Great Head is the small peninsula located on the opposite side of Sand Beach as the beach parking lot and the Park Loop Road. In the photo shown above, Sand Beach is in the cove on the far left. Great Head is to the right extending further into the ocean. At the point where the beach and Great Head meet, there is a stone stairway that begins the Great Head Trail that leads up the bare exposed granite, on its way to the top. Along the way, there is a beautiful section of pink granite that becomes even more pronounced on damp mornings such as seen in this photo.
Once you reach the top of Great Head, you surely will look back from whence you came and most likely gasp at the scene that lays before you. There below, is Sand Beach. Off to the right is The Beehive mountain. It is a breathtaking view and a perspective so many people have yet to discover.
Great Head Trail loops 1.4 miles (2.2 km) around the perimeter of the peninsula and is rated as a moderate difficulty level. This applies more to the climb getting on top of the formation more than the loop section itself. There will be some great views from the southern tip overlooking the ocean and Otter Cliff in the distance. Part of the trail on the return loop back goes through a nice stand of white birch.
Consider taking some food and drink with you so you can have a picnic as there will be some very nice spots to just sit and do so. This is one of those “less traveled” treasures.
Tip: If hiking during late July or throughout August, watch for the Wild Blueberries that grow along the trail!
Photos: Great Head | Stone Steps | Pink Granite | Sand Beach | Foggy Morning
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at the Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliff. (Refer to their #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods & #4 Loop Road Routes.) The #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods Route Bus returns to Bar Harbor at the Village Green and the #4 Loop Road Route Bus stops at the the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.
Sand Beach Parking GPS Coordinates: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
Discover Great Head Trail!