Little bigger than a 3-by-5 index card and less than 100 pages, this handy book slides smoothly and comfortably into your pocket or day pack and offers the first- and even second-timer some handy guidance to navigating Acadia National Park.
Launched by Falcon Guides earlier this year, the "Pocket Guide" series for national parks is intended to provide you with a wealth of information in a small format, one that's easier to take with you into a park than more traditional guidebooks that can rival, and even surpass, the size of your typical John Grisham novel.
Naturally, in such a small size these Pocket Guides can't cover every aspect of a visit to a national park, nor go in-depth about much of anything. Still, at just $10 it's a small investment to help you negotiate your first visit.
The Acadia guide, written by Randi Minetor and illustrated with some nice color photographs taken by her husband, Nic Minetor, features pop-up maps of Acadia (and its outlying islands and the Schoodic Peninsula) with its roads, campgrounds, and many of its trails, provides a good snapshot of the park's natural and cultural history, and touches on activities in the park.
Much of the information can be found on Acadia's web site, but that's pretty hard to call up while you're out in the park.
If you're a minimalist, one who doesn't like investing in guidebooks that span everything from A to Z in a park, the Pocket Guide isn't a bad way to go. But it's not going to take you by the hand and provide deep insights into the landscape, camping, lodging, dining, and activities that await.