Yes, autumn is nearly here. While you may be mourning the end of warm summer days, there really may be no more beautiful time in Bar Harbor than the fall. As the crisp air takes over and leaves begin to turn vibrant reds, yellows and oranges, we want you to feel prepared to see the colorful foliage with your friends and family.
Here are a few different ideas you may not have thought of to make sure you see as much of the fall foliage as possible:
Leaf peep from a different perspective, in a sea kayak!
Paddle around the harbor, enjoy a sunset tour, or choose a half-day or full-day tour to see Maine’s rocky coastline spotted by vibrant red, blaze orange and bright yellow leaves.
Take a winding bike ride through the colorful landscape
The car-free carriage road system in Acadia National Park is the perfect setting for a casual bike ride. Biking the forty-five miles of rustic trails is a favorite alternative to hiking for many visitors. Don’t have a bike? No problem, there are many area bike rental shops. There’s even free transportation aboard the Island Explorer available to get you and your bike to the starting point of your adventure.
Mountain bikers, don’t miss the Day Mountain Loop, a 5.5 mile trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain with spectacular views of the Cranberry Isles, Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor. Road bikers will be more at home on the paved Park Loop Road.
Summit for full views
Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park are covered in hiking trails. There are more than 120 miles of trails inside the park and, while the trails in Acadia are extremely scenic, they are relatively short. The average one-way length is about one mile. However, many of the trails intersect several others forming a complex network, so it is recommended to combine two or more trails to create loops.
For a very easy hike with breathtaking views, the Ocean Trail is a flat gravel path. The total distance is three miles round trip but can be shortened. Bar Island is also a unique and easy hike. This sand bar trail is only available during low tide, so it is extremely important to be aware of the time and tide schedules.
For a moderate, family-friendly walk and hike with classic views, try the Great Head Trail. It is a 1.4-mile trail located on the east side of Sand Beach in the park. This hike has incredible views of The Beehive, Thunder Hole and of course, the Atlantic Ocean. Or if climbing on iron rungs bolted into exposed ledges sounds more enticing, the Beehive Trail is a short but satisfying hike for any adrenaline lover.
Fall in love with Bar Harbor’s history
Explore Bar Harbor in a more intimate and entertaining way with a historic walking tour. Learn about downtown’s magnificent buildings, some on the National Historic Register and dating back to 1860. There are also haunted history tours of the area, as well as tours featuring Wabanaki Indian tales of the supernatural.
Soar above the foliage
Get your heart pumping and experience the island’s fall foliage from above with a scenic air tour. Whether in a closed cockpit aircraft or open cockpit biplane, this is one of the most unique and memorable ways to experience Maine’s foliage season. You’ll see coastal lighthouses and Acadia National Park, including Cadillac Mountain and Somes Sound, to name a few highlights of the ride.
Request a free guidebook and start planning your fall getaway to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park right now.
Photos by Heather Anderson