Acadia National Park EV Travel Guide

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park lets people enjoy a protected area of the Appalachian Mountains. But, it’s just a small part of the chain. Far to the northeast, the mountains continue, eventually meeting the ocean in Maine and Canada. Acadia National Park is one of those places where the mountains meet the sea, giving visitors breathtaking views of land and ocean for miles around.

The islands, rugged coastline, and the mountains all give a diversity of things to do few parks can rival. Wildlife of all kinds is also seen along the scenic roads, hiking trails, carriage roads, and ocean tours. But, all of this natural and historical beauty leads to the park being one of the top ten busiest parks in the NPS system, so some planning ahead is essential to any visit, by EV or ICE.

The park isn’t geographically big compared to some other parks, but it’s still got a complex set of roads, tunnels, bridges, and more. This can trip you up with larger vehicles like RVs, and mess you up if you assume roads that cross each other must connect. There’s also a complex shuttle system that you have to put a little bit of thinking into using. Even hiking can get complicated, so be sure to carry a map or download the park’s data on the NPS app!

Because the park is busy, be sure to reserve ahead on things like camping, lodging (outside the park only), and any other required reservations (like for climbing Cadillac Mountain). Going in early or later can help you avoid parking problems or being in line for a long time.

It’s possible to visit year-round, but fewer things are open in the winter. Peak season is in the summer to late summer, and it’s worth visiting during that time for the best weather and available activities. Going outside of the peak season could land you in “mud season” in the spring where the park is not very enjoyable. Fall is better, but only early fall (October) before most things close down.

Pets are allowed in parts of the park, so with some planning, it can be fun to bring doggo along!

Getting There In An EV

Quick Facts and Tips:

  • Maine’s DC fast charging situation is pretty good. There are plenty of charging opportunities along I-95, and the nearest chargers to the park are in Ellsworth, just a few miles outside of the park. The V3 Supercharger there is open to non-Tesla vehicles with an adapter and access, and there’s a nearby ChargePoint station open to all vehicles (max 125 kW).
  • The park’s lands are not one big block/chunk. There are private lands, little towns, and businesses mixed in with the park. There’s one L2 station at the visitor’s center, but most other charging opportunities are on private lands and in the towns.
  • There is no in-park hotel, but there is camping. Nearby towns do have hotels and RV parks, though. Several L2 chargers are located at hotels, so these may make a good option. Be sure to check Plugshare ahead of time to get up-to-date reliability reports from other EV drivers.
  • The in-park Schoodic Woods Campground does have some electrical hookups, but you may need to reserve an RV park outside of the park if you’re towing and want to charge. Two parks are listed on Plugshare, but you’ll want to check before you go and call to make sure policies haven’t changed.
  • Because L3 charging is so close, you may be able to power a campsite without hookups using your vehicle’s battery.
  • The other side of the park near Winter Harbor should be reachable from the nearest L3 chargers, but there are some L2 charging stations in the park over there.

All in all, this park seems to be very EV-friendly. Between all of the charging options, planning shouldn’t be difficult, nor should finding a place to stay.

Links To Further Park and Nearby Information

Here are a couple of videos showing what there is to see and how to best visit:

Featured image by NPS (Public Domain).

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