Here at Summer Feet, we make it no secret that we love Acadia National Park. It is one of Maine’s greatest treasures and we include it in four of our cycling and hiking tours (at the time of writing this blog).
From our Exploring Acadia Weekend Bike Tour to our History and Harbors Hiking Tour Through Maine, we find ourselves returning to Acadia National Park over and over again — both in person and in our imaginations. This park calls to people all over the world, and we love nothing better than to offer our local expertise and considerable experience as a tour company.
With this guide today, we’d like to introduce Acadia National Park to some people who perhaps don’t know much about it before delving into the majestic animals that call it home.
We are not guaranteeing that you will see all of the animals mentioned in this guide, but you will certainly see many of them. This is a national park brimming with life and beauty; come, explore it with Summer Feet…
Introducing Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park can be found roughly midway along Maine’s rugged coastline. The park is a combination of half of Mount Desert Island, part of the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, and sections of 16 other smaller islands. In essence, this makes Acadia National Park feel like a wild archipelago, packed with coastlines, animals, and the smell of the ocean.
Spanning over 49,000 acres, this unique national park offers a diverse range of habitats, from lush forests and freshwater ponds to granite cliffs and rocky shores, making it an ideal sanctuary for an astonishing range of wildlife species.
There are far too many species to list everything here, so we would instead like to discuss some of the most impressive species that live in Acadia.
Note: If we inspire you to visit Acadia National Park with us and you’re a little worried about your fitness levels, perhaps you’d like to consider our E-Bike Exploring Acadia Tour. The electric motor allows you to take the stress out of cycling whenever you need to. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Now, let’s embark on a virtual journey, exploring the captivating creatures that call Acadia National Park home.
Majestic and awe-inspiring, the peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal and it is a renowned resident of Acadia. These majestic creatures were known to have called Mount Desert Island home until 1956. Then there was a long stretch of time without any peregrine falcons in the park.
Then, in 1991, the first successful nesting in 35 years occurred, and things have continued to improve — with the help of park resource managers. Today, the population of falcons in Acadia National Park is flourishing. You can learn more about Acadia’s peregrine falcon conservation efforts on the National Park Service website.
These birds of prey, known for their exceptional hunting abilities, nest on the park’s vertical cliffs and use their incredible speed and agility to swoop down upon their unsuspecting prey. Witnessing a peregrine falcon in flight against the backdrop of Acadia’s stunning landscapes is an experience that enchants even the most well-traveled visitors.
As you explore Acadia National Park’s woodlands and meadows, you’re likely to encounter the graceful white-tailed deer. These gentle creatures roam freely throughout Acadia and are often seen nibbling on leaves and grasses or gracefully bounding through the forest.
Watching a doe and her fawns in their natural habitat is a heartwarming sight that embodies the tranquility of the park. White-tailed deer are thriving in the park, making a sighting on a walking or cycling tour fairly likely.
Harbor Seals and Gray Seals
Acadia’s coastline is a haven for marine life, and among the most beloved sights are the charmingly chunky bodies of seals — harbor seals and gray seals, to be exact.
These adorable creatures can often be spotted sunbathing on the rocky shores or playfully swimming in the chilly waters. Observing these playful marine mammals is an unforgettable experience.
While seals are often quite bold, it’s important to maintain a respectful distance to avoid disturbing their natural behavior. This is where having a local guide comes in handy, as we know all of the best practices and safest ways to get our guests as close as possible to the seals while also respecting their needs.
While foxes aren’t much different from coyotes, these orange, white, and black canids are much more popular. We have no doubt it’s because of their fiery red fur and bushy tails. The stylish stars of the canine family, red foxes add a touch of vibrancy to Acadia’s wilderness.
These crafty and elusive creatures are often seen darting through the underbrush or foraging for food in the early morning or late evening. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of this beautiful creature during your visit to Acadia National Park!
Acadia’s coastal islands are a haven for seabirds, and among the most iconic is the Atlantic puffin. With their distinctive black and white plumage and colorful beaks, puffins are a joy to behold.
The best way to catch a glimpse of these charming birds is by taking a boat tour to the nearby seabird nesting islands, where they breed during the summer months.
The symbol of American pride, and our nation’s national animal, the bald eagle can be found soaring in the skies above Acadia National Park. With their impressive wingspans and sharp eyesight, bald eagles are apex predators, preying on many other birds and mammals in the park.
Spotting a bald eagle perched on a tree branch or gracefully gliding through the air is an unforgettable sight that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s easy to see why this impressive bird became the iconic animal of the United States.
Beneath the waves off the coast of Acadia, a fascinating array of marine life thrives — the most impressive of which is the gentle basking shark. Despite their enormous size (the second largest fish in the world), basking sharks are filter feeders and pose no threat to humans.
If you’re an avid scuba diver or snorkeler, exploring Acadia’s underwater world provides a chance to encounter these magnificent creatures along with an abundance of marine life, including harbor porpoises, minke whales, finback whales, leatherback turtles, and spectacular schools of jellyfish.
Acadia National Park’s diverse ecosystems and protected habitats serve as a sanctuary for an impressive array of wildlife. As visitors, it is essential to remember that this is their home, and we are merely guests.
Respecting wildlife and their natural behaviors by observing from a distance and avoiding any disruptions ensures their continued well-being and preservation for generations to come.
If you’d like more Acadia National Park inspiration and you’re an avid cyclist, you might like to read our guide to cycling in Acadia National Park. And, if you have any questions about our cycling tours, please feel free to get in touch. Your next big adventure in Maine could be just a few clicks away!