Everything has its trade-offs. Whether it’s love, real estate, or the best time to visit Acadia National Park, it’s all a matter of matching benefits to your personal needs and prioritizing them in order to decide. Here’s a recap of the pro’s and con’s of key months to help you decide when is the best time to visit…for you.
Visitors who rave about May as the best time to visit Acadia National Park include a lot of locals who extol the cooler weather for hiking, the fantastic trout fishing, and the bird watching. The campgrounds are open. But black flies – sometimes called “Maine’s state bird” – present a risk in May, even though their presence in Acadia is moderated by higher altitudes and breezes.
Mount Desert Island still feels very quiet and relaxed in June, even though school is out. An important plus, especially for families, is that the Park’s ranger-led programs have started. (They’re one of the reasons Acadia is such a popular vacation spot for kids.) Most stores and restaurants are open. Traffic is light. However, visitors don’t get the benefit of the free Island Explorer bus until the end of the month.
The season is in full swing by July. In addition to stores and restaurants, you’ll also find special places like Beech Hill Farm now open. According to National Park Service statistics, in recent years August had almost 20 percent more visitors than July. July’s average high is also slighter warmer than August’s. For these reasons you might find July the best time to visit Acadia National Park, particularly with kids.
The wild blueberries are in season, and just about everything else is sublime in Acadia National Park. Getting from here to there may present frustrations, though, so to avoid the crowds and traffic, you may want to focus your visit on the western part of Mount Desert Island known as “the quiet side.” With a little research, it’s possible to find parts of the park where you can enjoy stunning stillness.
A Bar Harbor local expert identifies the second week of September as the “very best” time to visit Acadia National Park because the families with kids have gone home and the fall foliage crowd has not yet arrived. The weather is beautiful for hiking, biking, and kayaking. And chefs who favor great local produce still have wonderful things with which to create.
Although each year is different, the peak fall foliage in Acadia is generally in mid-October. It’s a great time to be outdoors, especially when the thermometer surprises everyone with temperatures in the 70’s. Much closes down after Columbus Day, though, and sometimes before, so a little extra planning is definitely advised. Restaurants that are still open may cut back on their days or be booked.
Monthly low and high temperature information courtesy of Weather.com