My Visit to Acadia National Park

December 29, 2020 My Solo Trip, National Parks, The most beautiful places in North America

I visited the Acadia National Park in Maine in November 2020, amid the pandemic. Precisely one of the reasons for choosing it was its isolation. Although it is a small park and one of the most visited, with more than 3 million visitors each year, the time I was, there was no longer high season. 

Sand Beach

What is the best time of year to visit Acadia National Park?

The busiest times of the park are summer and fall. By November, the vast majority of the visitors had already left. The truth, I did not know what to expect. Most guides classify the month of November in Maine as one of the “dullest” months of the year, in which the leaves of the trees have already fallen, but winter has not arrived yet. 

Snowy autumn
My trip from St. Pete, FL, to Acadia National Park

My journey began in Florida, and I intended to be able to photograph the fall in the Smoky Mountains and then continue up the Blue Ridge towards Shenandoah National Park, visit Maryland and continue to Maine. Although I tried to accommodate my visit so that I could enjoy the best foliage colors in as many places as possible, autumn colors do not depend on exact science. Many factors influence how soon the trees change colors and vary greatly from year to year. 

On my trip, I had incredible luck, and each of the places I visited I was able to enjoy fully. Upon arriving in Maryland, I took the Covid test to be able to enter Maine, and once I got the negative result, I started driving.

I didn’t make any hotel reservations because I wasn’t sure how the traffic would be, especially when going through New York City. Everything went well, and I crossed the border between New Hampshire and Maine around six in the afternoon, as it was already dark and raining, I decided to rest and get back on the road the following day. 

How many days do you need to see Acadia National Park?

I would say 2 to 3 days, but I could have stayed much longer. Before going north to visit Acadia, I decided to stop at some parks in southern Maine, I will write another post about this beautiful region, but in this post, I will focus only on Acadia National Park. The days in November are very short, and I love to watch the sunrise, so I always wake up early, but the day of my visit did not seem very promising, it was drizzling, and the glare of the morning sun was not visible, and I could perceive a thick layer of mist around me. 

The icy road going to Acadia.

It finally started to clear, and I could see ice and snow on the sides of the road. At times it rained or snowed, but as I advanced, I could also see the blue sky trying to show up. Finally, the storm won, and my trip slowed down. When I got to the entrance of the park, I tried to take several of the routes I had planned, and all were closed due to the amount of snow that was on the route. 

Bar Harbor

What Did I enjoy the most?

During the many years that I lived in Maryland, I had the experience of enjoying some early snowfalls in which the leaves had not yet fallen. I always loved these storms because of the spectacular color combination. So, my first visit to Acadia gave me one of my favorite experiences: An unexpected winter storm.

The contrast of colors is so beautiful
Early snow

My second visit was a few days later. I wanted to be sure that the roads were already open. The sunrise was wonderful, and the colors were vibrant with the early morning light. This time I could travel through the loop around Mount Desert Island and discover each of its beautiful places.

Sunrise with rainbow
Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
Champlain Mountain

White sand beaches lined with large black rocks and the bright and clear turquoise ocean. The moss-covered forests and the vibrant autumn foliage over the mountains. 

Bright fall colors

As it has happened to me in many other places I have visited during my trip, I have an immense desire to return to Acadia in another season. I want to be able to visit the same places but with the flowers of spring or in the middle of winter … 

Moss in Mount Desert Island

Quick facts:

Acadia has more than 300 species of birds 

More than 50 species of mammals on land and at sea 

About 1,000 species of flowering plants.

Snow falls average about 60 inches a year.

So, I hope I can come back soon!

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