Calling all fall foliage seekers and autumn lovers 🍂! October in Acadia National Park is one of the most stunning places to experience Fall in the entire country. Orange trees, rocky shorelines, and rugged mountains, there is truly nothing better.
Visit Acadia in Northeastern Maine on Mount Desert Island to see what all the fuss is about. Hike up over steep cliffs to see incredible panoramas, bike through the scenic Park Loop Road, and visit the highest point ⛰ in the Eastern US. October feels like paradise in Acadia.
I have been to Acadia in the Fall and it is still one of my favorite places that I’ve ever experienced the autumn colors. It’s truly remarkable. Read below for a comprehensive guide to visiting Acadia in October including best places to see, where to stay, and what to know!
You Might Also Like These Posts:
- Best Hikes in Acadia
- A Thrilling Climb: The Beehive Trail
- Acadia’s Best Hike: Precipice Trail
- 5 National Parks to Visit this Fall!
Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links in this post. If you use the links, I may get a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Table of Contents
Visiting Acadia in October Guide
Quick Acadia Tips
💵 There is $35 entry fee per vehicle that lasts for 7 days. You can use an annual pass like the America the Beautiful Pass to get in.
☀️ Weather can change swiftly in the mountains. So, stay updated and if there are thunderstorms or rain in the forecast, then stay at lower elevation. It may even snow towards the end of October.
⛺️There are two campgrounds available to reserve on Mount Desert Island. Both campgrounds require reservations on recreation.gov and open two months in advance.
🦮 Acadia is a pet-friendly park with over 100 miles of hiking trails that they’re allowed on. However, pets are not allowed on the Precipice, Beehive, Beech Cliffs, Perpendicular or Jordan Cliffs trail.
⚠️ Roads and trails in Acadia are subject to closure. Make sure to always check the NPS site or visitor center before exploring.
🍃 Remember to follow the Leave No Trace Principles. As always, you want to leave nature looking better than you found it.
Is October a Good Time to Visit?
In my opinion, October is one of the very best months to visit Acadia. Reds, oranges, and yellows light up the trees and make for spectacular vistas with colors peaking mid-month. There is something so ✨magical✨ about the Fall in Acadia.
Trails are open, temperatures are usually mild, and it’s a fantastic time to explore this wonderful park. However, it does get very crowded on the weekends as the fall-peepers explore the Northeast. So, get places early to get parking spots 🚗 and avoid the Fall crowds.
Acadia Weather in October
If you’re looking for the perfect Fall temperatures then look no further. Acadia in October is wonderful with temperatures that hover between the low 50s-60s 🌡. You’ll feel that crisp, autumn air that has just a slight chill to it.
Experience the perfect Fall day in Acadia National Park! 🍁🍁
Acadia usually has a few rainy days in October, but they’re interspersed with plenty of sun 😎. Occasionally, you may get snow at the very end of October, but that is not common. So, put on you favorite beanie, grab a flannel, and head into Acadia National Park.
Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Acadia in October
Go on a Hike
There is no better way to see Acadia in October, then to get out on the trails 🥾. These hikes are some of the very best in the country. Climb up into the mountains, so that you can see an array of vibrant colors.
Some of the hikes in Acadia require you to hike up steep mountains and over narrow ledges. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to skip the Beehive and Precipice Loop trails.
- Precipice Loop (2 miles, 1000 feet) – Climb up over iron rungs, on narrow ledges, and up the mountain for panoramic views over Mount Desert Island.
- Beehive (1.5 miles, 500 feet) – Go on a thrilling hike up the mountains, with iron rung ladders, and be rewarded with stunning views.
- North Bubble (1 mile, 375 feet) – This short hike climbs up onto the Bubble for vistas of Jordan Pond and Jordan House beyond.
- Sargent Mountain (4 miles, 1500 feet) – Trek to Sargent Pond and you’ll get views of both Jordan Pond and the undulating mountains.
Watch Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain
You can watch the earliest sunrise 🌅 in the country at Cadillac Mountain. Cadillac Mountain overlooks the stunning Mount Desert Island. From the top, you can get 360 degrees over the area. It’s truly a spectacular scene to take in.
However, reservations are required to access Cadillac Mountain Road from May through October 22nd.
You will need to make reservations 🎟 on recreation.gov two days in advance, which cost $6 per vehicle. These reservations open up at 10 am EST and get booked immediately. If you miss out on sunrise, you should still make a reservation for later in the day!
Drive Park Loop Road
Park Loop Road is the main drive 🚘 through the park. Along the way, you’ll see rocky shorelines, vibrant trees, and mountain landscapes. The road is a 27 mile scenic drive and it’s especially spectacular in autumn.
You can do this drive in one loop or you can make stops along the way. Many of the best hikes and sights sit right off of this road. There may be traffic at some peak times, so allow yourself extra time to drive.
Paddle Jordan Pond
Jordan Pond is a must see spot in Acadia. As soon as you make it to the shores of the lake, just beyond Jordan House, you’ll get a spectacular view 🤩 with the Bubbles in the back. Fall colors paint the scene and make it that much more stunning.
If you want to spend time in this serene area, then you can rent a canoe or kayak 🛶 to glide along the waters. There is a boat ramp directly into the pond, so you can easily enter the water. It is truly one of the most incredible areas in the park!
Bike Through the Park
One of the best parts of Acadia National Park is exploring the old carriage roads. These roads wind through the park, allowing for fantastic landscapes and wooded trails. Bikers 🚲 will love exploring the core of the park along the 45 miles these old roads. Just remember that bikes must yield to horses and pedestrians!
Also, bikers can bike Park Loop Road as well 🚴♀️. However, during there is no shoulder along most of this road, so it can be difficult during peak hours. Instead, go during the early morning or late in the day to take in the beauty of Acadia.
Where to Stay
If you’re visiting Acadia, then the best area to stay is Bar Harbor, Maine. This town is located right on Mount Desert Island. There are plenty of hotels, inns, rentals, and campgrounds to choose from in this town. You’ll also have quick access to the park and great local restaurants- you can’t leave without trying a lobster roll 🦞!
You can also camp in the park, but you must plan it early! 🏕🏕
There are two campgrounds in the park-one on the Schoodic Peninsula and one that only has lean-to shelters on Isle au Haut. Isle au Haut only has 5 lean-to shelters! Reservations are released 60 days in advance on recreation.gov. YOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION TO CAMP.
Because of the limited options, most people end up staying in Bar Harbor. You can find a hotel below.
Acadia Packing List
When you’re heading out to Acadia in autumn, then you’ll want to prepared for all weather. On some rare October days, you may want shorts and t-shirts. On other days, you’ll need a jacket 🧥 and long pants.
The real key to visiting Acadia is bringing layers 🧣. That way, no matter the temperature you’ll be ready to face the elements. It’s also important to have shoes with good traction for all of the trails that you’ll walk on.
Acadia Packing Guide:
- Comfortable Hiking Boots
- Hiking Poles
- Day Pack
- Water Reservoir and Reusable Water Bottles
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Spray
- Nice Camera
- Hat or Beanie
- Parks Pass
- Rain jacket or light jacket
- Satellite phone
- Downloaded Maps
- Parks Pass
You can read more about my favorite gear here!
Final Tips Before You Go
You’ll be blown away 🤯 by Acadia in the fall! But, in order to have a great trip, make sure to plan in advance. There is spotty service throughout the park, so you should download maps before your visit! I always recommend making a stop in the Visitor Center before exploring to get all the details you need. Most importantly, have an incredible time.
Let me know if you enjoyed this guide in the comments.
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