Paddling and Pedaling

Acadia National Park
Just the Facts

Best time of year: May through September. Midsummer is high tourist season, so expect crowds. Spring and fall can be stormy, making ocean travel iffy, but fall colors are a powerful argument for a late-season trip.

Access: From I-95, via Alt Highway 1 and Highway 3; from coastal Highway 1, via Highway 3.

Hazards: Cold water temperatures, strong tidal action, fog and rough seas on the Atlantic; crowds and traffic during tourist season.

Information: Acadia National Park
Maine Island Trail Association
Maine Office of Tourism



Water along the Maine coast is characterized by rugged headlands, powerful tidal action, quiet covers, and secluded islands. Inland Maine is pocked with ponds and lakes, and seamed by streams and rivers. To the paddler, the opportunities are endless, and to bikers, the terrain is equally varied and scenic. Mount Desert Island has some of the best of both worlds.

Long Pond, Eagle Lake, or Jordan Pond offer tranquil paddling to canoeists, while kayakers can ply the rugged headlands of Acadia National Park, or the more protected waters of Frenchman and Blue Hill Bay. For longer forays, kayakers can link up with the 325-mile Maine Island Trail, which extends along much of the state's coastline.

Bikers can choose from a 20-mile lap around the Loop Road in Acadia National Park, a seven-mile round trip to the 1,530-foot summit of Cadillac Mountain, or a relaxed ride along more than 50 miles of gravel carriage roads in Acadia. Other scenic island roads, notably along the Schoodic Peninsula, access some nice paddling coastline.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 8 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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