Fall in Acadia National Park: 10 Important Things To Know

Fall in Acadia National Park 10 Important Things To Know

Are you contemplating an autumn trip to Acadia National Park? In this article, we’ll address 10 significant concerns you might have about visiting Acadia in September, October, or November. These concerns include crucial information regarding the weather, costs, crowds, and, of course, the finest places to view the fall leaves.

Is Acadia National Park a good time to visit in the autumn?

Yes! Peak autumn leaf season was when we personally took photos and hiked through the most stunning parts of Acadia, and it was breathtakingly magnificent. Actually, we would only think about going back to Acadia if it was at the exact same time, at the end of September or the beginning of October.

This manual will cover:

10 essential details about visiting Acadia in the autumn

comprehensive data on temps, costs, and tourism

Autumn activities at Acadia National Park are the best.

The top places in Acadia to take pictures of the autumn foliage

The top ten things you need to know before booking a trip to Acadia in the autumn are listed below.

Why Travel to Acadia in Autumn?
Autumn is the greatest time of year to visit Acadia National Park in Maine because of the vibrant autumn foliage colours, fewer visitors and slightly reduced accommodation prices compared to summer, suitable hiking conditions and later sunrise hours.

In Acadia, springtime offers the best hotel discounts and the least number of visitors. However, the park isn’t as appealing because of the chilly temperatures, frequent snowfall, naked trees, and other factors.

The coastal region of Maine experiences its highest temperatures and lengthiest days throughout the summer. It is, however, also the most expensive and congested season in Acadia.

Therefore, we believe that autumn in Acadia offers the ideal compromise between prices, climate, and crowds. And that is even before we consider the main draw of the colourful autumn foliage.

Fall in Acadia National Park 10 Important Things To Know

Fall road trips

Our two favourite times of year to travel to popular US vacation destinations like Acadia are September and October. Every year in the autumn, we make an effort to organise lengthy road excursions across various regions of America.

We highly advise including a spur trip from the more well-known locations in Vermont and New Hampshire to include Acadia National Park in your itinerary if you have plans to take a New England autumn road trip this year.

Let’s look at some reasons why visiting Acadia National Park in the autumn is a great idea.

Acadia National Park: Is It Busy In The Autumn?

One of the busiest tourist destinations on the east coast and one of the best national parks in the USA is Acadia.

Comparing visiting Acadia National Park in the cooler summer months to school vacation times, the autumn season is often much less crowded.

Despite the fact that there are still a lot of visitors during the 2 to 3 weeks that Acadia’s autumn foliage is at its best, this period is still less crowded than July and August.

That said, if you choose to visit Acadia later in the autumn, you will notice the park is lot quieter.

After the popular leaf peeping season finishes, from mid-October through the end of November, Acadia experiences some of its quietest weeks of the year, despite the fact that the entire park is still open.

How many people travel to Acadia every year?

In 2021 and 2022, respectively, 4.07 million and 3.97 million people visited Acadia National Park.

The two years that followed the termination of the lockdowns imposed during the coronavirus outbreak saw record-high visitor counts. Therefore, you need to have reasonable expectations concerning Acadia’s crowds.

The park will not be as calm as many other US national parks, regardless of when you chose to visit.

According to the NPS, Acadia experiences its busiest months of the year in July, August, and September. But the fact that the first week of September is still a school holiday should be taken into account when planning an autumn visit.

The crowds had diminished to a manageable level by late September and the beginning of October, when Acadia’s beautiful autumn colours are at their height.

How Does That Affect You?

So, from a crowd viewpoint, visiting Acadia in the autumn is about as good as it gets.

May is the only other month to think about if you want to escape the Acadia crowds, but then you miss out on New England’s beautiful autumn foliage show.

October is a busy month in Bar Harbour since it is the most well-liked location to utilise as a base for touring Acadia National Park. However, if you reserve your hotel in Bar Harbour well in advance of your trip, you’ll be able to find a great rate right outside Acadia National Park.

The following are the main advantages of visiting Acadia National Park in the autumn in terms of crowds:

Greater availability and affordable hotel rates (relative to summer), as well as lower occupancy rates
Bar Harbor’s comparatively few eateries aren’t constantly packed or require reservations.
It will be a little bit simpler to get parking at popular trailheads than during the summer.
The vast network of hiking paths in Acadia will be less congested than in the summer.

