An excellent public transportation system makes getting around Acadia National Park easier than driving, especially on busy days during the peak summer season. The Island Explorer shuttle is a fare-free bus service that operates ten routes linking hotels, inns, and campgrounds on Mount Desert Island and the mainland at Ellsworth and Trenton to destinations throughout the park and neighboring towns and villages.
Leave your car parked and avoid parking hassles when you take a quick and easy ride on the Island Explorer to the beach, hiking trails, carriage roads, museums, shops, restaurants, and other attractions in Acadia National Park. Eight numbered routes will get you easily back and forth between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, and from Bar Harbor to Sand Beach, the Park Loop Road, Jordan Pond, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and all the great island and park destinations in-between.
Bicyclists will love the express service from Bar Harbor to Eagle Lake for a quick getaway to the carriage roads for a fun day of bicycling. Hikers will appreciate the Pond Express to the heart of the park at Jordan Pond House and the wealth of hiking trails nearby.
Visitors to the islands offshore to the south of Mount Desert Island can drive their car or ride the bus to the ferry terminals at Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, and Tremont, where free and fee parking is available.
Three privately-operated ferries operate service between Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor and the beautiful Cranberry Isles. This group of five islands includes Great Cranberry, Little Cranberry, and Sutton islands. Visitors will enjoy the unique island mix of fishermen, artists, and summer residents seemingly a world away from the busy mainland traffic and crowds. Outside of scheduled service, three water taxis also provide a connection to the Cranberry Islands, with advance reservations.
The Maine State Ferry Service operates regular ferry boats to lovely Swan’s Island and to the quaint village of Frenchboro on Long Island. A trip on the Captain Henry Lee brings visitors back in time to the classic scenery and rich history of Swan’s Island and one of the prettiest harbors on the coast of Maine, and further south to the isolated hamlet of Frenchboro, where lobstering is a mainstay of island living.