There are four National Parks in Maine along with two affiliated sites.
Maine offers visitors numerous recreational opportunities from rock climbing to riding a carriage and exploring fall colors and historic bridges and carriage trails in Acadia National Park.
National Parks in Maine
A visit to Maine means you can expect to see gorgeous forests and if you are lucky enough to visit during leaf-peeping season you will most likely go crazy over the fall colors!
You can also explore the rocky coastline along the coast of Maine, see beautiful lighthouses, and take a hike along the Northern start of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
I personally feel that Acadia National Park is one of the most perfect National Parks as it embodies everything you could hope for from a visit to Maine.
I can't get enough of this incredible park and can't wait to go back and continue to unfold its beauty and its natural wonders.
Park RangerJohn Pro Tip
Make sure to stop into Jordan Pond House for Popovers and Lobster Rolls! I can honestly say this is hands down the best meal I have ever had in a National Park Restaurant!
Top Things to do - Bicycling, Birdwatching, Stargazing, Tidepooling at Wonderland, Hiking, driving to Cadillac Mountain summit and watching the sunrise, Geocaching, have a Popover at Jordan Pond, Paddling, Fishing, exploring historic Carroll Homestead, Swimming, Wildlife Watching, and visit the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and more!
Lodging - There are no lodging facilities within the park
Camping - Acadia offers two campgrounds on Mount Desert Island, one campground on the Schoodic Peninsula, and five lean-to shelters on Isle au Haut.
Park Address - Hulls Cove Visitor Center, 25 Visitor Center Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Acadia National Park is truly beautiful and so worth a visit! The park is filled with spectacular views, rugged coastlines, and miles of trails for outdoor enthusiasts to explore. The best time to visit Acadia is honestly whenever you can get there though winters can be rough. Portions of the park do close during the winter for safety and snow.
The majority of the park is located on Mount Desert Island with some of the park on the Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut. You can reach the scenic drive and the Atlantic Coast while visiting the main portion of the park.
Don't miss exploring the carriage roads, nature center, Cadillac Mountain for sunrise, the hiking trails and more. There is so much to see in the park you can easily spend a couple of days exploring.
You will want to plan time to explore the Park Loop Road. This 27-mile road is the most popular activity within the park. The road begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and travels past popular attractions like Sand Beach (you can take a swim if you can handle the 55-degree water in the summer), Thunder Hole (where heavy surf compresses air n a hole in the rocks causing a boom that sounds like thunder), Otter Cliffs, and access to Cadillac Mountain.
A portion of the Park Loop Road is one-way to help with traffic congestion. We suggest arriving early so you can start exploring the park before the crowds hit. Island Explorer Buses are available in the summer if you do not want to drive or want a break from trying to find a parking space.
How far is Acadia National Park from Portland Maine?
The park is 60 miles northeast of Portland, Maine.
What city is closest to Acadia National Park?
Bar Harbor is the closest city to the park.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Georgia to Maine)
Top Things to do - Hiking, Backpacking, Birdwatching, Photography, Scenic Driving, Camping, Swimming, Stargazing, Picnicking
Lodging - There are more than 250 backcountry shelters located along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for backpackers on a first-served basis
Lodging options along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail are available in or near towns including Blairsville (GA), Fontana Dam (NC), Damascus (VA), Boiling Springs (PA), Kent (CT), and Gorham (NH), among others. These towns provide various accommodations for hikers.
Camping - The Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine has many campsites. In areas from Harpers Ferry, WV northward, hikers must stay at designated sites. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, camping is only allowed at designated sites.
Backcountry camping is available at about 125 designated campsites and is also allowed in the immediate vicinity of most of the 260 shelters along the Trail.
These sites may have tent platforms, fire rings, and access to water sources. Campsite availability is also on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Appalachian Trail starts at Mount Katahdin and travels 2,185 miles south to Springer Mountain in Georgia. This trail was the first scenic national scenic trail and is the world's most famous hiking route.