What Does Acadia’s Fall Weather Look Like?

The weather in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbour, Maine, where outdoor pursuits like hiking and photography are popular, varies from superb to fair during the autumn season.

In general, Acadia experiences more pleasant, colder, clearer, and moister weather in September and early October. While Acadia has colder, cloudier, and wetter weather in late October and November.

One thing to keep in mind is that the coast can occasionally experience really strong winds. We encountered some quite strong gusts on our second day of hiking, which made photography difficult.

Is October Cold in Acadia?

You can wind up having an entirely different experience in Acadia depending on the time of year you decide to visit for the autumn foliage because of the weather and temps.

Acadia often experiences milder and more pleasant weather in September, but what if you travel there in the first few weeks of October?

Well, October is the month when the area truly starts to experience change. Particularly early in the morning and later in the evening, average temperatures fluctuate from pleasant to chilly.

Having saying that, we never experienced inclement weather or really low temps when visiting Acadia in October. In actuality, we had warm weather that allowed us to walk in shorts and t-shirts.

However, there were numerous days of rain over our entire New England road trip at the end of September and the beginning of October.

When you visit Acadia in the autumn, rain may end up being more of a problem than the chilly weather.

Fall temperatures in Acadia

Let’s take a deeper look at Acadia National Park’s fall high, low, and average temperature information.

Temperatures in Acadia National Park in September

High of the day: 65°F (18°C)

Temperature on average: 58°F (14°C)

51°F (11°C) is the low temperature.

Acadia National Park temperatures in October

High of the day: 56°F (13°C)

49°F (9°C) is the average temperature.

43°F (6°C) is the low temperature.

Temperatures at Acadia National Park in November

Temp at the top: 46°F (8°C)

Temperature on average: 40°F (4°C)

34°F (1°C) is the low temperature.

Does Acadia Get Snow in the Fall?

If you visit Acadia for the autumn foliage colours in late September or early October, it is quite improbable that you will see snow there. The average amount of snowfall in September is zero, while the amount that will fall in October towards the conclusion of the month is only 0.2 inches.

But if you go to Acadia later in the season, around November, you have a decent chance of seeing the gently undulating hills and lakeshores dusted with fluffy snow. In November, Acadia typically receives 2.4 inches of snow.

Are Fall Hotel Rates Expensive Near Acadia?

Despite being so close to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbour is a posh seaside town that is pricey to visit year-round.

The popularity and affluent coastal Maine setting are reflected in hotels’ above-average price points. Our recommendation is to budget more money than you typically would for lodging.

Having said that, you will gain from reduced occupancy rates and marginally better value for money at hotels close to Acadia in the autumn as opposed to in the summer.

Early spring and late autumn are the best times to book a hotel close to Acadia because there aren’t as many people visiting and fewer people require a place to stay while the park is still open.

Accommodations Near Acadia

Many tourists to Acadia National Park choose to stay at Bar Harbour, which is by far the most well-liked lodging option. It is, however, also by far the most expensive lodging option in the region.

You can choose to stay in Ellsworth, which is considerably more reasonable but less handy for the park, which is about a 30-minute drive away, or you can choose to stay in other little pockets around Mt Desert Island on the Acadia boundary.

The following three hotels receive the most reservations:

Our favourite choice and the place we stayed in Bar Harbour was the Acadia Hotel Downtown, which was a great value.
The highly regarded Main Street Motel is a low-cost hotel that is situated just south of Bar Harbor’s main drag.

While lacking in quality, the Anchorage Motel is one of the more affordable lodging options in the heart of Bar Harbour.

Will You Need To Make Reservations For Fall Dining At Restaurants Close To Acadia?

We strongly advise that you plan ahead, decide where you want to dine each morning, lunch and evening, and make reservations before you get to Bar Harbour.

Despite the fact that we went to Acadia during the fall season that 2020 Covid limited, the restaurants were completely booked up, and there were long lineups for every meal.

You probably won’t be in town for more than two or three days, so don’t waste time waiting in lines or trying to find a spot to get meals.

In September and the first few days of October, Acadia is visited daily by thousands of tourists. The majority of them will be staying in or near Bar Harbour, where there are shockingly few dining options.

