Drive Downeast, Maine
The Downeast and Acadia region of Maine is filled with beauty. One of the best ways to explore this region is on a driving tour. Visitors will find a variety of byways to explore. These byways can make good day long sightseeing tours, or can be combined and extended in whatever way works best for each vacationer.
The western and southernmost byway is the Acadia Byway. This route runs from Ellsworth along Route 3 south and east toward Acadia National Park. Upon reaching the park, take the Park Loop Road, following the coastline and then back north through the park, then continue back to Bar Harbor. This byway is a fantastic way to see a few beautiful coastal towns in Maine as well as explore Acadia National Park.
Throughout the miles of this byway there are many excellent sights. The Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park can be a destination in itself, but the miles of Carriage Roads throughout Acadia National Park. These rustic roads give visitors a chance to truly see the many natural features to be found in the park. Bar Harbor is one of the larger villages that travelers on the byway can enjoy. The Champlain and Door Mountains as well as the Tarn and wetlands are also beautiful features that can be seen on the byway. Other sights include Great and Little Cranberry Island, Hulls Cove, Mount Desert Narrows and Thompson Island.
The Acadia Byway can make a whole trip on its own, however for those seeking a longer trip can also explore the Schoodic Scenic Byway. This byway can also make an entire road trip on its own, just like the Acadia Byway. The Schoodic Scenic Byway starts in Waukeag, crosses the water over to West Sullivan. Then travel along Route 186 into Acadia National Park and around the edge of the peninsula and into Prospect Harbor at the end of the byway.
Acadia National Park has a small section of the park is across the bay from the main section of Acadia National Park. In addition to this small section of the park, this byway provides a great opportunity to see some of Maine's lighthouses, including Egg Rock Light, Petit Manan Light, Prospect Harbor Light and Winter Harbor Light. Schoodic Scenic Byway also passes near Blueberry Hill, Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and more.
To the north, between Acadia Byway and Schoodic Scenic Byway lies Blackwoods Byway. Blackwoods Byway starts in Franklin and travels along Route 182 for approximately 12 miles west of the junction of State Route 182 and Route 1.
Travelers along this section of road in Maine have the opportunity to see mountains, lakes, towns and more. Road trippers along this byway can explore Schoodic Mountain, Black Mountain, Catherine's Mountain and Tunk Mountain. Other sights include Tunk Lake, Donnell Pond, Fox Pond, Franklin and Cherryfield known as the "Blueberry Capital of the World."
Each of these three byways make a fabulous road trip, and can either be completed in a day or extended to add time to explore. For those that want to take a longer road trip, combining these three byways is an excellent way to truly explore this region of Maine by car. Throughout the miles on this road there are many amazing destinations to enjoy and spend countless hours exploring.