Guided tours through Acadia Park

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 26-July 2, 1997
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Guided tours through Acadia Park
Question: My wife and I are going to Acadia August 18-23 and would like to know if there are any guided, moderate hiking tours to Acadia National Park at that time. Please advise me if so and how I can make arrangements for them. Thank you.

Leonard Walker
West Orange, NJ

Adventure Adviser: I’ve been unsuccessful getting in touch with any of the outfitters that are permitted to lead hiking trips in Acadia. You may want to call the park office (207-288-3338) for a complete listing of permit holders, or try the following numbers: Long Acre Expeditions (717-567-6790); Adventure Learning Center (508-346-9728). I’m afraid, however, that many of the numbers are for children's camps rather than outfitters, but call them to make sure.

Another option is to take a hike offered by the park rangers. These three-hour tours focus more on flora and fauna than on serious cardiovascular activity, but they may be a good introduction to the park.

A third option is to master Acadia on your own. There is a 50-mile network of carriage roads that were financed by John D. Rockefeller and are free of motor vehicles. In addition, there are eight hikes that fall under the moderate category, with round-trip distances ranging from 1 mile to 4.4 miles. If you’re feeling particularly robust, try the Precipice trail, a 1.6-mile hike that rises 1,000 feet from the east side of Mount Desert Island. The trail is impossible to see from below because it is carved out of the rack and traverses cliffs and open ledges, and makes use of iron rungs and ladders at some points on the trail. Once you get beyond the cliffs, the rest of the trail has stunning views of the meadows, ocean, and islands below. For more information about activities, hotels, or campgrounds, call the Acadia Information Center (800-358-8550).

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