Visiting Acadia National Park? Make sure to take a stroll through the Wild Gardens of Acadia for gorgeous views of native trees, ferns and wildflowers.
On our latest getaway to Acadia National Park, a lot of our time was spent on challenging hikes or cycling trails.
But every trip also needs a little breathing room.
So we also made time for sightseeing at a more relaxed pace. The Wild Gardens of Acadia was just such an opportunity, and it’s one of my top 10 things to do in Acadia.
Located in the Sieur de Monts area of the park, this is not a formal garden. Instead, it presents a condensed view of all the native habitats to be found throughout Acadia.
The garden can be an educational resource if you want to learn more about the plants and landscape of Acadia. Or it can be a relaxing walk through the greenery. Or it can be both!
Another easy but popular walk in Acadia is the Jordan Pond Path!
Finding Your Way at The Wild Gardens of Acadia
The main parking area at the gardens was full when we arrived, but we easily found parking on the street nearby. Admission is free.
There’s a nature center by the entrance.
Inside the gardens, you’ll find areas divided off to represent different ecosystems within the park.
There are areas for plants from the meadows, mountain, beaches, brookside, bogs, and more.
It’s true we were there outside of peak season, but while other areas in Acadia remained a little crowded, this area wasn’t crowded at all, even in the middle of the day.
The Jesup Path
Just outside the gardens, you’ll find the Jesup Path, which is part of an easy loop trail.
The Jesup Path includes a long boardwalk that runs through a forest of white birches.
The Jesup Path is level and wide enough to be mostly accessible for different levels of mobility.
When we were there in September, the Wild Gardens of Acadia weren’t exactly full of flowers, but the whole area was a gorgeous spot to watch the leaves change! And in some places the ground ferns made for a beautiful layer beneath the trees.
The boardwalk on the Jesup Path was only one-way, but it had small observation platforms for resting or passing.
Other Attractions Near the Wild Gardens of Acadia
The trailside Abbe Museum highlights Native American culture and history spanning thousands of years. (This is the museum’s original location, but it has also expanded into a larger facility in Bar Harbor.)
To get a glimpse at early Acadia park history, take a look at Sieur de Monts Spring itself.
It was named after a French explorer who traveled in this part of North America during the 1600’s.
You’ll see an attractive little octagonal house built over the Sieur de Monts Spring. “The Sweet Waters of Acadia” is carved into a nearby rock.
The first superintendent of Acadia was responsible for both the spring house and the rock carving in 1909. Today that location serves as a sort of monument to the people who made it their life’s work to establish Acadia National Park.
The Wild Gardens of Acadia was a really nice, quiet area. If you’re looking for a break from a hectic pace, or to do some gentle walking instead of hiking, this is your spot!