Visitors looking for a quiet spot to relax for a time amid the natural beauty of Acadia National Park and enjoy a quick snack or lunch, or perhaps a more elaborate meal cooked over a charcoal grill, can stop in at one of five picnic areas.
Each picnic area has a bounty of tables and fireplaces set in a scenic location. Restrooms are available, and most areas have a water fountain. All picnic areas in the park are first-come, first-served (no reservations are needed or accepted), and all are handicapped-accessible.
At Thompson Island Picnic Area on Route 3 at the north end of Mount Desert Island, picnickers can enjoy the wonderful view across the waters of Mount Desert Narrows at the head of Frenchman Bay to the mainland at Trenton. A large field means plenty of space to play in the sun, while spruce and birch trees offer shady spots. The Thompson Island Visitor Center is directly across the road, where park information, park passes, maps and books, and restrooms are available.
Enjoy the lovely woods of Bear Brook Picnic Area, located on the Park Loop Road just east of Sieur de Monts Spring. After lunch, wander across the road to scenic Bear Brook Pond, where there is a fabulous view of Champlain Mountain rising steeply above. Then continue your drive into the park proper to visit Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliffs, and take in the magnificent scenery along the amazing Ocean Drive.
Fabbri Picnic Area is nestled in the spruce and birch trees on the shore of Otter Cove, not far from Otter Cliffs and Otter Point. Just across the Park Loop Road from the picnic area is the Fabbri Memorial dedicated to Alessandro Fabbri, a Mount Desert Island resident and navy lieutenant who commanded the former U.S. Naval Radio Station located on this site for 27 months during World War I.
South of Southwest Harbor on the western side of Mount Desert Island is Seawall Picnic Area, located on Route 102A directly across from Seawall Campground. Here along the natural seawall bold views of the Atlantic Ocean can be had, with Great Cranberry Island just across narrow passage of Western Way. Picnickers can enjoy one of the tables perched right on the edge of the seawall, or beneath the trees in a small grassy area. Stroll along the cobbles of the seawall next the breaking surf and breathe deeply of the invigorating salt air.
Amid the fragrant spruce and fir woods of Pretty Marsh Picnic Area on Route 102A at the western edge of Mount Desert Island, enjoy some quiet time at the log picnic pavilion near the entrance or one of the tables tucked in the forest farther along. From the cul-de-sac just beyond the toilet, take a short walk on the grassy track leading down to another pavilion on the shore of scenic Pretty Marsh Harbor. After lunch, take a leisurely drive south a few miles through Tremont to Bass Harbor to enjoy a look at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse perched on the rocky cliffs above the ocean.