Added by Danielle Tourigny
Acadia National Park is a very different place in the off-season (November-April), and this is the only place recommended for campers in the off-season.
When we saw that the weather in Acadia was going to be mid 40's and sunny in March, we decided we had to go. However, when you go in March there are a lot of different things about Acadia National Park that are helpful to know.
First of all, it is recommended that you camp at Blackwoods Campground if you are planning on camping. The road into the campground is closed though, so plan on backpacking in (down the road) about 0.25 -0.5 miles. Before that you have to go to Acadia National Park Headquarters on route 233 to get a permit. The permit is free and you just have to display it on the dash of your car so that the rangers know who is there! The park itself is also free in the off-season.
Once you get into the campground, there are some designated sites in loop B that you should camp in. The bathrooms are closed but there are some outhouses to use instead. In loop A there is a hand pump for water, although we never actually checked that out.
Notes about Acadia in the off-season:
The park loop road is closed. That is obviously the main road through the park, but there are many other roads you can use to access hikes; you just may need to hike in a bit more.
It's gonna be cold. Even on this absolutely beautiful weekend we had, temps still were in the 20's at night.
Note: you can access the park loop road partially to get to sand beach (we realized this after we had hiked in to Sand Beach and then saw cars driving through...). Drive down Schooner Head Road. At the end you can turn right towards Park Loop to access the beach parking lot. That would have been better for us since with did the Beehive and Great Head trails.
Acadia is absolutely beautiful at all times of year, but it is helpful to be informed about a park's regulations in the off-season before you go!
- Warmest bag and pad for camping
- Lots of water (we never actually checked out the hand pump so I wouldn't count on it)
- Snacks, snacks, snacks (or we went to Side Street Cafe in town which was delicious: they have happy hour with $10 margarita pitchers!)
- Knife/hatchet to break down wood (there's lots of dry dead wood around and you can utilize the pit at each site to make a fire)
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