You won’t have to worry about making restaurant reservations if you visit Acadia later in the autumn.

Highest Rated Dining Near Acadia

The most dining options are found in Bar Harbour, which is close to Acadia National Park.

The majority of people to Acadia will only eat in Bar Harbour, but if you want to see the sunset at Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse, there are a few great restaurants in Southwest Harbour as well.

When dining out at Bar Harbour, be prepared to spend a premium price for your meal together with 8% tax and tip.

Remember that you are in coastal New England, so clam chowder and other seafood should not be missed while visiting Bar Harbour.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Bar Harbour that we recommend you check out:

2 Cats in Bar Harbour for breakfast

Thirsty Whale Tavern serves seafood

United States – Side Street Cafe

Havana, Cuba, in Latin America

Fish – Geddy’s

Leary’s Landing Irish Pub, in Irish

What Are The Best Autumn Activities In Acadia?

The most aesthetically magnificent adventure playground in New England is Acadia National Park, which is perfect for hikers and photographers.

A naturally attractive terrain is transformed into a truly wonderful playground for outdoor enthusiasts in the autumn when the colours shift into vivid rustic earthy tones.

The most unique feature of travelling to Acadia in September or October is without a doubt the vibrant autumn foliage. You may believe us when we tell that it’s worth delaying a summer trip to take in the variety of vibrant foliage illuminating the gently undulating hillsides surrounding azure lakes.

The good news is that most activities you could do in Acadia in the spring or summer can also be done there in the autumn.

Sunbathing and swimming in lakes, however, are a notable exception due to the sun’s insufficient warmth and the water’s extreme coldness.

Amazing Acadia
Every kind of visitor can find something to do in Acadia National Park.

What must you not miss this autumn?

photography of autumnal foliage

Take a walk along the tense Precipice Trail.

From Cadillac Mountain’s summit, take in the sunrise.

At Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse, observe the sunset.

Trek to a number of mountain summits for breathtaking vistas.

The finest times of year to take advantage of what makes Acadia unique are September and October. You will enjoy the greatest colours, easy hiking terrain, and less crowds. It truly benefits everyone.

Can You Hike in Acadia National Park in the Autumn?
Autumn is, in our opinion, the ideal season for trekking in Acadia.

In Acadia, finding a parking spot at a trailhead is notoriously challenging. We can speak from experience when we arrive at a trail to find the parking lot filled.

We encountered it during our fall visit to Acadia at The Bubbles, and we had to return a little over an hour later. You would have considerably greater trouble finding a parking spot if you visited Acadia in July or August.

Overall, you enjoy numerous advantages and encounter few disadvantages. The main thing to be concerned about are the chilly mornings and evenings, so bring enough of warm clothing if you intend to walk up Cadillac Mountain in time for sunrise.

Top Acadia Hiking Trails

The vast array of hiking paths in Acadia is what draws the majority of tourists there. We adore hiking in Acadia and are eager to explore more routes lined with the season’s vibrant foliage.

The following are some of the best trails you shouldn’t miss in Acadia on your first visit:

Trail of the Bees

Threatening Trail

Mountain Acadia

Mountain Beech

Bubble in the North and South

Is Acadia’s Autumn a Good Season for Photography?
You probably have figured by now that we believe autumn is the finest season to visit Acadia, and the main factor in our opinion is photography.

The absolute greatest times of year for taking pictures in Acadia National Park are around the end of September and the beginning of October. The competition for any other month of the year isn’t even close.

It goes without saying that there will be a lot of professional photographers in Acadia during the peak autumn foliage season, as New England is known across the world for its leaf peeping.

However, it’s not simply the colours.

Golden hour photography is a little bit more convenient during the winter than it is during the summer due to later sunrises and earlier sunsets. Additionally, there won’t be as many individuals waiting in queue at the top positions.

Acadia’s Best Photo Locations
Here are some of our preferred places for taking pictures in and around Acadia National Park:

any mountain peak with a view of a lake, pond, hill, or the ocean

Particularly picturesque is Jordan Pond.

A classic Acadia photo location is the Bass Harbour Head Lighthouse at sunset.

It is impossible to miss the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain’s summit.

Or dawn is spectacular from anyplace along Acadia’s eastern coastline.

