Acadia National Park boasts some of the best vacation adventures around, with scenic views and other sights to take in, including museums, forested picnic areas and camping. But exploring Acadia by water will be an experience that you can't miss when visiting the rugged coast of Maine.
Surrounded by picturesque islands, Acadia is a great vacation destination, particularly for those who love to go canoeing and kayaking in ocean or lake waters. The season for this is the summer, since many of the park's facilities are closed during the winter months. Park Loop Road is closed from December 1st through April 14th and whenever severe winter conditions exist. Some islands also are closed to the public when it's seabird or eagle nesting season.
You'll find all sorts of water activities available to you, including ferry services, nature cruises and even whale watching trips. Rent a canoe or kayak in one of the surrounding communities.
Explore the coves that line the lakes' edge as you take paddle a canoe around sunny Acadia National Park. Hop out and have lunch on a rock overlooking the water. Then paddle on, watching the majestic peaks surrounding you.
Canoeing is a popular sport within Acadia, and there's enough room so you can avoid the crowds and find some solitude. There are four freshwater lakes and ponds that are perfect for a boating excursion. Long Pond - which is really a lake - is the largest lake in the park and my favorite of all of them because of the mountain views. There's also Seal Cove Pond, Eagle Lake and Jordan Pond.
Kayaking is special because you can venture out into the ocean. If a beginner, you may want to get a guided kayak tour because it takes experienced kayakers to brave the ocean's wild and unpredictable waters.
There are a number of public boat ramps for your use. Try Seal Cove or Bass Harbor. Be sure to heed the signs posted regarding parking, as tides can run as high as 12 feet at high tide and you don't want your car to be underwater when you return!
You can take your sea kayak trip from Southwest Harbor to Little Cranberry Island for some gorgeous scenery. This trip is around 14 miles. Another excursion about the same length is from Bar Harbor to the Porcupines, those small islands just to the east. In Western Bay, you can travel around Bartlett Island for a thrilling boat trip of 11 miles.
I recommend a trip that is a little over 9 miles through the Mount Desert Narrows. It connects Blue Hill Bay to the Frenchman Bay. A wonderful experience and one to write home about!
You'll find plenty of opportunity to throw a line into the water at Acadia National Park, and can catch several species of your favorite game fish. As you take a canoe around the lakes within the park, stopping to try your luck is almost mandatory!
Here on Mount Desert Island, July and August are the best for trout and salmon. You can find them in the cooler deep waters of Eagle and Echo Lakes and Jordan Pond. You will find three lakes that don't allow motorized craft - Half Moon Pond, Upper Breakneck Pond and Lower Breakneck Pond. Perfect places to catch some brook trout.
Warm-water fishing will provide you with white perch, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel. You will also want to try your hand at ocean fishing. Find bluefish, striped bass and mackerel.
Acadia offers some of the best in ranger-narrated boat cruises around. You can learn about island history and the sea life of the area. These cruises are available from the middle of May to the middle of October. Some require you to make reservations and schedules and fees vary.
There are some exciting cruises to a few of the surrounding islands that are great for kids and adults alike. Cruise to Baker Island in mid-June to mid-September to combine natural history with cultural history. It includes a hike. You can also take a boat tour to the Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island. On this trip, I found the best time was to be had when searching for the wildlife on the trip over.
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