History of
Acadia National Park

Activities in Acadia National Park

Hiking in Acadia National Park

Birdwatching in Acadia National Park

Acadia's Historic Carriage Roads

Maine's "Big Sur" Ocean Drive

Mammals of Acadia National Park

Birds of Acadia National Park

Geology of Acadia National Park

The Chakras of
Mount Desert Island

Are We Mistreating

Could MDI Be the
Legendary Atlantis?

Were Vikings
First Tourists


LITTLE OF NEW ENGLAND'S ROCKBOUND COAST  remains in public ownership, undeveloped and natural. The biggest portion comprises Acadia National Park, which does a wonderful job  preserving the natural beauty of part of Maine's coast, its coastal mountains, and its offshore islands. Weather permitting, you can drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point here, for a spectacular view of this coast. Or better yet, park your car and walk or bike into the nature and history of the park on its many trails.

Acadia, as the name suggests, was French before it was English and then American. French frigates hid from English men-of-war in Frenchman Bay, screened from detection by the Porcupine Islands. The French and English battled for possession of North America from 1613 until 1760. French explorer Samuel de Champlain sailed into the Bay in 1604 and named this Mount Desert Island because of its landmark bare top.

The sea encircles, thrusts inland, and fogs here. In the midday sun its bright-blue surface is studded with lobster buoys. In fog all is gray and muted. Somewhere out at sea engines may mutter, but the lobster boat is blurred or lost in a formless world. Seen at sundown from Cadillac Mountain, the sea glows in soft pinks, mauve, and gold. Gulls wing silently home to distant islands, and, like fireflies, navigational aids flash warnings from reefs, islands, and headland. Between the sea and the forested mountains here is the small, fascinating, almost nether world of the tidal zone.

Twice daily exposed to air and drowned by sea water, it is a world of specially adapted organisms. Tide pools, pockets of sea water stranded in rock basins, are microhabitats brimming with life and exposed to view. In these natural aquariums you can watch marine animals going about their business. This zone of life is amplified here by Acadia's tides, which vary from 9 to 14 feet, averaging 11 to 12 feet. It is the primeval meeting place of earth and water.