Our nation’s national parks are the ideal family destination. While some of the parks can be overly crowded with lines of traffic extending for hours, if you’re seeking a quality family vacation at a national park, check out the parks in Maine.
Maine is host to several beautiful historical and wildlife areas, including Acadia National Park. While Acadia is one of the smaller parks, it is amazingly beautiful and not overly populated with tourists. That makes it an ideal location for wildlife viewing, including the mighty moose. It offers a combination of lush foliage and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Combined, they also offer a number of outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy.
While most of the park is closed during the winter, Acadia is open year around. There are three main visitor’s centers:
* Hulls Cove Visitor Center – Open April 15 to October 31
* Park Headquarters / Winter Visitor Center – Open all year
* Thompson Island Information Center – Open mid-May to mid-October
There are two museums:
* Islesford Historical Museum – Open late June through September
* Sieur de Monts Nature Center – Open May to early October
And three campgrounds:
* Blackwoods Campground – Open all year. Primitive, walk-in camping only from December 1 to March 31 (permit required)
* Seawall Campground -Open late May to September 30
* Duck Harbor Campground (Isle au Haut) – Open May 15 to October 15 (permit required)
Things to do
If you’re visiting Acadia, the best way to spot the mighty moose is to reserve a campsite for several days. Moose are extremely shy creatures and your best opportunity to see them will be on a quiet hike. Before you start out, consider visiting one of the visitor’s centers or speaking with a ranger to find the most common moose viewing areas or the least populated hiking trails.
In addition to spotting moose, families can boat, ride horses, check out the tide pools, go swimming, fishing and rock climbing.
And if you’re staying nearby and looking for something to do outside the park, check out:
– Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Composed of a group of small islands along the Maine Coast, this refuge is 50 miles from Acadia and is home to seabirds, wading birds and bald eagles.
– Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is 150 miles from Acadia; just over three hours. This refuge protects migrating waterfowl, wading birds, shore birds and birds of prey.
– Maine offers an abundance of opportunities for wildlife viewing and outdoor activities for the whole family. It’s best suited for older children as youngsters may not be able to be quiet enough to see wildlife.