With a fantastic location along the rugged coastline, Acadia National Park Maine encompasses more than 47,000 acres of majestic mountains, vast woodlands, crystal clear lakes and a spectacular shoreline. These diverse habitats are not only responsible for the Park’s spectacular scenery. They also create a unique habitat for the vast variety of plant and wildlife that dwell and grow in Acadia National Park, Maine.
Acadia National Park in Maine
Today people come from all parts of the globe to take Acadia National Park vacations. Some stay at the various hotels, while others believe that the primary attraction of Acadia National Park is its campgrounds. Those who wish to avoid the crowds take their Acadia National Park in the early fall, as opposed to the mid-summer. In fact, autumn is an excellent time to view another wonderful attraction of Acadia National Park vacations: the fall foliage. However, no matter when you decide to visit, you will always find a multitude of activities. You can take one of the many guided tours given by the park rangers, or hike or bike on your own. Fans of water sports may enjoy boating or kayaking. In the evening, you can attend a lecture or concert at the park’s amphitheatre.
Since archeological evidence tells us that people lived here close to 5,000 years ago, let’s step into the Way Back Machine and explore the history of Acadia National Park Maine. The Red Paint People were first to inhabit this area. However, little is known about this tribe. We do know more about the Abnaki people, who inhabited the area in the 1500s. This was around the time that the first Europeans came to the area. The Abnakis called the area Pemetic, which means “sloping land.” If you are interested in these people, you will want to visit the Abbe Museum, an attraction of Acadia National Park that is located off the Park Loop Road. The collection at the Museum includes prehistoric pottery, baskets, porcupine quillwork, and a canoe and wigwam made from birch bark.
In 1604, the French explorer Samuel Champlain gave the island its current name, l'Isles des Monts-déserts or Mount Desert Island. Over two centuries later, when Maine was admitted to the Union, the inhabitants of Mount Desert Island were predominantly fishermen, lumbermen, shipbuilders or farmers. The first Acadia National Park vacations began in mid 19th century. Famous artists such as Thomas Cole and Frederic Church were the first to visit and capture the area’s splendor on their canvases. Their paintings attracted other visitors, such as sportsman and journalists. They were referred to as “summercators” or “rusticators.” Eventually, wealthy families such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords, Astors, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers began to take vacations in the area. In 1901, a group of summer residents and conservationists formed a land trust to preserve the natural beauty of Mount Desert Island. The park itself was created as Sieur de Monts National Monument on July 8th, 1916. Its name was changed to Acadia National Park Maine on January 19th, 1929.
Top image: Gary Brownell (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0