The Appalachian NST covers 14 states which equals out to an approximate five million footsteps! Can you imagine?
One great thing about this trail is you don't have to cover the entire 2,000+ miles you can enjoy one day or even a couple of hours exploring the trail. Within Maine, you can enjoy exploring 282 miles of the trail.
If you choose to explore this section of the trail you will want to be prepared that it is often considered the most challenging section. The Mahoosuc Notch is considered to be the hardest mile of the entire trail!
There is an Appalachian Trail Visitor Center located at 6 Tenney Hill Rd., Monson, ME 04464.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Top Things to do - Hiking, Hunting, Camping, Stargazing, Biking, Snowmobiling, Fishing, Photography, Wildlife Viewing
Lodging - Lodging options include campsites, lean-tos, and two backcountry huts (Haskell and Big Spring Brook) within the monument boundaries. All other lodging is located outside the monument in the surrounding communities.
Camping - Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument currently has 18 campsites, 4 three-sided lean-tos, and 2 huts.
Park Address - Route 11, Patten, ME, 04765, Maine, United States
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in north central Maine, approximately a 2-hour drive west of Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor and a 1-hour drive north of Bangor, Maine.
There are 3 official access routes into the Monument
Swift Brook Road: For the south entrance and the Katahdin Loop Road
Messer Pond Road: For the north entrance
American Thread Road: For access to the Seboeis parcel.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in Northeastern Maine close to Baxter State Park. The monument is 87,563 acres of mountains and forestland in northern Penobscot County.
Currently, there is no designated visitor center for the park. You can find park stamps at Shin Pond Village (1489 Shin Pond Road, Mt. Chase, ME) and at the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce (1029 Central Street, Millinocket, ME)
The Katahdin Loop Road is a 17-mile route that gives you the chance to explore the southern portion of the park with pull-offs, hiking trails, and scenic views. Be prepared that many of the roads in this area are logging roads. You will want to yield to logging trucks and be prepared for them to be entering the roads.
You can enjoy mountain biking on the park's gravel roads and trails. Camping is available in designated areas. Snowmobiling is allowed in specific areas each winter.
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Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
Top Things to do - walk the Interpretive Trail Shelter and Viewpoint, enjoy a picnic, speak with a ranger, and visit the Ranger Station: Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, bird watch, or just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Lodging - There is no lodging in the park. Both the towns of Robbinston (4 miles, 6 km) and Calais (8 miles, 13 km) offer several lodging and camping options
Camping - There are no camping options in the park
Park Address - 84 Saint Croix Drive, Calais, ME 04619
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site is located in Eastern Maine approximately 90 miles east of Bangor. The park is 28 acres which tells the story of the beginning of the permanent French Settlement in North America.
In 1604 a group of 79 French explorers led by Pierre Gugua, and Sieur de Mons settled on a small island located in the Saint Croix River. They hoped to claim the region for France and profit from trade with the local Indian tribes.
From 1604-05 almost half of the men died during the severe winter and were buried in a small cemetery on what is now Saint Croix Island. When spring finally came the survivors abandoned their encampment and founded the settlement of Port Royal which is now part of today's Nova Scotia, Canada.
Samual Champlain who was a famed navigator and part of the explorers went on to found Quebec City. This helps tie the ongoing French presence in North America to these early settlers.
The original settlement was found again in the late 18th century or at least the ruins were. These ruins helped resolve a boundary dispute between the United States and British North America which is now Canada.
The island became an International Historic Site in 1984. There is no fee to visit this National Park Service Site. The Saint Croix Island Visitor Center is open from Victoria Day (Canada), which is the last Monday before May 25th, through Columbus Day.
Roosevelt Campobello International Park (Affiliate Site)
Top Things to do - see the Visitor Center, visit the Roosevelt Cottage, Self-Guided Tours, Hiking, Picnicking, explore the extensive gardens, picnic areas, and ocean views
Lodging - There are no lodging facilities in the park. Motels, bed and breakfasts, and cottage rentals can be found on Campobello Island and in Lubec.
