Moderate Hiking

Many miles of moderately strenuous trails provide a wealth of opportunities for hikers to explore the amazing natural beauty of Acadia National Park and its pink granite mountaintops, deep forested valleys, and sparkling blue lakes and ponds for a few hours to a half-day or more.

Trails rated to be moderate will often have sections of uneven ground, rough footing, and steep grades, especially when it’s a mountain ascent. The mountains of Acadia may not seem high in physical stature, but it’s worth remembering that they do rise from at or near sea level, so be prepared and take a light day pack of essentials, especially when your hike calls for being away from the road and your car for a few hours or more.

Get commanding views of the Atlantic Ocean and the scenery along Ocean Drive, from Sand Beach and Great Head to Monument Cove and Otter Cliffs, when you climb to the summit of Gorham Mountain by way of the Gorham Mountain Trail (0.9 miles one-way). An optional loop via Cadillac Cliffs adds to the excitement.

The steep cliffs on the east side of Great Head and its dramatic views of pounding ocean surf and the islands of Frenchman Bay can be reached by hiking the Great Head Trail (1.6-mile loop), a fun and scenic circuit hike that starts and ends at Sand Beach.

The Bowl Trail (0.8 miles one-way) leads up along a pretty stream between the precipitous cliffs of The Beehive and the northern ridge of Gorham Mountain before dropping down to The Bowl, a lovely mountain pond tucked into the south side of Champlain Mountain.

The highly scenic Champlain North Ridge Trail (1.1 miles one-way) ascends the mostly open terrain of Champlain Mountain’s north side, affording great views of Huguenot Head and nearby Dorr Mountain on the hike up, and the village of Bar Harbor and the islands of Frenchman Bay from the summit rocks.

The Cadillac North Ridge Trail (2.2 miles one-way) climbs the nearly barren north side of Cadillac Mountain to reach the highest summit in Acadia National Park and its grand panorama across the expanse of Mount Desert Island and the myriad bays and islands all around. The short interpretive loop of the Cadillac Summit Path is a bonus for hikers wishing to further explore the mountaintop.

Perched precariously on the edge of the eastern face of South Bubble is the famous Bubble Rock, a giant glacial boulder that is reached by way of the Bubbles Divide and The Bubbles trails (0.7 miles one-way). Far reaching views are possible from the bare summit to Jordan Pond and the ocean, and to Sargent Mountain, Penobscot Mountain, and Pemetic Mountain.

Circumnavigate the pretty blue waters of Jordan Pond on the Jordan Pond Path (3.5-mile loop) for hours of hiking enjoyment that offers ever-changing views, from The Bubbles and Penobscot Mountain and Jordan Cliffs to Sargent Mountain to Pemetic Mountain. A stop at the Jordan Pond House for fresh-baked popovers is an Acadia National Park classic.

The hike to Beech Mountain and its summit firetower on the Beech Mountain Trail (1.1-miole loop) on the western side of Mount Desert Island is a classic moderate hike in Acadia National Park, yielding outstanding views west to the twin peaks Western Mountain, and east over Echo Lake to the jumble of mountains across Somes Sound on the eastern side of the island.

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