Hiking Trails - Acadia National Park

Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails

There are about 125 miles of hiking trails within Acadia National Park covering a wide ranges of types and levels of difficulty. An individual trail is usually less than 2 miles (3.6 km) in length (one way) but easily combined with other trails for longer routes. These also connect up or are in close proximity with the Carriage Road System making one of the most unique and varied recreation networks in a natural setting anywhere. From rocky seashore, across fields and valleys, to the summits of mountains, there is something here for most anyone.

Acadia National Park on Mount Desert IslandA trail's level of difficulty is defined relative to a Difficulty Ratings Standard that has four groupings:

Very Easy - Smooth path over level ground
Easy - Uneven ground but fairly level
Moderate - Some steep grade, some level stretches
Strenuous - Steep grades, many steady climbs

One should never attempt to do a Strenuous rated hiking trail unless in optimal health. Before doing any hike, it is advised to read and become familiar with:

Hiking Hints & Safety

The map to the right shows Mount Desert Island and the location of Bar Harbor for reference. The green area is Acadia National Park land.

Very Easy: (smooth path over level ground)

Bar Harbor Shore Path
Beginning at the Bar Harbor Town Pier, the Shore Path runs along the shore offering great views of the harbor and out islands. The path crosses private property and access is granted by owners providing that hikers respect their residences and stay on the path. Park on the Town Pier in Bar Harbor. - 1.0 mile/1.6 km
Cadillac Summit - Paved path encircling the summit
Offers panoramic views of Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay and out islands - Parking on the Cadillac Mountain 1,530 foot summit - 0.3 mile loop/0.5 km loop
Jordan Pond Nature Trail
Forest and pond setting - Park at Jordan Pond parking area - 1.0 mile loop/1.6 km loop
Ocean Path
Begins near Sand Beach and runs parallel to the Park Loop Road on its east side past Thunder Hole all the way to Otter Cliff - Park at the Sand Beach or Otter Point parking lots - 3.0 miles/4.8 km
Unique forest to rocky shoreline setting with tidal pools located on the western side of Mount Desert Island near Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - Parking is 1 mile south of Seawall Campground on Route 102A - 1.4 miles/2.2 km

Easy: (uneven ground but fairly level)

Bar Island - Accessible 1-1/2 hours either side of low tide
A sand bar leads to the forested island. Be aware of the time and tide schedule as there are no public facilities on the island. - Park on Bridge Street off West Street in Bar Harbor - Distance varies
Most Carriage Roads - Check with park staff on specific routes
Varied Acadia National Park settings concentrated on the eastern side of Somes Sound on Mount Desert Island - Parking & access at Jordan Pond, Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake, Brown Mountain Gatehouse, visitor Center, or Parkman Mountain - Distance varies
Ship Harbor Nature Trail
Forest to rocky shore setting on the western side of Mount Desert Island near the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse - Parking is located in the Ship Harbor area off Route 102A - 1.3 mile loop/2.1 km loop

Moderate: (some steep grades, some level stretches)

Beech Mountain Trail
Located on the western side of Mount Desert Island near the Pretty Marsh Road offering a vista of Great Long Pond on the Northwest route - Follow signs from Somesville to Beech Mountain - 1.2 miles/1.9 km
Bowl Trail
Forest to granite ledges and pond setting - 100 feet north of Sand Beach parking area - 1.4 miles/2.2 km
Bubble Rock Trail
Forest setting with occasional open views and Jordan Pond views - Park in the Bubble Rock parking area just north of Jordan Pond near North Bubble and South Bubble Mountains - 1.0 mile/1.6 km for each mountain
Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail
Open ascent with great Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay views - Park at the North Ridge Cadillac Mountain parking area - 4.4 miles/7.0 km
Champlain Mountain - Bear Brook Trail
Pine slop with vistas of Frenchman Bay - Park at the Bear Brook parking area, 400 feet beyond Beaver Dam Pond - 2.2 mile /3.5 km
Gorham Mountain Trail
Spruce forest setting opening to a granite ascent of 525 foot Gorham Mountain - Park in the Gorham Mountain parking area just past Thunder Hole - 1.8 miles/2.9 km
Great Head Trail
Sea Cliffs on the east side of Sand Beach - Park at the eastern edge of Sand Beach - 1.4 mile loop/2.2 km loop
Jordan Pond Shore Trail
Follows water's edge with rocky sections - Jordan Pond parking area (not the Jordan Pond Restaurant parking area) - 3.3 mile loop/5.3 km loop

Strenuous: (steep grades, many steady climbs)

Acadia Mountain Trail - Return via fire road
One of the most popular hiking trails in Acadia National Park offering views of Somes Sound and Southwest Harbor, National Park Rangers often lead hikes up Acadia Mountain as part of their regular summer program. The steep 700 foot climb can descend to a fire road or continue up St. Sauveur then down to a parking area about 1/2 mile south of the Acadia Mountain parking area (Route 102) - 2.5 miles/4.0 km
Beehive Trail - Iron rungs on ledges
Woods to exposed cliffs - 100 ft north of Sand Beach parking area - 0.8 miles/1.3 km
Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
A Forest setting opening to a gentle granite ascent - Located 100 feet south of Blackwoods Campground entrance (Route 3) - 7.4 miles/11.8 km
Champlain Mountain - Beachcroft Trail
Rocky open slops - Parking at north end of The Tarn (Route 3) - 2.4 miles/3.8 km
Dorr Mountain - Canon Brook to Murray Young Path to Dorr Summit
Forest setting to steep granite ascent - Canon Brook parking area (Route 3) - 4.8 miles/7.7 km
Mansell Mountain - Perpendicular trail to 946 foot summit
Located on the Western Side of Mount Desert Island and Great Long Pond, it has a rocky stair step climb offering spectacular pond views. - Parking near south end of Great Long Pond near Southwest Harbor - 2.0 mile loop/3.2 km loop
Norumbega Mountain - Goat Trail
Steep ascent with wooded summit - Parking north of Upper Hadlock Pond (Route 198) - 1.0 mile loop/1.6 km loop
Pemetic Mountain Trail
Forest setting to ocean and lake views - Bubble Pond parking area - 2.4 miles/3.8 km
Precipice Trail - Iron rungs & ladders, very steep
The is the most challenging and well known hiking trail in Acadia National Park with an exposed and almost vertical 1,000 foot climb that's only recommended for physically fit and experienced hikers with no fear of heights. It is sometimes closed late spring through mid-August due to returning and endangered peregrine falcons. So, check with the National Park Service on this. The Precipice parking area is north of the Schooner Head entrance fee station on the Park Loop Road before Sand Beach - 1.6 mile/2.6 km

Enjoy the Hike!