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Birding Acadia National Park

Program Number: 17906RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/19/2013 - 5/24/2013; 5/15/2016 - 5/20/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
Price starting at: $835.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Acadia National Park preserves more than 50 square miles of diverse habitats, including mountains, shoreline, woods, lakes and the highest peak on the Atlantic seaboard. With extremely knowledgeable birding experts, search for the 320 species of pelagic, shore and boreal birds that call Down-East Maine’s environs home. Loons, terns, puffins, eagles, murres, bay ducks and razorbills are all plentiful. Learn why Mount Desert Island was considered the “warbler capital of the world” by naturalist and ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson.


• Board a privately chartered ocean-going vessel for a thrilling quest for puffins and other seabirds.
• Journey to the secluded and serene “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island to examine forest habitats and seek a multitude of migrating shorebirds.
• Search for a variety of species, including peregrine falcons, and explore Valley Cove on the shore of Somes Sound, the continental United States' only fjord.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles over varied, rugged terrain.

So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Acadia National Park

The first U.S. National Park east of the Mississippi River encompasses 47,000 acres of lakes, mountains and shoreline on Mount Desert Island and other small islands in the Atlantic. Some 40 different species of mammals live in the park. Acadia includes Cadillac Mountain, which in certain seasons is the first spot in the country to see sunrise.

Comfortable hotel in downtown Bar Harbor.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Michael Good

Named New England’s best birdwatcher by Yankee Magazine, Michael Good has decades of experience studying the birds of North America, and he brings a wealth of experience to this course on Mount Desert Island. Michael’s been leading trips for many years, focusing on avian ecology in the Gulf of Maine bioregion. He’s remarkably familiar with the 300-plus species which can be found on the island, and he delights in sharing his knowledge with others – both experienced and novice birders.
Meals and Lodgings
   Anchorage Motel
  Bar Harbor, Maine 5 nights
 Anchorage Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: The Anchorage Motel offers a convenient in-town location near the center of Bar Harbor. Fine restaurants, shops and waterfront activities are only a short walk away from this AAA-approved lodging facility. Also nearby is the Shore Path, a picturesque walking route that is flanked by old mansions and lawns and affords expansive views eastward across Frenchman Bay.
  Contact info: 51 Mt. Desert Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-3959
  Room amenities: Each rooms has a private bath with tub and/or shower, color cable television and direct dial telephone.
  Facility amenities: Rooms have two beds, private baths, air conditioning, telephone and cable television.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Available from the motel Additional nights can be arranged by calling the hotel office.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Available from the motel Additional nights can be arranged by calling the hotel office.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30 p. m. Sunday You will be staying at Anchorage Motel that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 p.m. Friday You will be staying at Anchorage Motel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. An Assumption Of Risk Form will be required, along with standard Road Scholar health and safety forms.
  Parking availability:
Free parking is provided at the Anchorage Motel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bar Harbor, Maine
  Nearest city or town:  Bar Harbor
  Nearest highway: Maine Route 3
  Nearest airport:  Hancock County Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Bar Harbor-Bangor Shuttle
phone: 207-479-5911
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour, 15 minutes 




50 miles


The Bar Harbor-Bangor Shuttle has several departures daily to and from the Bangor Airport.


Bar Harbor


From Airport




MDI Taxi
phone: 207-288-3333
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


20 minutes 




12 miles


Taxi service is available to and from the Bar Harbor Airport.

