Perched on the USA’s northeastern tip lies a honeypot of towering rises, thick forests and mirrored lakes. It’s no wonder that many Americans make Maine’s wild jewel, Acadia National Park, their first port of call when looking for an adventure. With both the National Park Service and Acadia itself turning 100 this year, you’ve got the perfect excuse to roam New England’s sole national park. A Grand American Adventures small group tour offers an ideal way to explore Maine’s pristine wilderness, from rugged coastline to the rarefied air of its snow-dusted peaks.
Acadia adventures – One of the USA’s more compact parks, Acadia is the setting for a big experience. A patchwork of dens; woodland, rolling meadows, huge lakes and rocky cliffs decorate an archipelago that includes the vast Mount Desert Island, Isle au Haut and the lush Schoodic Peninsula.
There are so many ways to see the park, with biking and hiking trails as well as a web of rustic carriage roads (closed to vehicles) snaking its wild interior. Tread cedar and ash forests, spying white-tailed deer, porcupines and even black bears, or hit the Park Loop Road for a two-wheeled introduction to all that makes Acadia worth seeing. There are adventures both high and low.
Gimb Cadillac Mountain, East-Coast USA’s tallest peak, for a stunning panorama and an incredible spot to watch the dawn sun inch across the horizon. Or kayak the waters around Mount Desert Island and net your own lunch aboard a deep-sea fishing boat, keeping your eyes peeled for curious local porpoises, common seals and bald eagles. But Acadia isn’t Maine’s only area of prime wilderness. In verdent Camden Hills State Park you can scale Mount Battie (238m) for views of forest swathes and Penobscot Bay’s sprinkling of islands. Elsewhere, BaxterState Park is a pleasing mix of lakes, waterfall sand peaks, best explored along hiking trails that put you alongside moose, black bears and an abundance of wild birdlife.
Grand group trips – These sort of activities are typical of Grand American Adventures, which boasts vast local knowledge of Maine and beyond. They have 60 ready- made itineraries spanning North America, each encompassing classic sites and behind-the-scenes wonders. Their smaller group sizes also put your interests at the heart of any trip, with larger groups (four or more) able to enjoy more bespoke tours. With the logistics taken care of, you’ll be able to concentrate on soaking up more of the USA’s rugged wonders. And what better way to mark the National Park Service’s landmark anniversary than by exploring one of its most attractive attractions first-hand?