Physical / Mobility

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Getting Around

Island Explorer

Use the free, wheelchair-accessible Island Explorer shuttle buses to travel to popular park destinations. Not all bus stops are wheelchair accessible; please check individual locations for more information. Parking is extremely limited in Acadia— use Island Explorer to avoid long waits and crowded lots. Buses also connect to many local hotels and Bar Harbor locations. Island Explorer operates daily from late June through early October. Schedules are available at visitor information centers and on the Island Explorer, www.exploreacadia.com.

 
wheelchair

Parking
Acadia parking lots have designated accessible spaces. These are marked with blue lines and the international access symbol. Accessible parking spaces are reserved for vehicles displaying an accessibility placard or license plate.
Some Acadia destinations, trailheads, and scenic viewpoints do not have parking lots with designated spaces. Parking in these areas may be sloped, narrow, or unpaved.

 

Accessible Facilities and Areas

 
 

Hulls Cove Visitor Center

Open April to October
On Hulls Cove Road off Route 3. Here, there are two areas to get park information, both with their own accessible parking areas.

Visitor Center
At the visitor center, you can talk to a ranger, get a pass, go to the Park Store, or use the wheelchair-accessible restrooms. Turn left to follow signs to the wheelchair-accessible parking lot and entrance before the main lot. The wheelchair-accessible entrance leads to the upper main level via an elevator. There, you will also find the park store, outdoor plaza, and wheelchair accessible restrooms.

Information Pavilion

For Island Explorer shuttles, park maps, and after-hours information, follow the signs to the main visitor center parking lot. Wheelchair-accessible parking is available at the front of the lot near the information pavilions.

Sieur de Monts Spring, Nature Center, and Wild Gardens of Acadia

Open late May to early October

Sieur de Monts, often referred to as the "Heart of Acadia," includes Sieur de Monts Spring, Nature Center, Wild Gardens of Acadia, Abbe Museum, and historic memorial paths. Ranger programs, junior ranger stations, and other park events are often held here, usually on the large, gently sloped lawn. It is the first major stopping point along the Park Loop Road. You can also begin the wheelchair-accessible Hemlock and Great Meadow Loop Trails here (see Accessible Trails).

There are accessible parking spaces in the Sieur de Monts parking lot. Accessible restrooms are located across the parking lot from the Nature Center. Also outside the Nature Center are area information and maps, and a wheelchair-accessible water fountain and bottle filling station.

Nature Center

Talk to a ranger, get your park pass, browse the park store, and more. Information desk is at wheelchair-accessible height. The nature center also includes interactive exhibits about the natural and cultural history of Acadia at wheelchair-accessible height.

Wild Gardens of Acadia

Explore the native plants and habitats of Acadia, all along a short path. The packed gravel path is level, but narrow. Benches are available at several points along the route. Plants are labeled at ground height. For more information, try the iNaturalist or Seek apps!

Thompson Island Information Center

Open in winter season only
Information available on the park and local chambers of commerce. Wheelchair-accessible entrance, parking, and restrooms.

 
picnic

Restaurants and Picnic areas

 

Jordan Pond House

Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in Acadia, meets ADA requirements. Its central location at Jordan Pond offers wheelchair-accessible parking, connection to the Island Explorer, and is near a variety of carriage roads and short, fairly level trails.

Picnicking

Acadia offers picnic areas throughout Mount Desert Island and Schoodic Penninsula. Picnic areas have accessible parking, restrooms, and at least one accessible site, which includes a wheelchair-accessible table and fire grill.

The following areas all have wheelchair-accessible parking, restrooms, fire grills, and picnic tables.

Bear Brook Picnic Area
Some level sites.

Fabbri Picnic Area
A paved walkway leading to picnic tables.

Frazer Point Picnic Area, Schoodic Peninsula
Several level, grassy sites.

Pretty Marsh Picnic Area
Rough terrain beyond the picnic site

Seawall Picnic Area
One picnic site here is accessible. All others are on uneven terrain.

