In Depth Southeast of Bangor, Acadia National Park possesses an unusual combination of ocean and mountain scenery and is a popular vacation destination. The park includes more than 54 square miles of Mount Desert Island, the largest rock-based island on the Atlantic coast.
Dominating the park are the ancient, rounded peaks of the Mount Desert Mountains, worn down by countless centuries of erosion. Great granite cliffs, undermined by the pounding surf at their bases, rise from the ocean. Nowhere along the Atlantic seaboard is the “stern and rockbound coast” more picturesque.
Twenty-six peaks, mostly bare at their summits, are forested with spruce, fir, pine and northern hardwood trees. Some 500 types of wildflowers, including many Arctic species, grow in the park, and the area is a sanctuary for a variety of birds and other animals.
Samuel de Champlain sighted Mount Desert Island in 1604 and named it “L'Isle des Monts Deserts,” which means island of bare mountains. It was the site of a short-lived settlement by French Jesuits in 1613, and for many years was part of the French province of Acadia, from which the park derives its name.
Acadia National Park, ME
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