2 Best Acadia National Park Entrance Choices and 5 Visitor Centers

We offer your complete Acadia National Park entrance information including gates, amenities and hours of operations in this guide.  There is also general information about fees and other information about getting around inside the park.

Acadia National Park is located on the rock-bound Maine island of Mount Desert.  Soaring granite cliffs that border sand and cobblestone beaches can be found here. Mountains with deep lakes in their valleys that have been created by glaciers rise up from the ocean. Meadowlands, marshes, and substantial evergreen woods can also be found here. The ocean is perceptible everywhere, whether by sight, sound, or scent.


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The Eastern Seaboard’s most breathtaking scenery and a wide range of wildlife can be found in Acadia National Park, which is open all year. The park’s 47,000 acres span the Schoodic Peninsula, Isle au Haut, and a large portion of Mount Desert Island, which is off the coast of Maine.

Whether you choose to visit Acadia National Park for fall foliage, winter skiing, spring fishing, or summer walking, it is the perfect outdoor playground. The Hulls Cove Visitor Center or the administration building is where many tourists begin their exploration of the park.

Consider using an alternative entry during the busier summer months, such as the Welcome Center at Rockefeller Hall on the Schoodic Peninsula. Continue reading to find out more about the sole national park in Maine.

There are four Acadia National Park entrances to the popular Park Loop Road section of Acadia on Mount Desert Island however the 2 we cover, Hulls Cove and Sieur de Monts are preferred.

  • Hulls Cove Entrance, located on Route 3
  • Cadillac Mountain Entrance, located on the outskirts of Bar Harbor on Route 233
  • Sieur de Monts Entrance, located on Route 3 south of Bar Harbor
  • Stanley Brook Entrance, also located on Route 3 in the town of Seal Harbor.

Don’t forget to make your reservation for Cadillac Mountain. 

There is a park shuttle that runs during peak season. The shuttle includes stops in Bar Harbor, Hulls Cove Visitor Center, and various places in the park. If you are struggling to find a parking space, or you are traveling without a car, you can get around by shuttle. Click here to learn more.

As you plan your trip and just before your visit, check road and trail conditions on the National Park Service website. 

Acadia National Park Visitors Entrance (19)

Acadia National Park Passes and Entrance Fees

All Acadia National Park visitors are required to have and display an Acadia National Park entrance pass. For more information about all entrance Acadia National Park Entrance Fee information and where to buy your Acadia National Park entrance pass, visit our Fees & Passes information below.

Acadia National Park Entrance Fee:

Current Acadia National Park entrance and visitors fees:

Acadia National Park Entrance Fee – Private Vehicle – $30.00

Admits private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less) and all occupants. Valid for 7 days. If a vehicle pass is purchased, no other pass is necessary.

Acadia National Park Entrance Fee – Motorcycle – $25.00

Admits one or two passengers on a private, non-commercial motorcycle. Valid for 7 days.

Acadia National Park Entrance Fee – Per Person – $15.00

Admits one individual with no car (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian). Youth 15 and under are admitted free of charge. Valid for 7 days.

1. Hulls Cove Visitor Center

Acadia National Park Hours

Hulls Cove Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin your Acadia National Park visit. Here you can find Acadia National Park passes and park rangers to answer your questions. Large, self-service maps and digital information screens help you plan your visit. You can also purchase items from the Acadia National Park Store.

Since its construction in the 1960s, visitors have taken their first ‘hike’ in Acadia up the center’s 52 steps. Follow the signs for accessible access. The visitor center operates seasonally. The actual address for Google Maps is 25 Visitor Center Road, Hulls Cove Visitor Center, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Directions

From Boston take I-95 north to Augusta, Maine, then Route 3 east to Ellsworth, and on to Mount Desert Island. For an alternate route, continue on I-95 north to Bangor, Maine, then take I-395 to U.S. Route 1A east to Ellsworth. In Ellsworth, take Route 3 to Mount Desert Island.

Amenities

Automated Entrance, Benches/Seating, Bicycle – Rack, Bus/Shuttle Stop, Elevator

Acadia National Park passes For Sale, Gifts/Souvenirs/Books, Information, Information – Maps Available, Information – Ranger/Staff Member Present

Parking – Auto, Parking – Bus/RV,
Public Transit, Restroom, Restroom – Accessible,
Ticket Sales, Wheelchair Accessible

Hull Cove Center – Acadia National Park Hours

Sunday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Monday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Tuesday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Friday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM

2. Sieur de Monts Nature Center

Sieur de Monts Nature Center has visitor services, hiking information, and interactive exhibits. It acts as a trailhead for many hiking trails starting in the Sieur de Monts area. Park rangers are present during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Sieur de Monts Nature Center is one of the park visitor centers and offers various exhibits on the “science behind the scenery” of Acadia.

Sieur de Monts, often referred to as the “Heart of Acadia.” Includes Sieur de Monts Spring and spring house, Nature Center, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Abbe Museum(closed), the tarn, Great Meadow Wetland, and access to multiple historic memorial paths. It is the first major stopping point along the Park Loop Road.

At Sieur de Monts you can learn the natural and cultural history of Acadia through interpretive signs and hike trails of various lengths and difficulty and enjoy birdwatching. In the summer months you can speak with park staff at the Nature Center.

