The Park Loop Road was conceived and created to be the primary roadway through Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island for motor vehicles that gives access to many of the most striking landscapes and seascapes. Construction on the twenty seven mile road began in 1922, partially financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the father of the park's Carriage Road System. Work on the road continued through the 1950s. Its design and unique sensitivity to the contours of the natural landscape, is due to the talents of landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.
On the Mount Desert Island map to the right, the Park Loop Road is represented by the darkest roadway on the right or east side of the island. The red arrow points to the road's start at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. It goes south until the point where you see it split. The one-way section begins here towards the right and goes to the Entrance Station where the entrance fee is paid (unless you already have a park pass). Along this eastern shore lies Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliff (refer to those pages to see location).
The road continues to follow the shoreline, looping inland around Otter Cove, then proceeds along the coast unlit reaching Seal Harbor where it begins its northerly loop direction. Shortly after it reaches Wildwood Stables, it begins a two-way section that goes northward, past Jordan Pond House, Bubble Pond, eventually arriving at the start of the Cadillac Mountain Road. This is where a dark squiggly line meanders towards the center. This is where the road reaches the Cadillac Mountain Summit. As you see from the map, the Park Loop Road connects back with the section of the road where you originally made the left turn to head to the Entrance Station.
If desired, there is another entrance point to the Park Loop Road that is south of the Bar Harbor village. To access it, follow Main Street south past Jackson Labs. Be watchful for an entrance on the right side. This takes you to Sieur de Monts Spring, Wild Gardens of Acadia, and the Nature Center or straight to the Park Loop Road.
Photos: Oceanside | Autumn | Entrance Station | Otter Cove | Cadillac | Mountain
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at various points along the Park Loop Road. (Refer to their #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods, the #4 Loop Road, and the # 5 Jordan Pond Routes.) The #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods and the #5 Jordan Pond Route Bus returns to Bar Harbor at the Village Green but the #4 Loop Road Route Bus stops at the the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.
Route 233 Park Loop Road Entrance GPS: Latitude 44.381263; Longitude -68.230050
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
Explore the Park Loop Road