Explore the Atlantic coastline of Maine in its infinite glory at Acadia National Park, the United States’ first national park east of the Mississippi–the place where fresh saltwater air and glacier-smoothed mountain rock collide, and where North America first says hello to the sun.
You can begin your visit to wonderful Acadia National Park at the foot of Mount Desert Island, the national park’s, “heart and headquarters.” Translated from French to mean roughly, “The island of the deserted mountain,” Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park was named by explorer Samuel de Champlain after his ship ran ashore accidentally, making this national park a true piece of American discovery.
As you find your way around Mount Desert Island, don’t be surprised if you come across a small town that more than slightly resembles the colonial past and maintains remnants of great American eras. Preserved and operated by dedicated people who work to maintain its history and status, Somesville is a port community previously inhabited by great artists and visionaries whose portrayals of the Acadia National Park landscapes and their miraculous colors have drawn tourists to Maine in droves for centuries.
Over time, the demographics of visitors to Acadia National Park shifted, again and again. In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy New York families escaped summer heat by vacationing in cooler Maine, and in turn building a network of fine trails and carriage roads–most of which were designed by John D. Rockefeller himself and are currently used for horseback tours, cyclists and carriage rides.
Stretching from the base of Mount Desert Island and spreading in all directions, Acadia National Park is home to a highly diverse ecosystem of plants and animals as well as the Atlantic coast’s tallest mountain. At certain times of the year, the top of Cadillac Mountain is the first place in North America to see the sun rise.
To discover more about visiting Acadia National Park and to get a taste of the beauty on display at this and other national parks, visit the National Park Service website.