In Sommesville, a secret reflection picture of a white bridge

Where In Acadia Are The Best Places To See Autumn Foliage?
You have a rare chance to view one of the busiest and most well-known US national parks in all its splendour by travelling to Acadia in the autumn.

There is simply no better time of year to experience Acadia National Park at its finest for photographers and naturists.

The good news is that Acadia is awash in magnificent autumn hues right now. The park is filled with vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, browns and greens that shimmer in the sunlight as you walk, hike, bike or drive through it.

Having saying that, there are a few foliage hotspots you should give top priority to.

Acadia’s Top Fall Foliage Locations
Jordan Pond – The trees surrounding Jordan Pond are covered in colourful autumn foliage.
Views from the Beehive Trail include the seashore and undulating hills clothed with brilliant foliage.
View miles of vibrant foliage from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia’s highest point.
Loop Road – Travelling the Acadia Loop Road will take you through a variety of autumnal scenery locations.
Carriage Roads: Rent a bike and ride through Acadia’s more tranquil, colourful areas.

Is It Possible To Whale Watch In Bar Harbour In The Autumn?
One of the most well-liked activities in and around Bar Harbour, aside from hiking, leaf-peeping and taking pictures inside Acadia National Park, is taking a whale-watching boat excursion.

The good news is that you still have time to reserve a spot on a whale-watching cruise through October 8th. The bad news is that as the season draws to a conclusion, there are less opportunities to encounter whales.

You have a better chance of seeing whales and avoiding having your tour cancelled due to severe weather if you visit Acadia earlier in the fall season, during the last few weeks of September, based on usual weather patterns at this time of year.

However, you won’t be able to take a whale watching excursion out of Bar Harbour if you visit Acadia later in the fall season, towards the end of October or at any point in November when there are fewer tourists and hotel rates are lower.

If taking a whale watching excursion sounds like something you’d like to do while in Acadia, contact Bar Harbour Whales for further details.

What Should You Bring to Acadia in the Fall?
It’s simple enough to pack for a trip to Acadia National Park in the autumn, but you might need a larger bag or luggage than usual.

Because the weather is unpredictable, you will need many layers and options. The following day can provide gorgeous weather and warmer temps after a day of rain and cold.

In addition to one or two separate pairs of shoes for the evening, you must carry a pair of sturdy hiking boots or trail runners.

Consider keeping your hiking equipment completely apart from your casual attire.

Remember that while it may be warm enough for light clothes between 12 and 4 p.m., mornings and late evenings are probably going to be chilly enough for heavier layers.

Acadia’s Fall Packing List

Let’s begin with the fundamentals:

socks for the evening and undies
socks for hiking
trekking in shorts and long pants
hiking in moisture-wicking t-shirts
hiking in light to medium layers with a daypack
Dressing up for cocktails and supper in Bar Harbour
sunglasses, sunscreen, and a baseball cap or sun hat
For photos at sunrise and sunset, wear a heavy coat
two pairs of shoes, one pair each for evenings and trekking
tripod, cameras, lenses, and lots of storage
The rest is up to your individual travel preferences.

Despite the premium nature of Bar Harbour, the majority of residents walk outside. It goes without saying that you will need to bring some stylish attire if you visit a fancy restaurant.

Here are some of the most often asked questions about visiting Acadia National Park in the autumn, so let’s look at them quickly.

Is a trip to Acadia better in September or October?
The months of September and October are both excellent for visiting Acadia National Park. Although September is slightly milder, it is also busier, more expensive, and the changing of the foliage colours may not happen until the end of the month. Compared to October, which is cooler and more likely to rain, but is also less crowded, less expensive, and features beautiful peak fall foliage colours early in the month.

When does Acadia National Park’s fall foliage peak?

Seasonal variations in peak autumn foliage colours can be found. However, if you want to visit Acadia during the height of the autumn foliage, the first two weeks of October are usually a good option. You may monitor the anticipated forecast maps for the autumn foliage in real time and make last-minute reservations to ensure peak colours.

We sincerely hope that this fall travel guide to Acadia National Park will be helpful to you as you organise your vacation to Maine this season!
If you have any inquiries regarding visiting Acadia in September, October, or November, kindly leave them in the comments section below.

Travel safely,