The Best National Parks in Maine

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Last Updated on: 8th December 2021, 12:54 pm

Acadia National Park

With its sculpted glaciers, shimmering lakes, and beautiful surrounding shores, Acadia National Park is a must-see when visiting national parks in Maine. There are so many activities to enjoy here, including biking, fishing, boating, guided boat tours, and of course, hiking the 158 miles scenic trails.

This park boasts a mountain known as the Cadillac Mountain. It stands 1,530 feet, and visitors often climb to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surroundings.  Acadia National Park also boasts a 27-mile scenic drive, the Park Loop Road, where visitors can enjoy a road trip along beautiful overlooks, forest views, and spectacular oceans. There are also more than 300 species of birds for nature lovers to look out for at this park.

This park sees a lot of visitors, especially during summer, so if you don’t like large crowds, consider visiting the park in spring or early fall. And while you are here, don’t miss the park’s Lobstah!

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

If you love hiking, then you don’t want to miss the Appalachian National Scenic Trail while you’re in Maine. The Appalachian trail starts from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia and ends on Mount Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine.

The entire trail was completed in 1937, measures 2,200 miles, and crosses about 14 states, including Maine, Georgia, and New Jersey. It is one of the longest hike-only trails in the world.

The trail side in Maine boasts spectacular scenery and fantastic ecosystems. Visitors will experience many highlights, including opportunities to hike and enroll in workshops. Other must-see sites here are the Bigelow Preserve and the White Cap Mountain at the end of the trail to the east.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

Located in Northeastern Maine, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a park, monument, and a scenic byway in one. This Maine monument spans 87,563 acres and boasts rugged mountains, forest lands, and spectacular landscape. 

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Highlights of this park include boating, canoeing, camping, fishing, kayaking, backpacking, rafting, and wildlife watching. Visitors also enjoy getting on the Katahdin Loop Road to explore the southern portion of the park. In addition to being home to over 100 miles of hiking trails, this park is also a perfect location for stargazers. Katahdin was named a monument site in 2016 as the site is of historical importance to Maine.

Visitors who love camping can do so in one of the campgrounds options in the park for a beautiful night. The best time to visit is in fall so you can experience the cool weather and the stunning fall colors of the woods.

Maine Acadian Culture

This site comprises different historic sites that tell the story of early French Settlers, also known as the Acadians. Some of the historical sites in this area include Frenchville Caboose and Water Tower, Acadian Landing Site, and Fort Kent Blockhouse.

There are so many ways to explore the beauty of this site. You can view the architecture of the early 1900’s Church, tour the 17 buildings of the Acadians or participate in one of the festivals enveloped in the area’s history.

If you love outdoor activities, stop at the Allagash Wilderness Waterway to hunt, canoe or fish.

Roosevelt Campobello International Park

This national park commemorates Franklin Roosevelt and preserves his summer getaway on Campobello island. Although Franklin’s visit grew less frequent after he got polio, this place was still of importance to him and his family.

Roosevelt Campobello park is located at the border where Maine meets New Brunswick, Canada, and is connected by the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial Bridge. While you are here, you can enjoy a guided tour to explore the summer cottage of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Another exciting thing visitors love is Eleanor’s Tea which the park serves twice daily to ticket holders.

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Across the 2,800 acres of parkland, there are eight miles of walking trails, 8.4 miles of driving roads, and several cottages, including the 34-room cottage of the Roosevelt. The landscape consists of forests, beautiful seascapes, bogs, floras, and beaches with picnic areas.

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site

This historic site is located in Eastern Maine, about 90 miles east of Bangor. It is commonly known as Dochet Island by the locals. Saint Croix Historic Site tells the story of the French Settlement in North America.  In 1609, about 79 Frenchmen settled on the island, located on what is now known as Saint Croix Island.

They wanted to claim the region for France, but the winter was so bad that many of them lost their lives. The ones who didn’t survive were buried in the cemetery on the island, and the survivors moved to Port Royal.

There are statues on the sites that pay homage to the French Settlers. You could sit to enjoy the scenery, walk the interpretive trails to learn the history of the area or sit for a picnic while enjoying the beautiful sights. Saint Croix is also an excellent spot for bird watching, it’s home to diverse species of birds, including eagles and ospreys.

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