The Acadia Auto Tour is one of the best ways to get to know Acadia... every time you go there.
We re-take the Acadia National Park Tour every vacation we make in Acadia National Park in Maine. It's just a super way to acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with all the nooks and crannies along the Park Loop Road and other roads that travel through this wide-ranging park. We love to tour Acadia this way!
We found a great video below from the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce that will give you a pretty great idea what to expect when you visit this area. Of course, we wish it was our own faces you were seeing in that video, but that's a goal for our next trip... to take our very own travelogue video.
For now, though, enjoy...
Our Annotated Version of the Acadia Audio Tour
Click the map for a full PDF version of the whole park
We recommend you invest the few dollars the audio tour CD costs because it's well worth it to tour Acadia that way. The tour introduces you to Acadia National Park and is loaded with information about Acadia's history, geology and natural resources. It allows you to tour Acadia in the comfort of your own car, at your own pace and on your own schedule.
It comes with a black & white simple map, but if you'd like a more detailed color map, click the thumbnail above for a full, printable PDF version (it will open in a new window).
NOTE: If you really don't want to spend the money on a CD, you can use the map above and our annotated description of the tour below. But you will miss some of the "color" in the narrated version on the CD, not to mention the "BEEP" that always reminds us of grade school filmstrips!
Where To Buy the Auto Tour CD
We bought our copies of the Acadia Audio Tour at the Hull's Cove Visitor Center near the main entrance to Acadia National Park. And that worked out great, because that's where the tour starts.
So, you can find the tape or CD there too. Or, you can buy it at any of these locations in Bar Harbor and around Mount Desert Island:
Buying it ahead is actually a great idea, so that you're sure you'll have it when you get to Acadia. Plus you could even transfer the audio to your iPod, iPhone or MP3 player if you wanted.
By the way... If you get the CD, you also get 50 photographic images of Acadia which can be downloaded on your home computer and used as a screen saver. Pretty cool, huh?
Cool New App!
If you have a smartphone, iPad or the like, there is a cool new National Parks app I recently discovered. I plan to write a review some time soon, but for now, you can check it out here. It's really cool and it contains an abbreviated version of the auto tour, with both audio and photographs. I think it's super cool!
Some General Info on the Tour
The Acadia auto tour takes about 4 hours to complete for the 56 or so miles on the eastern side of the island... provided you keep things moving along at a fairly steady pace. (We never do, stopping to hike the Beehive and Great Head Trails, and to picnic on the cliffs along the Ocean Path. We actually take most of a whole day to do our version.)
Here's a few other facts before we get started:
Parts of the Park Loop Road can be traveled for free, but a toll portion begins after Schooner Head turn-off, right before Sand Beach.
The Park Loop Road begins and ends as a two-way road, but is a one-way road for most of its length.
The Cadillac Summit Road is 3 miles long and climbs 1000 feet in the process.
Sargent Drive, which runs along Somes Sound on the western side of the park, allows no motorhomes or trucks.