Sieur de Monts Nature Center – Acadia National Park Hours

Sunday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Monday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Tuesday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Friday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM–4:30 PM

3. Islesford Historical Museum

The Islesford Historical Museum is expected to reopen in 2021 showcasing both the upgrades and a community-curated exhibit helping to tell the stories of the Cranberry Isles.

Explore the Cranberry Isles and the lives of their hardy inhabitants in the Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island. On permanent exhibit in every corner of the museum are objects—many of them everyday tools of their time—that tell stories of island life: sextant and octants, harpoon gun and ship clocks, store ledgers and weights. In addition to the museum and interpretive exhibits, facilities include restrooms, drinking fountains, and a small bookstore.

Islesford Historical Museum – Acadia National Park Hours

Sunday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Monday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Tuesday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Wednesday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Thursday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Friday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM–4:00 PM

4. Rockefeller Welcome Center

Rockefeller Welcome Center is located on Schoodic Peninsula off the one-way loop road. Exhibits about the old Navy base and park information can be found here.

The Rockefeller Welcome Center is located on Big Moose Island, an island attached to the Schoodic Peninsula by a causeway. I did not stop by during my visit to the peninsula, so all I can report is that you can get park information here, and there are some exhibits about the former Navy Base to occupied the area. Hours are as follows:

Rockefeller Welcome Center – Acadia National Park Hours

Sunday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Monday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM–4:00 PM

5. Schoodic Woods Campground Ranger Station

Information, Camping, Island Explorer buses, and Acadia National Park passes.

Schoodic Woods Campground is located 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula. It is the only campground on the mainland section of the park.

Season Dates: May 25 through October 9, 2022 (subject to change)

Reservations are available 2 months in advance below and at recreation.gov

Camping – Acadia National Park Entrance Fee (Paid at time of reservation, not at the campground):

Hike-in tent sites (primitive): $22

Drive up tent/small RV (20 amp): $30

RV with electric only sites (20/30/50 amp): $36

RV with electric and water (20/30/50 amp): $40

Group tent sites: $60

Discounts are available for Senior and Access pass holders.

Schoodic Woods Campground Ranger Station – Acadia National Park Hours

Sunday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Monday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM–3:00 PM

Above Information From United Park Service

About Your Visit

The biggest draw to Acadia is the Atlantic Ocean and it is easily accessible from any of the Acadia National Park entrances. The majority of activities—though not all—involve figuring out how to interact with it, whether that’s trekking along the coast, scaling the numerous pink granite cliffs, or sailing or kayaking to its offshore islands.

Experience it up close at locations like Thunder Hole, which bursts with surging waves, or Sand Beach, which may appear unimaginative to you but is a tribute to how uncommon sand beaches are here. Hike to the summit of one of its numerous barren peaks for expansive views. You can feel the force that shaped this place and the lives of the people who lived there no matter how you enter the park.

Despite being one of the ten most visited national parks, Acadia is also one of the smallest and busiest. The Cadillac Summit Road and its Acadia National Park entrance will now only be open to vehicles with reservations during the day, including at sunrise, when tens of thousands of people converge atop the East Coast’s highest point (1,529 feet) to see the sun break over Frenchman Bay.

For a portion of the year, Cadillac is also the first location to witness the dawn in the United States. The two-mile section of Ocean Drive that is home to the Jordan Pond House restaurant, where customers clamor for an airy popover with strawberry jam and a view of the Bubbles mountain peaks, is expected to see similar traffic management strategies in the future.

Moving Around the Park

Acadia National Park Entrance Fee

Your lifeline will be The Island Explorer. Once you pass the Acadia National Park entrance this will be the easiest way to skip the tiresome search for parking at well-known locations including Cadillac Mountain, Jordan Pond House, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole is to use this free shuttle bus. Mid-June to mid-October, Island Explorer runs continuously throughout the day and into the evening.  Click here to learn more.

Ten routes connect Acadia National Park entrances to the MDI and Schoodic sections of Acadia with campers, motels, and village centers. I use it to trek alone along one of my favorite trails—the open, granite spines of the Champlain and Gorham Mountains (park at the Tarn on Route 3, ascend via Beachcroft Path, and follow the Champlain South Ridge and Gorham Mountain Trails to Monument Cove on Park Loop Road.

Leave No Trace

Acadia National Park entrances

As you clamber up a granite outcropping toward the mountain summit, a panorama—ocean, lakes, and forest—is only now coming into view as you have just emerged from the trees. In you elation, you want to take a stone and place it on the closest cairn as if to declare, “I was here!” Don’t do that, please.

The Bates cairn, named for Waldron Bates, who, like George Dorr, specialized in path construction on MDI in the early 20th century, is a distinctive stone trail marking in Acadia National Park. Four rocks make up a Bates cairn: two massive base stones spaced about a foot apart; a flat boulder on top of that; and a fourth rock pointing in the direction of the trail.

Original cairns that are more than 100 years old can be found in the park. In addition to messing with that history, excessive cairn-building also contributes to soil erosion, makes it difficult for hikers to follow a track, and diminishes the beauty of nature. Friends of Acadia has a team of volunteer ridge runners whose goal it is to dismantle illegal cairns and inform hikers to leave no trace because it is such an annoyance.

Instead of creating your own memorial, resist the desire and instead, take a selfie. Leaving no trace is the only way we can keep the raw beauty of the park for the next generation. This is the credo of OBE on every trip we take no matter what Continent, Country, City, Park or location we visit. Enjoy your trip to the park.


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