Hiking in Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park boasts more than 120 miles of hiking trails on its 46,000 acres, most on Mount Desert Island. This incredible network of well-maintained, marked, and signed trails offer pleasant hiking experiences to suit varied interests and abilities.

There are plenty of short, easy, scenic walks over mostly level terrain. The Wonderland Trail near Seawall leads to a cobble beach. The Shore Path in Bar Harbor winds along Frenchman Bay with grand island views. Drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain and wander the bare summit on the Summit Path. Enjoy picturesque views of The Bubbles on the Jordan Pond Nature Trail. See Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliffs as you saunter along the Ocean Path. Or explore more than 50 miles of historic carriage roads winding through the park.

Moderate hikes include the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, Champlain North Ridge Trail, Gorham Mountain Trail, Beech Mountain Trail, and Great Head Trail across Sand Beach. Enjoy a swim in a mountain pond on the Bowl Trail. Scramble up to view the precipitous perch of Bubble Rock overlooking Jordan Pond.

Strenuous hikes will often lead you away from the roads and crowds for hours, so be prepared! The Acadia Mountain Trail and Mansell Mountain Trail ascend peaks on the western side of Acadia National Park, near Somes Sound and Echo Lake. The exciting Beehive and Precipice trails require the use of iron handrails up their steep faces. Bare summits and open ridges can be reached via Cadillac South Ridge Trail and Beachcroft Trail on Champlain Mountain. The Canon Brook Trail and Murray A. Young Path wind up Dorr Mountain. The Pemetic Mountain Trail and Norumbega Mountain’s Goat Trail are also challenging.

Acadia’s trails are special—and vulnerable to human impacts. Park officials ask hikers to Leave No Trace: Stay on the trail and walk single-file to avoid damaging trailside plants and causing erosion. Tread carefully on summits: Stay on rock surfaces to avoid the tiny alpine plants. Be mindful of human waste. And carry out all your trash.

Dogs must be on a leash six feet long or less, and they’re not allowed on ladder trails. Don’t feed wildlife, and give them space. Bicycles and horses are banned from hiking trails but allowed on carriage roads. Swimming is banned in most park lakes and ponds, including Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, and Long Pond. Always respect private property.

For short, easy walks, comfortable shoes, and a light jacket may be all you need. For longer hikes away from the road, carry a daypack with sufficient food, water, and clothing. Carry and use a trail map – they are available at many locations in and around Acadia. Follow the blue paint blazes that mark Acadia’s trails. Finally, let someone know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return.

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