A Natural Wonder
Situated off the East Coast of mainland U.S., Mount Desert Island or just MDI is the largest island off the coast of Maine. With an area of over 100 square miles, Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine and the 6th largest in the contiguous U.S. Home to a year round population of just over 10,000, the island receives close to a half million more visitors each year due to its popular harbor towns and its most famous feature, Acadia National Park.
When French explorer Samuel de Champlain made his way along the East Coast of what would become the U.S., he observed an island which appeared to be barren of all vegetation. It was for this reason that he decided to name the island Ile des Monts Deserts or the Island of the bare mountains or lonely mountains.
Long before the French or other European settlers made their way to this part of the world, many people were already living and thriving in the area. Evidence found on the island date back 6,000 years and tell the story of the islands first residents, the American Indians. These Native American’s survived off the land and the sea harvesting shellfish and gathering both berries and other plants found throughout the region. The island, known to the Native people as Pemetic built canoes and homes from birch bark harvested from the island.
By the 1600’s the first French were arriving to the region and later, the English. For hundreds of years, a battle over this territory ensued not by the Natives but by the English and the French. However, in the mid 1700’s the British triumphed and until the American Revolution remained under British Control
Free from control in the 1800’s, the island began to grow and thrive. Artists, and writers made their way here to enjoy the beauty of the island. In 1901, the islands beuty was further noted and Acadia Naitonal Park was born. By 1919, the area was federally recognized and named Lafayette National Park unitl its name changed in 1929.
Glacially created, this island is truly a natural wonder. Large mountains, small ponds and lakes, giant boulders and a fjard make this land truly one to inspired. Inspiration to millions year after year, Acadia National Park is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in the NPS today. Within the park visitors have much to see and do however, no visit would be complete without first visiting the Loop Road. Here you can see the visitor center and learn more about the area and also experience a taste of just some of what the park has to offer in terms of beauty. Stunning beaches, dramatic rock ledges and a number of points offer amazing views and fun place to swim or just explore. Away from the coast meadows and forests offer visitors the opportunity to commune with nature on dry land. Whether you choose to spend the day or a week, you will not be disappointed.
Popular coastal must-sees outside of Acadia National Park include:
- Bar Harbor
- Mount Desert
- Southwest Harbor
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