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Getting Around Acadia National Park

The best way to get around Acadia National Park is on foot. With 125 miles of historic trails made for hiking, Acadia is the perfect place to ditch the car and get outdoors. To reach the park, you can hop on the Island Explorer, a free summer shuttle service that transports passengers from Green Village, Bar Harbor to a variety of park destinations. Should you prefer your own set of wheels, you can rent a car at one of the nearby airports, including Bangor International Airport (BGR), located just an hour's drive from the park, and Hancock County Airport (BHB), located just 10 miles outside of Acadia. Guided tours and ranger-led programs are also available.

On Foot

Walking along the park's 45-mile carriage road system is the best way to experience the park's awe-inspiring scenery. For a serene and easy hike, try the Wonderland trail, which features a lush forest and a rocky ocean views. For a more challenging climb, check out Acadia's Beehive Trail, which boasts gorgeous vistas, but requires a strenuous hike up steep iron rungs on ledges of exposed cliffs. Novice hikers should only tackle these trails in the spring, summer, and early fall when the weather permits a leisurely stroll. Winter hiking is only advised for experienced trekkers.

Bus

The Island Explorer, a fare-free summer bus service, offers eight bus routes connecting Acadia's hotels, trails, campgrounds, and village centers on Mount Desert Island. Featuring all propane-powered vehicles, Island Explorer's environmentally-friendly buses will not only drop you off at your desired stop upon request, but will also save you the hassle of trying to find a space in congested parking areas. Bus routes are currently in operation from June 23 through Columbus Day.

Car

A car is resourceful if you're planning to visit a variety of attractions within the park. You can drive the 20-mile Park Loop Road if you're hoping to find spectacular views of Acadia's ocean, mountains, and forests. Another must-drive spot: Cadillac Mountain, a 3.5 mile road that features dazzling scenery. Keep in mind main roads close during the winter, so it's best to check ahead if you're planning to visit during this off-season. You can rent a car from any of the airports surrounding the park. Bargain-hunters beware: Bringing a vehicle will tack on an extra $20 to the park entrance fee.

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