, the Cobblestone Bridge, which goes over Jordan Stream, was the first bridge built, in 1917, and is the only one with boulder facing.

6. Each of the bridges was built completely with hand-hewn granite.

7. The 140-foot long Deer Brook bridge, located near the spectacular Jordan Cliffs, has two rounded, 8-foot-tall arches.

8. The 125-foot Waterfall Bridge spans Hadlock Brook. It is 125 feet long and features a 20-foot rounded arch and two viewing platforms on either end.

9. The Hadlock Brook Bridge, built in 1926, is a 40 foot bridge with a 20 foot segmented arch.

10.The park’s main visitor center – the Hulls Cove Visitor Center – is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from April 15 through May, plus June, September and October and from 8 am to 6 pm during July and August. It is located off of Route 3 in Hulls Cove, about 2.5 miles northwest of Bar Harbor.

11.The park headquarters, located off Route 233 three miles west of Bar Harbor, has no visitor services and is used mainly for National Park Service offices and as a base for operations.

12.The Village Green Information Center in Bar Harbor, once  open daily during the summer season, is no longer operated by the NPS as an information center because of a staff shortfall.  It last operated as an information center in 2019.

13. The Sieur de Monts Nature Center, situated off the Park Loop Road and Route 3, is generally open from 9 am to 4 pm from June 1 through Columbus Day. The center has exhibits of wildlife and plants.

14. Camping is permitted only in designated campsites at the park’s three campgrounds – Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds on Mount Desert Island and the new Schoodic Woods Campground, which opened Sept. 1 of 2015 on the Schoodic Peninsula.  Blackwoods Campground is open year-round and Seawall Campground is open late May through September. Schoodic Woods is open from late May until Columbus Day.

15. The only backpacking allowed in Acadia is on Isle au Haut – an island that is about 50 percent park-owned – but camping is limited to shelters by reservation only.

16. The Atlantic puffin, noted for its black back, orange legs and multi-colored beak, partly nests on three islands off Maine, but not on Mount Desert Island. You can take a boat from Mount Desert Island to see puffins.

17. A great way to see Acadia is on the Island Explorer, a fare-free shuttle bus, that operates June 23 through Columbus Day. The comfortable, propane-fueled buses connect certain village centers, shops, restaurants and hotels on Mount Desert with key hiking trails, carriage roads and other stops in Acadia National Park. Be sure to buy a park visitor pass to support the bus and the park.

18. A summer tradition is to have tea and popovers on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in the park.

19. The McIntire family bought the Jordan Pond House in 1895 and began the tradition of tea and popovers. In 1946 John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the property and donated it to the National Park Service. The original building burned in 1979.

20. Wildwood Stables provides historic horse-drawn carriage tours along Acadia’s scenic carriage roads daily, late May to mid- October, with stops on Day Mountain, the Cobblestone Bridge and Jordan Pond.

21. The Schoodic Peninsula is the only part of the park located on the mainland.   The peninsula is a 45-mile drive from Bar Harbor. People can also take a ferry service between Bar Harbor and Winter Harbor during the peak season, then the fare-free Island Explorer to the Schoodic portion of the park.

22. A former US Navy base on the peninsula has been converted to the Schoodic Education and Research Center.

23. Acadia is noted for some special range limits for certain plants. Jack pine, for example, grows no farther south and pitch pine no farther north. Arctic iris generally grows no farther west or south, according to Jill E. Weber, consulting biologist for the park.

Veiw of Eagle Lake from Penobscot Mountain

Eagle Lake can be seen in the distance, looking northeast from Penobscot Mountain.

24. Artists in the mid-1800s named Eagle Lake for the eagles they saw flying over its waters. Sargent Mountain towers above the western shore of the 436-acre waterway and the South and North Bubbles rise from the south.

25. Swimming is allowed at Sand Beach and Echo Lake Beach. Eagle Lake, Bubble Pond, Jordan Pond, Upper and Lower Hadlock Ponds, and the south end of Long Pond are closed to swimming because they supply public drinking water.

26. A typhoid outbreak In the late 1800s was linked to wells in Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor and prompted town officials to later use the lakes and ponds for drinking water.

27. A special feature in the park is 14-ton Bubble Rock, a glacial boulder that can only be reached via a hike to South Bubble Mountain. A glacier moved the rock at least 40 miles before dumping it at its current spot overlooking the Park Loop Road.

28. The 32-acre Bubble Pond is located between Cadillac and Pemetic mountains.

29. Jordan Pond is the fifth largest lake in the park at 187 acres. Brook trout, the only native fish on the island, live in Jordan Pond.

Lower Hadlock Pond in Acadia National Park

A view from the southern shore of Lower Hadlock Pond toward Parkman Mountain and Bald Peak in Acadia National Park.

30. Don’t miss the view of North and South Bubbles from the shores of Jordan Pond, seen by walking behind the restaurant or down the boat ramp.

31. In 1947 – the year Maine burned – a great fire destroyed more than 10,000 acres in the park.

32. In addition to the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia National Park, the park service also takes care of all or part of more than a dozen other islands, including Isle au Haut on the eastern edge of Penobscot Bay and St. Croix Island on the St. Croix River bordering New Brunswick, Canada.

33. The park offers boat trips to and guided tours of Baker Island, a park-owned round island located seven miles out to sea.  The Baker Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1828, is located at the center of the island.

34. Isle au Haut, served year-round by mail boat from Stonington, is six miles long and two miles wide and provides 18 miles of hiking trails.

35. The Porcupine Islands in Frenchman Bay – Sheep, Burnt, Long and Bald – are noted for steep rocky cliffs and nesting bald eagles.

Jordan Pond, from the Jordan Cliffs in Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond lies below the Jordan Cliffs in Acadia National Park.

36. Burnt is private property but the other three are owned by the park.

37. Thomas Cole, a Romantic-era painter and founder of the Hudson River School of artists, and Frederic Church, painter and protégé of Cole, produced art of Mount Desert Island that helped draw people to the area in the mid to late 1800s.

38. A Princeton University professor, Rudolph Brunnow, built the dramatic Precipice Trail to the peak of Champlain Mountain.

39. The Depression-era creation, the Civilian Conservation Corps, established two camps on Mount Desert Island in 1933, one near McFarland Mountain — now park headquarters — and the other just south of Long Pond on the west side of the island. The Corps did a lot of work on the park’s trails.

40. In 2012, Acadia National Park counted 2,431,052 visits, according to the National Park Service Public Use  Statistics Office. In 2022, visits totaled 3,970,260.

41. The summit of Cadillac Mountain receives an estimated 500,000 visitors per year, with more than 6,000 per day sometimes in August. The National Park Service began a vehicle reservation system for Cadillac in 2021 to manage parking at the peak.

Ocean Path in Acadia National Park

Baker Island can be seen in the distance off Ocean Path in Acadia National Park.

42. Cadillac obtained its name from a French aristocrat, Sieur de la Mothe de Cadillac, who was granted 100,000 acres including Mount Desert Island in 1688. He later founded the city of Detroit.

43. On a typical summer day, more than 5,000 people will hike Acadia’s trails and 1,500 to 2,000, including many bicyclists, will use the carriage roads.

44. The park service in Acadia emphasizes “Leave No Trace” a common-sense ethics policy that helps keep the park clean for all users.

45. The Mount Desert Island Hiking Trail System, which includes 117 miles of hiking trails, was enshrined in the National Register of Historic Places in 2022. Created and improved between 1844 and 1942, the trail system is critical for open space and recreation on Mount Desert Island.

46. There are more than 70 sites on Mount Desert Island,  Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut – including plaques, wooden signs and stone benches — memorializing the people who helped create and shape the park, according to the book The Memorials of Acadia National Park by Donald P. Lenahan.

Low tide off Bar Island in Acadia National Park.

One of the Porcupine Islands rises in the distance beyond the gravel bar at low tide off Bar Island.

47. Park pioneer John D. Rockefeller Jr. is memorialized with a plaque off Ocean Path near Otter Point.

48. A little-known fact is that an overlook off Cooksey Drive used to host a monument celebrating the 300th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s discovery of Mount Desert. After neighbors complained, the monument was moved in the 1970s to a wooded spot near the trailhead to Day Mountain.

49. The Schoodic Peninsula is known for its “black dikes,” or black bands of basalt in between the granite and formed by magma that cooled and hardened ages ago.

50. There is only one way in and one way out of the Schoodic section, via a one-way paved loop road that hugs the coast around the peninsula.

Source: National Park Service; “Hiking Acadia National Park,” by Dolores Kong and Dan Ring.