Nine Healthy Ways to Celebrate Acadia’s Centennial

The gorgeous national park turns 100 today. Here are nine ways to enjoy it.


Photo by Friends of Acadia

Today, Acadia National Park turns 100—and in our opinion, it’s looking pretty good for a century old.

Acadia, the first eastern national park and arguably the crown jewel of the New England parks system, has come a long way since Woodrow Wilson established it as Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916. Today, it’s one of the 10 most visited national parks in the country despite being the fifth smallest, welcoming 2.5 million visitors in 2014 alone. It’s also an integral part of the Maine community, keeping residents healthy and partnering with dozens of nearby businesses and organizations.

This summer, when both Acadia and the entire National Parks Service are celebrating centennials, is the perfect time for a trip up to Mount Desert Island. Once you get there, your options are nearly endless. If you do want a little guidance, though, look to these suggestions.

Carriage Road

Carriage road photo by Friends of Acadia

1. Ride bikes on the Carriage roads

2. and on Park Loop Road

3. and to the Schoodic Peninsula

4. Hike or bike Cadillac Mountain. “Unlike a lot of the mountains in the East, it’s not topped with trees,” says Tommy Parham, executive director of the Mount Desert YMCA, a close Acadia partner. “Any direction you look is a spectacular view.”

5. Hike the Beehive. “Once you get to the summit,” Parham says, “the views are incredible.”

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake photo by Friends of Acadia

6. Canoe or kayak on Eagle Lake“If you came here and you didn’t take the opportunity to canoe or kayak, you would be missing out,” Parham says.

7. Go for a dip in Echo Lake, or just lounge on its shores.

8. Run a half marathon. The YMCA hosts two in-park half marathons every year: one in September, and one in June.

9. Climb Otter Cliff, and enjoy wonderful ocean views as you do.

Happy birthday, Acadia, and may we all look as good at 100 as you do.