Driving Directions
  From Bangor: From Bangor, take Route 1A to Ellsworth, and then Route 3 to Bar Harbor.
  From south: You may take I-95 to Bangor, then Route 1A to Ellsworth, and then Route 3 to Bar Harbor; or you can take scenic Route 1 all the way up the Maine coast.
  From the South You may take 1-95 to Bangor, then 1A to Ellsworth and then Route 3 to Bar Harbor; or you can take scenic Route 1 all the way up the Maine coast.
Equipment Requirements: Participants should bring binoculars with them. All other equipment will be provided by Coastal Kayaking Tours/Acadia Bike, the sponsoring organization.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check In and Intro discussion with Michael Good
(Sunday, May 19)
 Afternoon: After checking into our convenient downtown motel, we'll have an introductory session and get to know each other. Then we’ll take our first outing of the week, walking with Michael along the famed shore path of Bar Harbor. We’ll do some birding as we go, but this is also an introduction to Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay and the entire region where we’ll be spending the next few days. We’ll look for coastal birds like Common Loon, Black Guillemot, Bald Eagle and Common Eider. This classic trail along the “rocky coast” of Maine allows for study of the intertidal zone pools and the flora and fauna. Find out how Balance Rock and The Porcupines Islands got their names.
 Dinner: We'll dine at the Portside Grill in downtown Bar Harbor, with a Down East lobster dinner highlighting our program on the last night. Each evening there will be a designated entrée; Portside will also offer a "light" alternative every night of Chicken Caesar Salad or grilled portabello mushroom. Tonight we'll have baked haddock with boiled new potatoes and veggies; rolls and butter; dessert; and choice of beverage.
Accommodations: Anchorage Motel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Field trip to a bio-rich bird area.
(Monday, May 20)
 Breakfast: We’ll start our day at a convenient downtown restaurant, where we'll enjoy buffet selections along with juice and coffee.
 Morning: We'll take a field trip to the ruins of Oldfarm, which was the home of George B. Dorr, who is considered the father of Acadia National Park. Here we’ll learn how Mr. Dorr and Charles Eliot cultivated the idea of preserving the island’s beauty for generations to come. This forest contains many old growth trees and is home to Warblers including Pine, Blackburnian, Black and White and Parula. Then we’ll explore the eastern and southern sides of Mount Desert Island, dominated by Acadia National Park. Michael will lead the field trip and focus on migration traps along the eastern coastal and inland hotspots. There will be numerous opportunities to see many of the 20 species of Wood Warblers, Flycatchers, coastal birds and Bald Eagles. We will visit the famous Asticou gardens and many stream and wetland habitats.
 Lunch: We'll enjoy a picnic lunch "in the field."
 Afternoon: We'll continue our birding in a species-rich area of the island.
 Dinner: Tonight we'll enjoy a green salad; chicken pot pie; rolls and butter; dessert; and choice of beverage. Our light alternatives will again be available.
Accommodations: Anchorage Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field trip focusing on bird migration patterns in Maine
(Tuesday, May 21)
 Breakfast: We'll have breakfast at our downtown Bar Harbor restaurant.
 Morning: We’ll board an excursion boat for a puffin-watching expedition, headed towards Petit Manan Island. Once there we will have excellent views of Atlantic Puffin, Razorbills, Common Murre, Laughing and Greater Black-backed Gulls. There are healthy populations of Common and Arctic and a few Roseate Terns. Islands are hunting grounds for Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles as well. (For your comfort, DRESS FOR WINTER)
 Lunch: We'll enjoy our picnic sandwiches "in the field" during our bird-watching expedition.
 Afternoon: Michael will conduct the first session on Gulf of Maine Ornithology. There will be discussion and a general description of boreal/temperate ecosystems; flora and fauna of Mount Desert Island; and an overview of birds of terrestrial, marine and pelagic ecosystems of “Down East” Maine. Then we'll spend some time in a few locations around Bar Harbor known for good birds and habitat. Depending on the weather we will go to Sieur de Mont Springs or the carriage roads near Paradise Hill and Witch Hole.
 Dinner: Tonight we'll have a green salad; meatloaf; mashed potatoes and veggies; rolls and butter; and dessert. Our light alternatives will also be available.
 Evening: We’ll drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard of North America, noted for its stunning 360-degree views. As the day comes to an end, Michael will lead a walk to a special place for the sunset and continue the discussion about Mount Desert Island glacial geology, seek out some of the unique semi-alpine plants while searching for Brown Thrashers, Eastern Towhee, White-throated Sparrows, Common Yellowthroat. We’ll explore in an intimate way the place that often receives the first rays of the sun in the United States.