Thompson Island Picnic Area
Assistance is needed to reach the shore.

 
campground

Campgrounds

There are three campgrounds in Acadia with designated accessible sites. There are no hotels or other lodging within Acadia National Park. Island Explorer shuttles connect to campgrounds and some Bar Harbor area hotels.

Acadia’s campgrounds offer designated accessible campsites for tent, trailer, and RV camping. These sites include: amenities. Other sites are not designated accessible but may meet your needs. Contact the park at FILL IN for more information on campgrounds and individual sites.

Programs at campground amphitheaters are open to all, even if you are not camping overnight. Amphitheaters are on slight slopes with backless bench seating. There is additional space if you prefer to bring your own folding chair.

 

Blackwoods Campground

Blackwoods has 12 accessible drive-in sites. RV sites have a 35-foot (10.7 m) maximum. There are hard-packed walkways to wheelchair-accessible restrooms and the amphitheater.

Seawall Campground

This campground has the following accessible sites:

  • three RV, 35-foot (10.7 m) maximum

  • five drive-in

  • five walk-in

  • one group site

Use the paved road for access to the amphitheater. If staying in the group camping area, use the accessible restroom in the C loop, which is reached by a long, hard-packed ramp.

Schoodic Woods Campground

Schoodic Woods Campground has 78 ADA camp sites, including tent and RV sites.The amphitheater and all restrooms are wheelchair accessible.

 
swimming

Beaches

 

Echo Lake
Echo Lake Beach is accessible via a sloped, paved path from the parking lot to a connector boardwalk that extends onto the sand beach. The (flush) restrooms, changing rooms, and foot washing station are wheelchair-accessible.

Ike's Point
This boat launch area has paved parking with a steep paved incline to water.

 
hiking

Trails and Paths

 

Trails

Jesup and Hemlock Loop (Sieur de Monts Spring Area)

The Jesup Path and Hemlock Path Loop consists of two mostly level trails creating a figure-8. The loop runs through stands of white birch and hemlock and into the Great Meadow beyond Sieur de Monts.

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

Terrain: The Jesup Trail section is a narrow wooden boardwalk with benches and pullouts. The Hemlock Road section is a wide, gravel road.

Directions: Start the hike just before the entrance to the Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts. A wooden footbridge provides access to the Jesup Path.

  • Follow the path as it crosses Hemlock Path, and continue straight onto the boardwalk.

  • The boardwalk runs through a boggy, white birch forest. There are interpretive waysides and benches along the way.

  • As the boardwalk ends, the trail crosses Hemlock Path again. Continue through the Great Meadow, finally ending at the Park Loop Road.

  • Cross the Park Loop Road, and turn right onto the Great Meadow Loop. Use caution when crossing the Park Loop Road as there are no crosswalks.

  • At the next trail junction, turn right and cross back over the Park Loop Road onto Hemlock Path.

  • Follow Hemlock Path back into the Great Meadow, past the boardwalk, and through a forest of hemlocks.

  • The path leads back to Sieur de Monts parking lot.

Ocean Path

Explore vast slabs of pink granite, picturesque cliffs, and breathtaking oceans views as the popular Ocean Path takes you along the bold coast of Maine. The first section of Ocean Path is accessible from the upper parking lot of Sand Beach to Thunder Hole. From Thunder Hole to Otter Point the trail becomes uneven, and include granite staircases.

Distance: 0.7 mile (one way)

Terrain: Concrete and packed gravel sections that gradually rise over and down a hill. width

Directions: Begin from the upper parking lot of Sand Beach, or from the Thunder Hole parking lot.


Ship Harbor

Park in the Ship Harbor parking lot west of Seawall Campground on Route 102 A. The first one-quarter mile (0.4 km) is a hard-packed surface leading to the mudflats. Access to intertidal pools is over rocky, uneven terrain. Steep grades will require assistance. Total distance is 1.3 miles (2.1 km) round trip.

Intertidal Zone

The best access to an intertidal zone is on the gravel bar between Bar Island and Bar Harbor. Access is via Bridge Street in Bar Harbor. Automobiles may be driven onto the gravel bar, which is only exposed 1 to 1.5 hours either side of low tide. The road to the bar is steep, rocky, and uneven.

