East Side of Mount Desert Island

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Rock cairn on mountain summit

Photo by Yehyun Kim, Friends of Acadia, NPS

From Summit to Coastline

The east side of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is the most popular and visited area of the park. It features the historic Park Loop Road and carriage road system, mountains, geological features, hiking trails, rugged coastline, and historic and cultural areas significant to the creation and expansion of the park. Most of the park's annual visitation occurs here.

Elevations range from sea-level at Sand Beach to 1,530 ft on Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the eastern seaboard. The park covers various summits, bodies of water, meadows, and forests until it reaches coastline Somes Sound on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

Getting Around

Areas on the east side of Mount Desert Island are within a 10 to 30 minute drive from Hulls Cove Visitor Center, depending on traffic and time of year. Be aware of speed limit changes and check alerts for road and trail closures, especially during winter. Cell service is unreliable, so plan accordingly if using GPS or other navigation.

  • By car: From Hulls Cove Visitor Center, turn right out of the parking lot and proceed to the four-way intersection. Continue south 3 miles.
    • For Park Loop Road (Sieur de Monts, Ocean Drive, Jordan Pond, and Cadillac Mountain): Follow signs for the Park Loop Road. For the complete loop, turn left towards Sand Beach (one-way). The road continues back up towards Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain.

    • For areas near Northeast Harbor: Follow signs for Route 233 off the Park Loop Road. Turn right onto Maine Route 233, and then right onto Maine Route 3/198 towards Northeast Harbor.

  • By bus: The fare-free Island Explorer operates seasonally (late June to mid-October) with various stops around Mount Desert Island. Check bus schedule for routes and timetable. Note: There is no public transportation to Cadillac Mountain.
East side of Mount Desert Island map

East Side Highlights

People walking down a path from road to coastline

Park Loop Road

Take the scenic route to see Sieur de Monts, Ocean Drive, Jordan Pond, Cadillac Mountain, and more.

Wooden sign post with direction for carriage roads

Carriage Roads

Bike, walk, or take your own horse along the 45 miles of carriage roads in Acadia.


Additional Resources

Woman watches sunset in a roadside pull out standing between a jeep and a park wayside sign.

Vehicle Reservations Required

Driving your car to two of the most popular destinations in Acadia National Park will require a reservation Oct 1 to 18, 2020

Visitor Center structure by a parking lot curb

Accessibility Options

Acadia strives to make facilities as accessible as possible. Find information for accessibility in specific areas across the park.

Visitor hikes on a trail past a park boundary and entry pass sign

Buy & Print Your Pass Online

Learn about park entry fees and annual passes including how to buy, print, and display your pass on your dashboard before you get here.

A park ranger speaks with visitors through a car window

Park Rules & Safety Advisories

Are visitors allowed to harvest mushrooms, or fly a drone in Acadia? Check out highlights of the park's important Rules and Regulations.

A photographer sits on a rock

Viewing Wildlife

When it comes to wildlife, a long-distance relationship is the best relationship. Learn how you can help to keep Acadia's wildlife wild.

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    Last updated: August 7, 2020

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