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The best national parks for extreme sports

By: Starre Vartan on July 8, 2012, 5:51 p.m.
Acadia National Park

Photo: Edward Faulkner/flickr

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Acadia National Park

When you think Maine, you might be reminded of lobsters, the distinctive accents of the locals or a rocky seashore sunset. But Acadia National Park on the southern coast of the state offers plenty of adventure, with the tallest mountain on the Atlantic Coast and miles of unspoiled, natural coastline accessed by carriage roads (built by John Rockefeller that you can now hike and bike on), and pounding waves.


The Grand Tour bike route around the Mount Desert Island part of Acadia National Park is 68 miles long and passes all of the park’s main sights. According to, this do-it-all-in-a-day bike tour can include “taking in the major coastal landmarks, including Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs and Otter Cove. Then, the tour takes the biker through Northeast Harbor and along the eastern shore of Somes Sound into Somesville. The route can measure a heart-pumping 68 miles, or, if you omit the Western Loop, 39 miles.” Or you could do it over a couple of days, and I bet you might have time to stop and take some pictures of those gorgeous views.