With the highest mountains on the Atlantic coast north of Brazil, slicing fjords, deserted offshore islands and 41 miles of rugged shoreline, it's easy to understand how Acadia
became the sole national park in the northeast. Acadia's dense forests and small rambling peaks are located primarily on Maine's Mount Desert Island. Bike on the carriage paths, hard-packed gravel trails, around the shores of Eagle Lake, under tall firs and over century-old stone bridges. A drive to the summit of 1,532-foot Cadillac Mountain
rewards you with views across the Atlantic and the lobstermen picking up their catch. Head to Acadia during fall foliage and the maples on Mount Desert Island turn red, orange and yellow. An added bonus is that the black flies and mosquitoes are a distant memory. The best foliage is found on the North and South Bubble trails, off the Park Loop, and the Amphitheater Loop, a carriage path trail close to the town of Northeast Harbor.
On your way down Cadillac Mountain, stop at Pink Sand Beach -- the water's cold but the area is breathtakingly beautiful and perfect for some afternoon relaxation. Plus, there are shower and bathroom facilities nearby. Another perk for families: Acadia Quest. Sign your family up as a team prior to your visit, and complete activities throughout the park.
Recommended Hotel: Bar Harbor Grand Hotel