Acadia National Park Overview
Acadia National Park is located along the mid-section of the Maine coast. The park is made up of 3 regions: Mount Desert Island (MDI), Schoodic Peninsula, and Isle au Haut. Acadia’s most popular trails are located on MDI but the other 2 regions are worth the visit as well should time allow. Isle au Haut is the only region that cannot be accessed by your vehicle, you’ll have to take the Mail Boat from Stonington. It is recommended to go late August to early October as the fall foliage makes the park come alive! The 11 best hikes in Acadia National Park are covered in more detail below!
|Nearest Metro Area||Bangor, ME|
|Area Size||49,075 acres|
|Established||July 8, 1916|
|Hiking Trails||125 miles|
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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Acadia National Park
Great views of Somes Sound as you hike the namesake of the park makes this easily one of the best hikes in Acadia National Park. Continue on the St. Sauveur Mountain to make the loop a little longer and see a little more! The trailhead is located off Route 102 to the east side of Echo Lake.
- 3.8 mile loop
- 900′ elevation gain
You can also ascend Cadillac Mountain, one of the highlights of Acadia, from the North Ridge Trail. However, the South Ridge is my suggested way to go. The summit is a popular spot to watch the sunrise and will be crowded. The trailhead is located off Route 3 near the Blackwoods Campground.
- 7.4 miles out and back
- 1700′ elevation gain
Utilizing iron rungs and ladders to get up the steep cliff this trail offers great views of the coast – take the Bowl Trail back once you make it to the top to make the loop. The trailhead is located 100 feet north of the Sand Beach Parking Area.
- 1.6 miles loop
- 400′ elevation gain
Another popular Acadia hike that features iron rungs and ladders. This isn’t a trail for those scared of heights as you have to inch your way along the narrow precipice. The trail is usually close mid-March to mid-August to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Once you’re at the top take the Orange and Back Path back to the parking area as going back the way you came would only get in the way of others working their way to the top. The trailhead is located in the Precipice Parking Area off of Ocean Drive.
- 2.3 mile loop
- 1000′ elevation gain
The ascent of Dorr Mountain is aided by 2 sets of steel ladders and several granite steps. Fantastic views from the top of Dorr Mountain. The trailhead is located at Sieur de Monts Spring behind the Spring House.
- 3.3 mile loop
- 1100′ elevation gain
Before or after you take the Jordan Pond Path, you should hike this loop. The summit of Penobscot Mountain offers some of the best panoramic views in the park. The trailhead is located on the west side of the Jordan Pond House.
- 5.2 mile loop
- 1000′ elevation gain
This trail splits the North and South Bubble Mountains taking you to South Bubble where the 14 ton Bubble Rock sits at the edge. Makes for a great photo. The trailhead is located near a parking lot off Park Loop Road.
- 1.1 miles out and back
- 300′ elevation gain
This short loop offers some great views without too much uphill hiking. You’ll pass by the Beech Mountain Fire Tower along the way. The trailhead is located near the parking area at the end of Beech Hill Road.
- 1.1 mile loop
- 300′ gain
Easy and fun loop that runs along the edge of Jordan Pond. The trailhead is located near the popular Jordan Pond House.
- 3.2 miles loop
- No elevation gain
This leisurely trail takes you past Sand Beach to Thunder Hole to the Otter Cliff. Here you’ll likely see rock climbers making there way up the cliff as waves crash below. The trailhead is located next to Sand Beach near the Beehive trail .
- 4.2 miles out and back
- 200′ elevation gain
This trail can only be accessed at low tide and makes for one of the more unique trails in the country. The trail is actually a sandbar that is only exposed for 3 hours – you’ll have to get back from Bar Island before the tide returns. The trailhead is located at the end of Bridge Street in Bar Harbor.
- 1.5 miles out and back
- 100′ elevation gain
Featured Image: Acadia National Park shoreline, Mount Desert Island, Maine, Photo by Christian Collins
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