Jordan Pond Trails

The Jordan Pond Path traverses the shore of Jordan Pond, one of Acadia’s most iconic landscapes. The loop trail is partially accessible at a X length section near Jordan Pond House. Beyond this section, the trail occasionally goes over granite steps, large gaps, narrow boardwalks, and bridges.

Terrain: hard-packed dirt trail, narrow. Watch for exposed rocks and roots.

Directions: Begin at Jordan Pond House or Jordan Pond Boat Launch.


Carriage Roads

Carriage roads offer the best access to interior areas. The two easiest roads are listed below. Others tend to be steeper and slightly uneven, with sections of loose sand, gravel, and rocks. Extended use of the carriage roads depends on your ability and endurance. When following the carriage roads, be aware of washouts, steep grades, bicycle traffic, and horses on some sections. Assistance may be helpful. Check with park staff for specific routes. Click here to download a copy of the carriage roads map.

Eagle Lake
Eagle Lake Carriage Road is partially
closed for summer 2021.
The Eagle Lake parking area on Route 233 has wheelchair-accessible restrooms and parking. To the north, the carriage road leads toward Breakneck Pond, Half Moon Pond, and Witch Hole Pond, which is 5.3 miles (8.5 km) round trip. To the south, under the stone bridge, the carriage roads lead in two directions around Eagle Lake, 6 miles (9.7 km) round trip. There is a steep hill at the southwest end of the lake.

Bubble Pond
The parking area, located off Park Loop Road, has accessible restrooms and parking. Follow the level trail to the north end of Bubble Pond. From here you have access to the carriage roads, one of which borders the pond. Some sections are steep.

 

Other Sites of Interest

Cadillac Mountain

Drive to the highest point on the eastern seaboard of the US, where people have enjoyed the spectacular views for thousands of years. Vehicle reservations are required for Cadillac Summit Road from May 26 through October 19. Vehicle reservations are not required for visitors who enter the area by foot, bike, or taxi. Buy online at Recreation.gov.

Trails

Portions of the Cadillac Summit Loop are paved, wide enough for a single wheelchair, and provide scenic views of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands. Other sections are very steep or contain steps up and down. All other trails to and around Cadillac Mountain are not accessible.

Facilities and Services

Cadillac Mountain Gift Shop has an accessible entrance and restrooms. A limited number of designated accessible parking spaces are marked. These are reserved for vehicles displaying an accessibility placard or license plate.

Thunder Hole

Park in the right lane of Park Loop Road or upper parking area near the restrooms and accessible walkway. A ramp leads to the upper viewing area.

Carroll Homestead (Summer)

Head to the west side of the island to visit a restored early 19th homestead, the home of three generations of the Carroll family. In summer, attend a ranger program here to learn more about homestead life and play period games. Follow signs past the general parking area for designated accessible parking. A wheelchair-accessible portable restroom is available in summer. The homestead grounds are a gently sloped lawn. The house is open during program hours—speak to a ranger for access into the house via temporary ramp.

Rockefeller Hall (Summer)

Learn about local naval history at this restored historic building on Schoodic Peninsula. Explore interactive exhibits at wheelchair height, talk with a park volunteer or ranger, get park information and passes (information desk is at wheelchair height), and browse the park store. Accessible restrooms and water fountain are available inside.

Bass Harbor Head Light Station

One accessible parking space is available in a small lot. You can view the exterior of the light station via a sloped, paved walkway. By the parking area is an accessible restroom and short boardwalk trail to a shoreline viewpoint.

 
 
 

Ranger Programs and Events

Rangers offer a variety of programs, including visitor center talks, walks, evening programs, pop-up tables, junior ranger stations, and special events. Many ranger walks are on short, paved paths, but some involve navigating rugged terrain. Evening programs are generally held in campground amphitheaters with bench seating and assistive listening devices available. Check at visitor centers or campground bulletin boards for program descriptions, times, locations, and accessibility information.

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor , ME 04609

Phone:

207 288-3338

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