Road Scholar : Home
Hiking in Acadia National Park

Program Number: 6125RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014; 6/5/2016 - 6/10/2016; 6/12/2016 - 6/17/2016; 9/25/2016 - 9/30/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/7/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Acadia National Park, Maine
Price starting at: $848.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Discover why Acadia National Park is a hiker’s paradise as you explore trails that offer a variety of challenging terrain and majestic scenery. Led by Registered Maine Guides and other naturalists, this program vividly demonstrates why lovers of the outdoors are drawn to Mount Desert Island from throughout the U.S. to walk the scenic peaks and picturesque valleys of Acadia. Breathtaking views are your reward for each hike completed!


• Amazing hikes on Mount Desert Island include Cadillac Mountain and “Ocean Drive.”
• Learn about the geology of this area where mountains rise out of the sea and examine the fascinating flora and fauna of this protected environment.
• A Maine lobster expert shows you how the crustaceans are captured (with authentic gear and live lobsters!) after you enjoy a real Down East lobster dinner.

Activity Particulars

Hiking for 4-6 hours per day at a comfortable pace, group may be split based on difficulty level desired by participants. Participants should be physically fit and have prior hiking experience.

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.
Bill Langlois

Bill Langlois is a veteran Registered Maine Guide, having led countless sea kayaking, biking and hiking trips on Mount Desert Island over the last several years. His love of the outdoors – and particularly, Acadia National Park – is evident in everything he does. Bill is extremely knowledgeable about the natural and social history of the Bar Harbor area, too, and is always eager to share his knowledge with visitors to this unique corner of the United States.
Meals and Lodgings
   Bar Harbor Quality Inn
  Bar Harbor, ME 5 nights
 Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Type: Motel
  Description: The Quality Inn offers a convenient downtown 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: 40 Kebo Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609 USA
phone: 207-288-5403
  Room amenities: Each room has two beds, cable TV, free wireless Internet, free local calls, hair dryer, air conditioning, in-room coffee maker, refrigerator and iron/ironing board
  Facility amenities: The Bar Harbor Quality Inn has been recognized by Quality Inns International as having the 9th best housekeeping performance of all Quality Inns worldwide.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call Quality Inn for pricing. Call motel for information about additional nights.
  Check in time: 2:30 PM
  Additional nights after: Call Quality Inn for pricing. Call motel for information about additional nights.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, hotel lobby You will be staying at Bar Harbor Quality Inn that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, hotel lobby You will be staying at Bar Harbor Quality Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Personal Information Form and Assumption Of Risk Form
  Parking availability:
Free parking is available at the motel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bar Harbor, ME
  Nearest city or town:  Bar Harbor
  Nearest highway: I 95 to Route 3
  Nearest airport:  Bangor International
  From End of Program
  Location: Bar Harbor, ME
    (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 


The Bar Harbor-Bangor shuttle makes three trips a day between the Bangor Airport and Bar Harbor.


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 


Please call the taxi service in advance to arrange transportation.

Driving Directions
  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.
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: Afternoon Arrival, Victorian walking tour
(Sunday, September 28)
 Afternoon: Check in to motel and register with Road Scholar group leader in lobby between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Quality Inn is located in downtown Bar Harbor and is within short walking distance to downtown shops and attractions. Our first gathering will be at 3:30, with a walking tour of Victorian Bar Harbor to follow.
 Dinner: We’ll dine at a local restaurant in downtown Bar Harbor. Each evening there will be a designated entrée, and a light alternative will be available.
 Evening: Evening free to explore Bar Harbor area.
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Welcome and orientation, hiking/Gorham Mountain
(Monday, September 29)
 Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.
 Morning: We’ll give you a capsule look at Mount Desert Island, “the jewel of New England,” and show you the possible routes we’ll be hiking this week in Acadia National Park. Mount Desert, known for its dramatic scenery and universal appeal, is the third largest island on the east coast. We’ll also take a few minutes to get to know each other better. Then the hiking begins! Weather permitting, we’ll tackle Gorham Mountain, a moderate mountainous hike which offers spectacular views over the Cranberry Islands and the Gulf of Maine. From the summit, we’ll view a wide expanse of Mount Desert Island’s southern, surf-pounded coastline. Rising from sea level, Gorham peaks out at 525 feet. The route up and down is a well-traveled mountain trail which is in good condition. Challenging but not overly demanding, Gorham will give us a good idea of energy levels and hiking abilities among participants. We’ll then discuss whether we’ll split the group into two smaller groups for the remainder of the week, one focusing on moderate mountainous hikes and the other on less demanding routes.
 Lunch: One of the many pleasures of our hiking week is having our picnic lunches – individually prepared sandwiches – in some spectacular settings, usually along one of the trails. We’ll stop somewhere on Gorham Mountain to relax, refuel and drink in the beauty of Acadia.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our hike, noticing the unique geological features carved out by the Wisconsin Glacier thousands of years ago. We'll enjoy the views eastward towards Schoodic Peninsula, a spectacular headland that juts into the Gulf of Maine.
 Dinner: We’ll dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant, where we’ll enjoy our meal while replaying the day’s adventure.
 Evening: We’ll enjoy a scenic drive up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard. When the serpentine summit road was built in the 1930s, it was considered the best-engineered mountain road in the world. From the summit, we’ll marvel at the 360-degree views and will look west towards Blue Hill as the day comes to an end.
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Acadia National Park, hiking/naturalist led walk
(Tuesday, September 30)

Note: A trip to the western side of Mount Desert Island will provide variety today; we’ll be out about five hours, including our breaks and lunch.

 Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.
 Morning: Before hiking, we'll head to Oldfarm, the ruins of the home of George B. Dorr, who's considered the father of Acadia National Park, and we'll learn the fascinating and moving story of how the park was founded and how it came to be the only park in the entire national park system in which the land was donated rather than purchased by the government. Then we’ll head out for our hike; a possible choice will be Beech Mountain, on the western side of Mount Desert Island. With a summit of 839 feet (we’ll experience about 500 feet gain on our hike), Beech offers great variety, including gorgeous views over Blue Hill Bay towards the Deer Isle Peninsula. Like yesterday, this hike will consume about five hours, but it will move at a comfortable pace. For those who prefer a less demanding hike, we’ll choose another route, perhaps the lovely three-mile trail around Jordan Pond, a flat trail with multiple scenic overlooks.
 Lunch: We'll pause at a scenic vista for an hour to enjoy the wonderful views and a picnic lunch, with a variety of sandwich options.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our hike after lunch, with our group leader pointing out special scenic vistas and providing information on the flora and fauna of Mount Desert Island.
 Dinner: We’ll again dine at a downtown Bar Harbor restaurant, within easy walking distance of our motel. Along the way, we can browse the many galleries and shops which line Bar Harbor’s streets, perhaps finding that perfect memento to take home as a lasting memory of Acadia.
 Evening: A naturalist will lead a walking tour of one of the shoreside trails of Acadia, talking about the history, geology and lore of this unique section of Down East Maine. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture the stunning beauty of this area. We’ll walk about a mile over easy terrain overlooking the ocean.
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Somes Sound, biking
(Wednesday, October 1)

Note: We’ll custom-fit everyone with a 24-speed mountain or hybrid bike for our alternate activity today, and our ride will cover about six miles over predominantly level paved roads.

 Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.
 Morning: We’ll give those hiking muscles a break this morning, taking a bicycling trip along Sargent Drive, which borders the shores of Somes Sound, the only fjord on the east coast of North America. You'll pedal in the shadow of the famed Norumbega Mountain, with views across the fjord to Acadia Mountain and St. Sauveur, two of the little-visited but spectacular mountains in the central part of the island. This ride will last a couple hours and will allow us to be back in Bar Harbor by noon so everyone can enjoy the afternoon off.
 Lunch: We’ll return from our morning activities and picnic at Albert Meadow, with a beautiful view across Frenchman Bay.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore Mount Desert Island or any of the other nearby coastal areas which catch your fancy. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction for the activities you choose.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
 Evening: Free Time
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Acadia National Park, hiking/Lobster demonstration
(Thursday, October 2)

Note: At 1532 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the east coast of North America, and today we’ll cap our week with a wonderful hike up the South Ridge Trail. The trailhead is at a few hundred feet of elevation, so we won’t actually ascend the entire 1532 feet.

 Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.
 Morning: A lobster expert will demonstrate, using authentic gear and live lobsters, how Maine's most famous sea creatures are caught and what the future of the industry looks like. Then we’ll head out for the highlight of our hiking week, heading up the south ridge trail of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern seaboard; on many days of the year, the summit is the first place in the United States to receive the rays of the sun. The south ridge is the gentlest of the three trails up Cadillac; it’s a well-traversed path which is popular among visitors to Acadia. For those who don’t want the challenge of the trail up Cadillac, we’ll pick a different route that will allow us to see the beauties of Acadia without experiencing the elevation change of a mountainous trail.
 Lunch: There are a number of spots along the south ridge trail that are ideal for a lunch break, and we’ll choose one of them.
 Afternoon: We’ll continue our “highlight hike” this afternoon, enjoying not only the beauty of the island but the camaraderie of the newfound friends we’ve made on this Road Scholar trip. Our reward will be the satisfaction that comes from a day well spent.
 Dinner: Tonight we'll enjoy an old-fashioned Down East shore feast, featuring the state’s most well-known crustacean, the cold-water lobster.
Accommodations: Bar Harbor Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Acadia National Park, hiking/Departure
(Friday, October 3)
 Breakfast: A continental breakfast will be served at the motel.
 Morning: Because of limited time and a 1 p.m. departure, we’ll choose a short hike this morning. We might pick a trail similar to the ones we’ve done earlier in the week, or we might head to Little Long Pond for a leisurely walk along a portion of Acadia’s carriage roads near the former John D. Rockefeller estate. In any event, we’ll have time to enjoy one more chunk of Acadia’s variety before our adventure is completed.
 Lunch: Our Road Scholar week will come to an end as we enjoy a picnic lunch at Albert Meadow; take part in a brief “graduation” ceremony; and savor our memories of a week on the magnificent Maine coast.
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

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

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768