Not for your average tourist: Acadia’s stark beauty in winter

The beauty of Acadia National park in summer is undoubtedly wondrous, which is why it brings millions of tourists to its over 47,000 acres during the season each year. Maybe it’s the heat of the sun on bare legs and arms, the flowers in full bloom or the lush green landscape welcoming you at every turn. And then in the fall, the leaves change and the landscape comes alive in a way that is classically New England. But when winter starts to settle in, the tourists pack their bags and head home, leaving the park in the rearview mirror. 

And let me tell you something: they’re missing out.

Acadia in winter

Winter in Acadia National Park. Gabor Degre | BDN

Otter cliffs at sunrise

Otter cliffs at sunrise. Brian Feulner | BDN

Icicles hang from the rock along the shore at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. Gabor Degre | BDN

Icicles hang from the rock along the shore at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. Gabor Degre | BDN

Every year, outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki reminds readers that while most of Acadia’s roads are closed to vehicle traffic during the off-season, the trails, lakes and ponds remain open to the public for a wide variety of activities. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fat-tire biking, ice fishing, horseback riding and dog walking are all permitted in the park during the winter, though some activities are limited to certain trails and roads.

If you read her blog during the winter sometimes she’ll take you there with the cutest hiking buddy ever.


The view from Parkman Mountain in winter. Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN

I’m new to Maine, having moved to the state in January to work for the Bangor Daily News. I look at pictures of Acadia in winter and I regret not immediately heading out that way with my camera. But I had no idea what I was missing, and now we both do.

Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN

The carriage roads. Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN


An ice shack on Echo Lake. Bill Trotter | BDN

More fantastic photos of Acadia in winter:

Micky Bedell

About Micky Bedell

I love listening to people talk about their outlets for creativity. I love watching them work. When you meet someone who has a real, undeniable passion for something, and they put their heart and soul into it, it's easy to show that in photos and videos. I've worked in Vermont, Upstate New York, Western Massachusetts and now Maine. Rural New England holds my heart and soul.