Camping - There are no camping options within the park. Herring Cove Provincial Park next to the park offers camping. There are also private campgrounds on the island and in neighboring Lubec, Maine.
Park Address - 459 Route 774, Welshpool, NB E5E 1A4, Canada
Roosevelt Campobello International Park is located on Campobello Island in Southwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Approximately 120 miles east of Bangor, Maine.
The park is 2,800 acres dedicated to protecting the grand "cottage" of America's 32nd President, Franklin D Roosevelt. Though it is located in Canada the only bridge to the island is located within Maine.
Campobello Island became a favorite summer retreat for prominent families in the lat 19th century. Many of these prominent families built houses they called "cottages" though some were quite large and luxurious for that time period.
James and Sara Roosevelt bought land and built a cottage here. Their son Franklin Delano Roosevelt grew up summering at the cottage and exploring the island. Later Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin had their own cottage on the island. This cottage was an 1897 structure that they enlarged to 34 rooms.
It was at this cottage that FDR was stricken with polio in 1921. This disease left him partially paralyzed. He was elected the 32nd President of the United States in 1932. After this, he only returned to the island three times before he passed away in 1945.
This international park serves as a memorial to both FDR and the long-lasting close relationship between Canada and the US. You can enjoy historical exhibits, a park video, and tour FDR's cottage which has been restored to its 1920s appearance.
There are also 10 miles of hiking trails, self-guided tours of natural areas, and the 1885 Mulholland Point Lighthouse. Remember to bring your passport since the park is in Canada.
Maine Acadian Culture (Affiliated Site)
Top Things to do - Visit the Acadian Archives, Roy House, Maine Acadian Village, Allagash Museum, Hamlin School, and Our Lady of Assumption Church. Enjoy winter activities such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing
Lodging - Maine's Acadian Culture area in Van Buren does not have on-site lodging, so visitors typically stay in nearby towns like Van Buren itself, Madawaska, Fort Kent, Saint Agatha, or even Presque Isle, which offers a wider range of accommodation options including chain hotels and motels.
Camping - While the Maine Acadian Culture area itself does not offer camping facilities, there are several campgrounds and camping options in the surrounding area, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty of northern Maine.
Park Address - The Saint John Valley is located in northern Aroostook County, Maine, 200 miles north of Bangor at the northern terminus of U.S. Route 1
The Maine Acadian Culture program was created to preserve/protect the Acadian culture in Maine's St. John Valley.
There is no National Park Fee to visit the Maine Acadian Culture area but individual sites in the St. John Valley may charge an entrance fee.
To learn more about things to do in the St. John Valley, visit the Aroostook County Tourism website.
National Parks in Maine
- Acadia National Park
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Georgia to Maine)
- Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
- Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
- Maine Acadian Culture
- Roosevelt Campobello International Park
How many national parks are in Maine?
There are 4 National Park sites along with 2 affiliated sites.
There are 4 National Parks in Maine that receive over 3.5 million visitors a year. These visitors produce over $571 million in economic benefits.
National Parks in Maine include 1 wild and scenic river, 1 national trail managed by the park service, 1,632 national registers of historic places listings, and 45 National Historic Landmarks.
Maine National Parks also includes 14 national natural landmarks, 392 places recorded by the heritage documentation program, and over 1.6 million objects in the Maine National Park museum collection.
There are 204 Archeological sites in Maine National Parks.
For an entire list of US National Parks head over to our list of US National Parks in Alphabetical Order. We also have a printable checklist of all 417 National Park properties in the United States available.
If you have dreamed of working in the National Parks make sure and check out our article on How to Become a Park Ranger. Working in the parks is one of the most amazing jobs you can find. There is just something special about waking up and knowing you are going to work in a beautiful park.
Additional National Park Travel Resources
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
For a fun adventure, check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built-in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
National Parks in the Neighboring States