5 min read

Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park (For Outdoor Recreation)

Plan the perfect Acadia trip! Find out the best times for outdoor activities, from hiking to ice fishing, and avoid the crowds or high costs. Essential for travelers!

Tobi Miles
August 11, 2022
Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park (For Outdoor Recreation)

Acadia National Park is a breathtaking landscape located in Maine. The view is stunning at all times of the year. Expect jagged coastlines juxtaposed by misty mountains across all 48,000 acres of land.

There are a few things that you should consider before planning a trip to Acadia National Park. Foremost, the weather.

It can dip to sub-zero temperatures in the winter. With high rates of precipitation, snow and ice is also common at this time of year. The summer is a gorgeous time to visit, but this is also when the trails and accommodations are most crowded.

The late spring and early autumn is the best time to visit Visit Acadia National Park. This is due to the consistent 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. It is also the ideal time for catching festivals and events like Acadia Oktoberfest. The winter boasts fewer crowds and up to 40% lower costs of accommodation.

Are you in search of stunning hikes? Pleasant camping weather? Ice fishing? Acadia National Park offers all of these activities and more depending on when you choose to visit. The best time to go fully depends on what type of vacation you are searching for.

For example, January may not be a great time to go hiking. However, Acadia becomes a winter wonderland at this time perfect for cross-country skiing and dog sledding. July is the tourist high season, but it also has gorgeous weather for hiking and camping.

What is the Worst Time to Visit Visit Acadia National Park?

The worst time to visit Acadia National Park is in the winter months from December through March. This is because snowfall and ice renders some roads and trails in the park inaccessible.

Most people don’t thrive in the sub-zero temperatures of Maine in the winter. However, if you love the snow and want Acadia all to yourself, you may love the winter oasis.

Just be prepared for some closures and take precautions. Don’t partake in activities alone, bundle up, and know your emergency preparedness.

What is the Cheapest Time to Visit Acadia National Park?

The cheapest time to visit Acadia National Park is in the winter months from December through March. Most prefer visiting in the warmer months when all trails are open and the terrain is less rugged.

If you visit in the winter, expect the accommodations that are open to be cheap. Most places drop their price per room by around 40%.

What Time of Year Does Acadia National Park Have the Best Weather?

Acadia National Park has the most stunning weather in the late spring and early fall. The park has annually high precipitation rates. However, the temperature at this time of year is pleasant and warm.

Expect it to range from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in April, May, October, and November.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Acadia National Park: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time For Icy Activities

January in Acadia National Park is notoriously frigid. Temperatures are almost always well below freezing. Some paths and roads even close due to snow and ice accumulation.

Acadia National Park is a unique place to play on the ice if you can handle the cold. Several winter activities are popular from ice fishing to dog sledding.

The Park offers numerous salt water and fresh water fishing spots. Some popular species native to the area include salmon, bass, trout, and mackerel. Carve a hole in the lake or cast your line off the coast. Ice fishing shacks line Jordan Pond in the winter.

  • The best time to dogsled
  • The best time for snowmobiling
  • The best time to try ice climbing

Related Read: Best Campgrounds in Acadia National Park

February: The Best Time to Watch the Sunrise

February in Acadia experiences polar blasts, yet clear skies. Bundle up and catch one of the park’s spectacular sunrises. The month of February has some of the lowest annual precipitation.

You don’t need to go camping to watch the sunrise. You don’t even need to wake up early and hit the trails. Acadia National Park has generous accommodations to keep you cozy in the dead of winter.

The Park has some ski lodges, hotels, and vacation rentals within and outside the borders. Many have spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean. Opt for a sea view if catching the sunrise is on your itinerary.

  • The best time to stargaze
  • The best time for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing

March: The Best Time to Daytrip to Portland

March in Acadia has notoriously high rates of precipitation and lingering frigid temperatures. Opt for a day trip if you find yourself vacationing in Acadia this month.

Acadia has a few quaint, New England towns near the park. One of the best is Portland. Portland is located on a Peninsula in Casco Bay and offers excellent Atlantic views. Some even choose to stay in Portland to reach Acadia.

While visiting Portland, be sure to check out some of their exciting dining and attractions. The Portland Head Light Lighthouse, Portland Museum of Art, and city walking tours all come highly rated. Portland is also known for its nationally renowned Allagash Brewing Company.

  • The best time for a day trip to Bar Harbor
  • The best time to visit the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

Related Read: New York to Acadia National Park Road Trip Itinerary

April: National Park Week

April is a great time to visit any national park due to National Park Week. All US national parks offer numerous activities and freebies to drive up excitement around the parks.

This month is a particularly great time to visit Acadia. It is when the park comes alive after the long, slow winter season. Snow and ice virtually disappear and all trails and roads re-open. Acadia’s mountainous paths are particularly treacherous in the winter.

National Junior Ranger Day also takes place across all national parks in April. This is a great time to visit with kids. The parks have an array of activities designed for children and adolescents.

  • The best time to see the park by car
  • The best time to explore the coast

May: The Best Time to See Acadia in Bloom

Maine is a stunning place to see wildflowers and lush greenery. There is no better time to see the park in full bloom than in May. May in general is a pleasant time to visit Acadia. Temperatures finally reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit this month.

Any of the park’s trails will have mesmerizing views of flora and fauna. However, Acadia National Park also has two gardens; the onsite Wild Gardens of Acadia and the nearby Asticou Azalea Garden.

Both gardens have an array of local and other breeds of flowers. Visit both botanical sites to see a variety of stunning floral arrangements.

  • Acadia Birding Festival
  • The best time to visit the Wild Gardens of Acadia
  • The best time to visit the Asticou Azalea Garden

June: Bar Harbor Music Festival

Credit: Bar Harbor Music Festival / Facebook

The nearby town of Bar Harbor is one of the top places to find accommodations near Acadia National Park. The town has hosted the Bar Harbor Music Festival for over 55 years.

Every June, the town welcomes droves of tourists for a month of live music, great food, and other entertainment.

The Festival places particular emphasis on budding artists. In its years, the festival has helped to advance the careers of over 2,300 performers.

Enjoy the music and the perks that come with it. Festival ticketholders get free admission into Acadia National Park for the duration of the festival.

  • Maine Lobster Boat Races
  • The best time to see wildlife
  • Acadia birding festival

July: Harbor House Flamingo Festival

The Harbor House Flamingo Festival is an exciting event that takes place close to the park. Expect a parade, craft fair, race, lobster bake, live performances, and more.

The event is completely admissions-free to encourage supporting the local vendors and restaurants. While there, explore Mount Desert Island. It is the largest off-coast island in the state and the second largest on the Eastern Seaboard.

There is plenty to do here beyond the Flamingo Festivities. The town of South Harbor is certainly worth spending a day in. The unique topography of the island is also worth some exploration. Take a hike, climb up Mount Desert, and bask in the glory of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • 4th of July Fireworks
  • The best time to visit for watersports
  • The best time to go camping

Related Read: 20 Romantic Getaways in Maine

August: Maine Blueberry Season

One of the best Maine crops is the wild blueberry. Blueberries grow well in the chilly Maine climate, especially on the rocky coastline near Acadia.

Acadia National Park has such a bountiful blueberry crop that visitors are welcome to freely pick the fruit on park grounds. Rangers set a limit of 1 half gallon of berries per person, per day.

The blueberries are absolutely perfect eaten raw, but Maine is also famous for blueberry dishes. Pies and crumbles are particularly delicious. You can also find a wide selection of products such as blueberry jam, syrup, honey, and lotions. Pick berries yourself and see what you can create.

  • Mount Desert Summer Chorale
  • The best time to take a boat tour
  • The best time to visit Swan island
  • Bar Harbor fine arts festival

September: Night Sky Festival

Acadia National Park has minimal light pollution, making it an excellent place to see the stars. Every September the park hosts the Night Sky Festival.

You can catch spectacular views of the milky way and shooting stars. If you visit in the dead of winter you may even see glimpses of the Northern Lights.

The September Night Sky Festival welcomes astronomers and stargazers to the park after dark. The Festival boasts a celebration of Maine’s dark skies, science, and the arts.

The Festival’s mission is to support local legislation for minimal light pollution. Since its inaugural year, this ordinance has had bipartisan support.

  • The best time to enjoy Maine Lobster
  • The best time to go hiking
  • The best time to visit Isle Au Haut

October: Acadia Oktoberfest

The Acadia Oktoberfest is a beer, food, music, and arts festival that happens each October. Festivities to look forward to include a beer tasting, wine tasting, Brewfest, and plenty of food pairings.

Lobster is bountiful all year in Maine, but October is a particularly good time to try sweet seafood. Try out one of the seafood specialties with your beer or wine of choice. Popular lobster foods include lobster rolls, lobster bakes, lobster bisque, and more.

Maine has plenty of craft breweries. Allagash is one of the best. Be sure to sample one of their ales while at Oktoberfest. Allagash White is one of the best beers produced on the Eastern Seaboard.

  • Mount Desert Island Marathon
  • The best time to explore by bike
  • The best time to see Autumn colors

November: The Best Time For Horseback Riding

The Acadian weather is chilly in November, but not quite at polar winter temperatures yet. Participate in some fall sports if you visit the park in November.

Many of the trails allow for horseback riding. Some companies even offer carriage rides in the park. A great way to see the park and try your hand at horseback riding is through a guided tour.

A few ranches in the area offer guided rides through the park with a tour component. Learn all about Acadia from horseback.

  • The best time to try out rock climbing
  • The best time to take a carriage tour
  • The best time to walk the carriage roads

Related Read: 20 Cabin & Treehouse Rentals in Maine

December: The Best Time to Play in the Snow

By mid-December, snowfall blankets Acadia National Park. With lasting frigid temperatures through March, this snowfall remains for nearly four months. Take advantage of the fresh, Maine snow and play.

Acadia National Park is a winter wonderland offering snowy activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even dog sledding. Winter hiking is also a popular option. Be sure to have the proper gear.

Shoes should be made to withstand snowy, treacherous conditions. Outerwear should also have the proper insulation.

  • Celebrate the holidays in Acadia National Park
  • The best time for winter hiking

What is the Best Time to Avoid Crowds in Acadia National Park?

The best time to avoid crowds in Acadia National Park is in the winter. This takes into account numerous factors. The weather drives the low crowds. Acadia National Park often hits sub-zero temperatures in the winter with heavy snow and ice accumulation.

The winter also sees a lot of road, trail, and accommodation closures. Plan ahead if you visit at this time of year and be ready to change plans if necessary.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes

You may also like...


Win a $500 Flight!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*Terms apply. To participate, enter your email to sign up for the newsletter . You must be 18+ and be a resident of the US. No purchase necessary. Begins January 1st  and ends February 28th, 2024. Winner announced on March 31st. For full rules and regulations, visit our Terms & Conditions page. Data  processed according to our Privacy Policy.
Enter Sweepstakes