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Maine

New England's Gem: Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

Program No. 16429RJ
Get to know Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park as you learn about the East Coast’s only fjord, explore a compound area of the Rockefellers and enjoy a lobster feast.

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At a Glance

Enjoy an insider’s look at the jewel of coastal New England — Acadia National Park on Maine’s Mount Desert Island — as those who know the area best share their knowledge and insights. Hear the story of the park’s creation by America’s wealthy elite, including philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and visit Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor, the last two bastions of old-money wealth on Mount Desert Island. Trace the relationship between the park and the island, exploring the island’s history of ice harvesting and ship building. Year-round residents introduce the island’s seasonal rhythms and best-kept secrets.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on mostly even terrain, boardwalks and trails.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Journey through the park over carriage roads and bridges to discover landmarks like Cadillac Mountain and out-of-the-way treasures such as Compass and Southwest Harbors.
  • Learn about Somes Sound, the only fjord on the east coast.
  • See how crustaceans are captured after you enjoy a real Down East lobster dinner.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Earl Brechlin
Earl D. Brechlin is a Bar Harbor resident who brings the history, magic and beauty of Maine’s North Woods alive in his new book of evocative essays “Return to Moose River.” He was the founding editor of the Mount Desert Islander and the holder of more than 100 awards for news and featured writing, and photography. Brechlin is a registered group leader in Maine, a former Maine Journalist of the year and the author of seven books on Maine and Acadia National Park.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Steve Haynes
Steve Haynes View biography
Steve Haynes is an expert on granite quarrying; Maine is renowned for the quality of its granite, which is featured in many buildings and memorials throughout the United States, including the gravestone of John. F. Kennedy in Arlington National Cemetery. He not only discusses granite quarrying on Mount Desert Island but performs a spellbinding demonstration of granite cutting.
Profile Image of Linda Shingleton
Linda J. Shingleton View biography
Linda Shingleton is passionate about conveying her extensive knowledge of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park to Road Scholars. Like many of the participants who attend Road Scholar programs, she is a retired educator, having spent 30 years in that field, and her ability to relate to others is a major reasons she’s such a well-liked group leader. Linda’s eager to help immerse participants in the diverse history and lore of Acadia and to brighten Road Scholars’ days with her unfailing optimism and good cheer.
Profile Image of Earl Brechlin
Earl Brechlin View biography
Earl D. Brechlin is a Bar Harbor resident who brings the history, magic and beauty of Maine’s North Woods alive in his new book of evocative essays “Return to Moose River.” He was the founding editor of the Mount Desert Islander and the holder of more than 100 awards for news and featured writing, and photography. Brechlin is a registered group leader in Maine, a former Maine Journalist of the year and the author of seven books on Maine and Acadia National Park.
Profile Image of Rich MacDonald
Rich MacDonald View biography
Rich MacDonald is a field biologist, ornithologist, naturalist, group leader, writer, photographer, husband, and father who lives in Bar Harbor, Maine. As a field biologist, Rich has studied the natural world, focusing on issues relating to climate change, forest ecology and birds. Rich is the director of The Natural History Center, an organization teaching and leading educational programs and trips throughout the natural world of Acadia National Park, Down East Maine and beyond (including leading Road Scholar trips around Norway, Cuba and the Great Lakes).
Profile Image of Lauren Tucker
Lauren Tucker View biography
Lauren Tucker spent years as a marketing executive before returning to her first love, Mount Desert Island. She has extensive knowledge of the island, its wonders and its hidden charms. She enjoys sharing her affinity for the island with Road Scholars.
Profile Image of Raney Bench
Raney Bench View biography
Raney Bench is Curator of Education at Bar Harbor's Abbe Museum, which spotlights Native American culture and history on Mount Desert Island. Her presentation on Wabanaki practices is always well received, and is followed by time for participants to browse the many exhibits of the museum.
Profile Image of Lisa Murray
Lisa Murray View biography
Lisa Murray, a passionate promoter of community connection, has worked on Mount Desert Island for over twenty years, including at the Abbe Museum, Pemetic Elementary School, Southwest Harbor Public Library, and as library director at Bass Harbor Memorial Library. She is an avid hiker and kayaker, and often heads over to Gotts Island to spend time at her family’s camp. She lives with her husband and two sons in Bass Harbor.
Profile Image of Sheila Bressler
Sheila Bressler View biography
Sheila Bressler first visited Mount Desert Island (MDI) over a decade ago with family and friends and has been captivated by its picturesque landscape ever since. She and her husband, Michael, live and travel across the country in their camper full time, and their love of the granite mountains and the rocky ocean shoreline keep them coming back to Acadia National Park for more adventures. Sheila loves to hike, bike, and kayak, and to share the beauty and history of MDI with Road Scholars.
Profile Image of Bryan Paxton
Bryan Paxton View biography
Bryan Paxton came to Maine in 2017 from North Carolina to work at ABCKT and fell in love with Mount Desert Island on his first visit. After graduating from NC State, he pursued his interest in helping others recreate outdoors. He loves every season on MDI for its unique qualities and is passionate about the island’s history, often searching for lost trails and forgotten treasures. He's also regularly found hiking, biking, beach combing, rock climbing, or cruising around in one of his old Jeeps.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
MEALS
9 Meals
4 Breakfasts
3 Lunches
2 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Low Fat, Low Salt, Pescatarian
LODGING
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Showing Lodging For:
Oct 15, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
  • Oct 15, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
  • Jul 21, 2024 - Jul 25, 2024
  • Sep 03, 2024 - Sep 07, 2024
  • Oct 15, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
  • May 18, 2025 - May 22, 2025
  • May 27, 2025 - May 31, 2025
  • Jul 20, 2025 - Jul 24, 2025
  • Sep 02, 2025 - Sep 06, 2025
  • Oct 14, 2025 - Oct 18, 2025
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park
4 nights
Location: Bar Harbor
The Bar Harbor Villager Motel is located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, within a 5 minute walk to shopping, restaurants and the beautiful Bar Harbor waterfront. In addition to our fantastic downtown location, breathtaking views and miles of pristine hiking and biking trails await you in Acadia National Park just 2 miles away. The Bar Harbor Villager Motel offers comfortable, clean rooms with modern amenities to serve as your “home away from home” during your visit to the area. --Most convenient downtown location --Complimentary Grab & Go continental breakfast --Heated outdoor pool --2 miles from Acadia National Park





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