Accommodations: Anchorage Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Birding time in the morning, free time in the afternoon
(Wednesday, May 22)
 Breakfast: We'll enjoy our breakfast buffet at our downtown Bar Harbor restaurant.
 Morning: For those who wish to rise early, Michael will lead an early (6 a.m.) bird walk to Schooner Head. This walk will take us to a coastal cave where there might be Cliff Swallows nesting. We're looking for coastal birds like Black Guillemots as well as forest species like Warblers, Hermit Thrushes, Woodpeckers and Ruffed Grouse. This easy walk is a great way to start the day. After a break, we'll visit Valley Cove, located on the shores of Somes Sound, the only fjord in the continental United States. Michael will lead us to the home of a nesting Peregrine Falcon through an emerging old-growth red spruce forest; these woods are home to such species as Blackburnians, Magnolias, Black and White Warblers, Black-throated Warblers and Parula Warblers. This is excellent haabitat for Swainson's and Hermit's Thrushes, Winter Wrens and Blue-headed Vireos.
 Lunch: We'll have a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow on the shores of Frenchman Bay.
 Afternoon: This afternoon and evening is free to explore Mount Desert Island on your own.
Accommodations: Anchorage Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Birding expedition to western side of Mount Desert Island
(Thursday, May 23)
 Breakfast: Our downtown Bar Harbor restaurant will again host us for a breakfast buffet.
 Morning: We'll head to the western side of Mount Desert Island for our birding expedition today -- often called "the quiet side" or "the back side" of the island. Michael will lead us on a journey through some of the most vital areas of that region, looking for difficult-to-find species like White-winged Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Bay-breasted Warblers and Nelson's Sharpe-tailed Sparrows. We'll also be on the lookout for migrating sandpipers and other shorebirds, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and many others. The western mountains are a "wilderness" region on MDI, with many places seldom visited by humans. This old-growth forest is an excellent place to study multiple forest habitats including bogs, fens and cedar swamps. These old-growth forests provide an opportunity to study a diversity of habitat and birds. We'll walk on roads and trails at an easy pace.
 Lunch: We'll picnic among the scenic splendor of Mount Desert Island's west side.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our quest for many different bird species on the "quiet side" of the island.
 Dinner: We'll celebrate our final night with an old-fashioned Down East shore feast. We'll start with a cup of clam chowder, then wej'll have boiled lobster served with drawn butter; boiled red potatoes; cole slaw; rolls and butter; dessert; and beverage
Accommodations: Anchorage Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning birding, then farewell picnic
(Friday, May 24)
 Breakfast: Again, we'll have a buffet breakfast at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant.
 Morning: Michael will lead us on a trip to Hadley Point and a few stops on the northern side of MDI. Hadley Point is the northernmost point on MDI and the confluence of two major fresh watersheds, with sea water making them some of the most bio-productive around MDI. There are many small and isolated places that can produce Canada Warbler and a myriad of other Neotropical migrants, Bald Eagle, Rufous-sided Hummingbirds, Alder Flycatchers and the possibility of Barred Owls, Bald Eagles and other raptors. . If time allows, we’ll make it to the fields of the Old Stone Barn, where we’ll seek out Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows, Bluebirds and Swallows.
 Lunch: We'll bring our Road Scholar week to an end with a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow, a small seaside park in Bar Harbor.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Bar Harbor, ME Acadia National Park
An excellent resource for all information about the park. For additional information, visit
  Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
93 Cottage Street P.O Box 158 Bar Harbor, Maine 04609 (207)-288-5103 For additional information, visit
  Maine Office Of Tourism
Maine Office of Tourism #59 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0059 You may request a free full-color guidebook with 260 pages of Maine vacation opportunities through the web site. For Maine travel information, please call 1-888-624-6345. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

The Sibley Field Guide To Birds Of Eastern North America

Author: David Allen Sibley

Discover Acadia National Park: AMCs Guide To The Best Hiking, Biking and Paddling

Author: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

Field Guide To Acadia National Park, Maine

Author: Russell Butcher

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park: An Informal History

Author: Sargent Collier

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