Winter Diamonds

Acadia National Park, Maine
  |  Gorp.com

Only in Winter Vision: The turbulent Atlantic seen through the bare branches of winter.
Activities: Cross-country skiing, hiking, ice fishing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing

Acadia is for those who crave the tang of ocean air while on skis: not an easy order to fill. But Acadia's northerly location along Maine's rugged coastline makes it a likely spot for seaside snow. And that brisk ocean moderates air temperature at Acadia, so the coldness is hardly ever as bitter as the interior.

Forty-five miles of carriage roads, and 41 miles of unplowed park roads are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Whenever the snow level hits four inches, volunteers lay tracks and the fun begins. John D. Rockeller built the carriage roads as a last stand against the automobile (odd for an oil magnate). They're laid out both to be hidden from the thoroughfare and to provide the most scenic vistas possible.

The hiking trails are theoretically open to skiing, but you'd do better with a sturdy pair of boots and a warm pair of socks. The trails are too steep and the snow is generally too shallow to cover roots and rocks. But why be negative? Ski the carriage roads and hike the trails: you can have the best of both worlds.

Acadia's wildlife is active in the winter. Stay on the lookout for white-tailed deer, red fox, showshoe hare (camouflaged white for the winter), beaver, and many resident birds.

More on Acadia National Park


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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