Best time to travel to Maine

Acadia National Park Fall Colors in Maine 2024

Acadia National Park boasts wonderful fall colors

Best time: late September–mid-October

Acadia National Park Fall Colors
Acadia National Park Fall Colors

The Acadia National Park boasts a mix of hardwood trees and evergreens, satisfying the cravings of even the most dedicated leaf-peepers. The most beautiful thing is the contrast between the vivid fall colors and the backdrop of the dark green trees. Located on Maine's Mount Desert Island on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, Acadia National Park offers breathtaking views of fall foliage and the shoreline with scattered rocks and calm sounds of the waves.

Peak Fall Foliage Season in Acadia National Park

A wonderful palette of colors begins to appear throughout the park in late September. Yet the best time for fall foliage in Acadia National Park is during the first few weeks of October, sometimes spanning into late October, depending on the weather and climate. The temperatures generally range from 30 to 70 Fahrenheit (-1 to 21 Celcius). Sycamore and beech trees, oaks and maples all turn various shades of amber, golden and red during the cozy season.

Hiking Trails in Acadia National Park

Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park and it's no wonder, given the number of hiking trails and beautiful spots. The Jesup Path and Hemlock Path Loop offers stunning visages of golden birches and emerald-green hemlock trees. The 1.5 mile (2.4 km) route begins at Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts and dives deeper into Great Meadow, with the road opening up to gorgeous vistas of Dorr Mountain. The Bubbles Nubble Loop stretches for 2.6 miles (4.2 km) and passes by South Bubble and Bubble Rock, great photo opportunities. You will also be able to witness the magnificent views of Eagle Lake, a 436-acre (176 ha) body of water, surrounded by evergreens and red maples.

Scenic Drive Park Loop Road

The best way to enjoy fall colors in this park would be to take a trip along the scenic park loop road. This 27-mile (43.5-km) drive, called Drive Park Loop Road, starts at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center and twists through some of the most beautiful areas of Acadia National Park. The drive offers breathtaking points of observation and panoramas. Also, be sure to step out of your car and explore the Carriage Roads—famous roadways featuring the best examples of broken stone roads in the USA. They offer the opportunity to see the fall foliage in Acadia National Park at its finest.

Cadillac Summit Road

Cadillac Summit Road is another beloved attraction of the park. The trip stretches for 3 miles to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest in the park, with an elevation of 1525 feet (465 m). Several pullouts are located along the way, where you can stop and enjoy the views during the fall foliage season. Cadillac Mountain is mainly known as being the place of the first sunrise in the USA from October 7 until March 6.

Hours

Visitors need to reserve a time slot for their vehicle from May 22nd until October 27th. Sunrise and daytime time slots, with allocated time differing between the seasons. You can witness the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain from 5 am until 6:30 am in September, from 5:30 am until 7 am October 1-15, and from 6 am until 7:30 am on October 16-27. For daytime visitors, the road is open from 7 am until 7 pm on September 1-15, from 7 am until 6:30 pm on September 16-30, from 7:30 am until 6 pm on October 1-15, and from 8 am until 5:30 pm on October 16-27.

Admission to the Park & Hours

An entrance pass is required to enter the park. The standard entrance pass costs $20 per person, $30 per motorcycle, and $35 per private vehicle. The annual park pass costs $70. Pass to the Cadillac Summit Road costs $6 per vehicle. The park operates year-round, but some facilities close in late October, November, or December.

Practical info

When is the best time to see fall colors in Acadia National Park?

Witness the striking bright red, orange, and yellow hues of the hardwood trees in Acadia National Park by visiting during Late September to Mid-October. This is the recommended time to experience the brilliant foliage display and the exciting contrast created against the evergreens and rocky shores. Show more

Where can I get the best panoramic views of fall colors?

The Hills Cove Visitors Center is where the scenic 27-mile drive route called Scenic Loop Road starts. This popular route enables visitors to view the Autumn colors and experience the beauty of the evergreen forests, rocky shores, and mountainous terrain of Acadia. This route is highly recommended for panoramic views of the colorful fall foliage. Show more

What is the Hulls Cove Visitors Center?

Obtain information, maps, and guidance from the rangers on duty at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center, a popular starting point for visitors to Acadia National Park. The center also features galleries and exhibitions showcasing the history and culture of the park, and offers guided tours and rentals for exploring the park's attractions, including bicycling and kayaking. Show more

When were the Carriage Roads built in Acadia National Park?

The Carriage Roads exemplify the broken stone road technique and were constructed through John D. Rockefeller Jr's and his family's efforts. Starting in the year 1913 and finishing in the year 1940, the roads are winding, smooth, and present picturesque views of the fall foliage colors. Visitors can explore these roads to catch the stunning visual display of Autumn. Show more

Where are the best spots to take photographs of fall foliage?

Take your pick from the top spots in Acadia National Park - the Beech Cliff Loop Trail, Cadillac Mountain Summit, Otter Cliffs, Bubble Mountains and Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse to capture perfect photos of the fall foliage. As the leaves create natural filters of red and yellow, visitors can take advantage of these picture-perfect opportunities while experiencing nature's beauty. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: