A Magical Underwater World

The magnificent beauty of Maine’s shoreline comes thanks in part to the large tides that wash against it every day. To find some of the rarest treasures of the Mount Desert Island coastline, try going tidepooling in Acadia National Park.
The best time for shoreline exploration is on a new-moon or full-moon day, when low tide exposes mussels, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars, periwinkles, hermit crabs and rockweed. Rubber boots or waterproof treaded shoes are essential on the wet, slippery terrain.
The best way to learn about the fascinating world that exists between the tides is to look for creatures in their own habitats, with a good field guide as a reference.
Remember these marine animals are not indestructible. Our careless handling and footsteps can do damage that the changing tides cannot.
Want to know when low tide is happening? Visit our tide chart.
When you visit the intertidal zone while tidepooling in Acadia National Park, keep in mind these tips for your safety and for the protection of marine life:
  • Go at low tide—there are two low tides daily, 12 hours apart.
  • Do not wade or sit in tidepools.
  • Rocks and algae are slippery. Watch your step and tread carefully
  • Never turn your back on the ocean: rogue waves can occur at any time.
  • Wear suitable clothing and closed-toe shoes.
  • Sea creatures live everywhere. Be careful where you place your feet.
  • If you move animals or rocks, return them to the same spot.
  • Do not pry animals from rocks; you may injure them in the process.
  • Re-cover animals you find under rocks or seaweed so they won’t dry out.
  • All living creatures are protected in the park. Take only pictures.
  • Join a ranger-guided shoreline walk to learn more about this unique environment.
Tidepooling in Acadia National Park