Nature & Wildlife
From the 1530-foot peak of Cadillac Mountain – the highest point on the Atlantic coast of the United States – to the rugged granite shores of Mount Desert Island, Acadia’s diversity provides a lifetime of discovery. Sculpted by relentless glacial forces, the area’s rocky terrain is home to a varied web of unique ecosystems. While forests cover much of the Park, Acadia is home to more than a thousand plant species. Those species thrive in varied conditions, including acidic, low-nutrient bogs, tidal estuaries, intertidal zones, freshwater lakes and ponds, and even exposed summits.
Whether your preferences tend toward low-tide exploration of seaweed-covered tidal pools, a breathtaking hike up the Precipice, or a lowland stroll through a thriving marsh or a field of wildflowers, there’s enough diversity to fill lifetime of return visits – or a memorable few hours of exploration.
The park’s carriage paths offer easy access to every element of the park’s natural resources. From long paths through corridors of pine, spruce and fir, to breathtaking coastal vistas, to a lazy stop at Jordan Pond, a weekend trip will whet your appetite, and leave you eager for more.
In addition to the freshwater, forest and intertidal flora, Acadia is home to countless species of animals, from the vital microorganisms at the bottom of the food chain to the predatory peregrine falcons that have rebounded from near extinction to repopulate the island’s cliffs. Whether you’re at the shorefront, or above treeline, these are a few of the species you might encounter during your stay:
- Peregrine falcons (and other raptors), songbirds (including as many as 23 species of warbler), sea birds, herons, sandpipers and harlequin ducks
- Seals, dolphins, whales and other marine mammals in the waters off the coast of Mount Desert Island
- Salamanders, frogs and toads thriving in the Park’s cool forests
- Whelks, sea stars, crabs, urchins, mussels, periwinkles and barnacles, making the most of the Park’s intertidal zones
- Raccoons, skunks, otters, foxes, deer and the occasional moose, sharing the Park with visitors – and making the occasional campsite visit