Attractions Category: Aroostook County
Region: Downeast and Acadia
Length: 40 miles
Travel Time: 3 hours
Highlights: beaches, swimming holes, bicycling, foliage viewing, hiking trails, islands, lake, pond, river views, lighthouses, mountain views, ocean views, skiing, state/national park, wildlife
Side Trips: Cadillac Mountain; Echo Lake, Hull’s Cove School House and Church of Our Father (National Register), Isle au Haut, Jesup Memorial Library, Jordan Pond House, Sand Beach, Sieur de Monts Spring,Thunder Hole,The Turrets and other National Register buildings
Long before the French explorer Samuel Champlain “discovered” L’Isles des Monts Deserts (Mount Desert Island) and the British and French fought nearly 100 years for sovereignty over the region, Native cultures made this beautiful island their home. In the first half of the 20th century, a number of wealthy families built sprawling shingle-style cottages with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., contributing a vast network of carriage roads.
Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park are the most frequently visited locations in Maine. Travelers can bike to their hearts content on miles of interconnected carriage roads – and hike one of 26 mountains. Plus, 22 lakes and ponds, beaches and natural wonders provide plenty of relaxation.
Following Route 3, this byway follows Route 3 into Bar Harbor, then follows the park loop road thereafter. Visitors looking to avoid seasonal traffic can enjoy the Acadia Byway aboard the free Island Explorer bus network that also connects the park with inns, campgrounds and the island’s village centers