Thunder Hole

Acadia-Stars-Thunder-HoleStar Light, Star Bright

To find Acadia’s purest wilderness, just look up to behold the largest expanse of naturally dark sky east of the Mississippi — a credit to both the National Park Service’s policy of preserving natural lightscapes and the town of Bar Harbor’s dark-sky ordinance. The sight of a sky swimming with billions of stars (plus scores of fast-moving satellites — alas, it’s not totally wild) is so rare in this light-polluted world that it’s cause for celebration: amateur and pro astronomers descend on MDI for night hikes, lectures, and star parties atop Cadillac Mountain during the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival.

Thunder Hole

I heard a rumbling like a mighty thunder,
I looked and saw below
Waves rushing to a cave in the rock
And lashing over.
The spray came high,
The surf swam in great patches,
Over all the wind made moan.
Ah, such a stormy day at great Thunder Hole.

— A poem by Ann Chaplin, age 10, printed in The Horn Book Magazine in July 1943. One of Acadia’s best-known attractions, the rock inlet called Thunder Hole — and the waves that often crash into it — inspires awe (if not poetry) from millions of visitors each year.

Photographed by Adam Woodworth

See more from our Best of Acadia guide!


Get our Acadia Wall Calendar, a great take-home souvenir for travelers venturing to Acadia this summer and those who just appreciate the beauty of the region.

Down East Magazine

We're the Magazine of Maine.