We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Topic
best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Hello- I hope someone can give me some advice about an Oct. visit to Acadia. I want to catch peak leaf turning, yet if I

plan my trip for past Oct. 10th, I understand the Island Explorer shuttle will not be available, and whale watching cruises will be winding down. The folliage reports of the last

few years show peak from the 13th or later. I think I also

saw that the ranger-lead hikes in Acadia only go to Oct. 10th as well. Has anyone taken the ranger lead hikes? Some of the ones I have read about sound great.

The other thing I wondered about is the Island Explorer or a

shuttle back to the airport for my return flight. From what I read, it seems a little limited as far as having to leave early in

the day to be sure you get connected, as there are not as many

trips in October. Seems that a rental car may be the way to

go.......thanx for your advice!

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
6,484 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Yes, I think a rental car would be the way to go. Things will slow down quite a bit in Bar Harbor and Acadia after the holiday weekend of October 8 and 9. Prices will even go down at some of the Inns. With a rental car there will be no need for the Island Explorer buses.

Peak foliage is indeed usually around the 12th of the month. That's very unpredictable. There is nice color however before and after peak.

One of the reasons that the whale watch boats end around that time in October is because it often gets pretty windy about then. Not a pleasant boat trip. And very chilly out on the North Atlantic.

The ranger-led hikes are nice. But you can still get good advice at the Park Entrance station and hike on your own. There is a CD that you can buy to play in your rental car. It gives a very thorough four-hour guided tour of the Park.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,888 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

I don't know what airport you will be using, but if it's Bangor, then a rental car is the only reasonable option.

You're correct, the Island Explorer ceases operation on the 10th.

Columbus Day weekend is busy here---in addition to it being a three-day holiday in the USA and usually coinciding with peak autumn foliage, it also is Thansgiving weekend for our neighbors to the north.

As bonniemaev noted, the time of peak foliage is variable---and the best color stays around for a while---barring lengthy storms. As Columbus Day is early this year, it may be that peak color will occur after the holiday.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Thanx bonniemaev and cwvoigt! I appreciate your advice.

Good to know that it is busy around the 8th and 9th for

the holiday. I am not sure which airport I will use yet.

Are rental cars available at Bar Harbor/Hancock County

Airport? I think I can get a connecting flight through

Boston. I think I would prefer to get as close as possible,

vs. the 45 mile drive from Bangor.

Sounds like coming after the 10th may be a good time, and

I may be able to get in on the end of the whale watch season.

Thanx for the advice about the whale watch cruise and rough

ride when the season turns windy--I am a sea sick kind of girl!

Will pack plenty of ginger! Can't wait to come visit Bar Harbor.

Thanx again to both of you.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,888 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Enterprise and Hertz can provide cars at Bar Harbor/Hancock Co. airport

Fresh Meadows, NY
2 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Like you Lulu53, we are planning (well since we already booked a reservation, we are going to) visit Bar Harbor after peak season. We visisted last year right after the holiday weekend and everything was almost in peak. We had a small storm pass though, and some overcast days, but it was still an enjoyable trip.

Like the others, I would suggest renting a car. Since it is off peak time, you will need it to move around more freely and there is less congestion to worry about. In a nutshell, you will enjoy your trip more. We would like to take the ranger hikes as well, but we went off on our own last year and we will do the same this year. You can still see the places the rangers take you and you will not be alone going to those places as other visitors will be there too.

Try to do as much research as possible and plan out what you want to see. The first thing we are going to do when we get there is to check out the weather fo the time we will be there and then call the whale watching place to see if we can book a tour on the sunny day we are there. I checked the whale watching site earlier today and they have tours until the end of October. Please.. bring a coat with you when you visit the area. It can get really cool and windy in the shade and at nights.

Sorry for rambling on... enjoy your trip.

Fresh Meadows, NY
2 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

bonniemaev..

Where can I get that cd you mentioned??

Thanks

Bar Harbor, Maine
Level Contributor
6,484 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

The CD I mentioned can be purchased at the Acadia National Park Visitor's Center, well-marked just north of Bar Harbor on Route 3. Some of the Bed and Breakfasts keep a few copies to loan out to their guests.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Thanx neu yorker-

I appreciate your advice. I guess I was struggling with the

decision of taking advantage of the convenience of the Island

Explorer, the ranger guided tours, and catching peak leaf

change. The main attractions for me are the folliage and

whale watching.

Where did you stay the last time you visited Bar Harbor?

I will probably go with a AAA recommended place, but would

love some feedback from someone who has been there before. How long do you stay? I was planning a leisurely

trip of a week--I wonder if that is too long? I wanted to do a

lot of hiking to see a lot of the park. Good advice re: the weather. It helps to know what to pack. Enjoy your trip.

Lulu53

Bradley, Maine
Level Contributor
685 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

Lulu, where to stay? check out some of the other posts here, as there are plenty of reviews. But if you let us know what you are looking for kind of place as they vary widely. Price range, elegant vs. simple, quiet or intown, hotel, cabin, B&B etc...

Bar Harbor, Maine
Destination Expert
for Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
Level Contributor
3,888 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: best time in Oct. to visit acadia

lulu53---on how long to stay

If you are intent on exploring what Acadia has to offer, then a week is none too long. Before we moved here, we typically spent a week to ten days or so. A week's stay, if you can swing it, also allows for a "down day," i.e., when/if it rains or if you simply get tired.

To emphasize what neu yorker said, bring coats/fleece/sweatshirts. The days may well be sunny and mild but the evenings will be cool---we already are having a few nights in the low 50s/upper 40s. Also, if you do plan a whale-watch, you can count on the temperature out there being 20 degrees F cooler than on shore.