Thing to Do

Drive Park Loop Road

A road goes through brightly colored leaves around a mountain above a lake.
Drive Park Loop Road in autumn to see spectacular fall foliage.

Ashley L. Conti/Friends of Acadia

Wind your way through forests, past lakes and mountains, and along the shoreline on scenic Park Loop Road. The 27-mile (43 km) road also provides access to popular areas such as Sieur de Monts, Sand Beach, Otter Point, Jordan Pond, the Bubbles, and Cadillac Mountain. Along the way, you'll find picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and trailheads. All vehicles must display a park entrance pass so it is clearly visible through the front windshield.

In summer, take the free, wheelchair-accessible Island Explorer shuttle bus for a scenic tour. Avoid crowded parking areas and hop on and off the shuttle to explore destinations along the route.

Start Here

  • For the full "tour" experience, start at Hulls Cove Visitor Center. You can also stop here to talk to a ranger, visit the park store, get your entrance pass, or catch the Island Explorer.
  • Drive south along Paradise Hill Road before beginning the one-way "loop" section. Follow signs for the one-way section to Sand Beach. Do not turn toward Bar Harbor, or Highway 233.
  • If you have a reservation for Cadillac Mountain Road, we recommend proceding directly to Cadillac Mountain to make your reservation window on time. Otherwise traffic may delay you past your reservation window.
  • Turn left onto the one-way Park Loop Road.
  • Continue your tour along Park Loop Road. The road intersects with Highway 3 after Little Hunters Beach. Turn here for Blackwoods Campground, or to exit the park and head toward Seal Harbor. Continue on Park Loop Road to reach Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mountain.
 

Park Loop Road Safety

Many of Acadia's most popular locations are located on the Park Loop Road. It is best to use a map and understand the traffic flow before starting.

  • Expect congestion June through mid-October, especially on holiday weekends. Drive carefully and stay alert at all times.
  • While there are many parking lots, parking also occurs in the right-hand lane of the Park Loop Road unless posted otherwise. Please be alert to parked cars, as well as cyclists maneuvering around them. This area is extremely congested in July and August.
  • Follow posted speed limits ranging from 25 mph to 35 mph.
  • Watch for visitors crossing the road and walking alongside the road.
  • Be aware of wildlife along the road's edge, especially at dawn and dusk.

Driving in Winter

  • Check alerts for road closures during the winter months. Only one section (Sand Beach Entrance Station to Otter Cliff Road) usually remains open to vehicles.

  • Other portions are open to pedestrians, winter sports, and bicycles. Do not block gates when parking to access the road for recreational activities.

Details
Allow yourself at least one hour just to drive the entire Park Loop Road. Add more time for stops and sightseeing.
Pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
You must have an Acadia or National Park Service/Federal Lands Pass while in Acadia. There is no additional fee to drive Park Loop Road. Passes can be purchased online or at the Sand Beach Fee Station. From mid-May to mid-October you will need a vehicle reservation to drive up Cadillac Summit Road.
Start at Hulls Cove Visitor Center. The road heads south along Paradise Hill Road before beginning the "loop" section. Follow signs for the one-way section to Sand Beach.

During winter months:

  • Only one section (Sand Beach Entrance Station to Otter Cliff Road) remains open to vehicles. Check the park Current Conditions page for additional updates.

  • Other portions are open to pedestrians, winter sports, and bicycles. Do not block gates when parking to access the road for recreational activities.

Accessibility Information
Not all stops and parking areas along Park Loop Road are accessible. Some may have wheelchair-accessible parking. Please check individual locations along Park Loop Road for more information.

Acadia National Park

Last updated: September 19, 2022