While the tallest and most majestic peaks are on the popular east side of Mount Desert Island, many good peak hikes can be found in the assorted sections of Acadia National Park west of Somes Sound on the "quiet side" of the island. Located along Route 102 by Echo Lake, Acadia Mountain is a great little hike that leads to some great views in all directions, including the majestic view into Somes Sound with the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Oddly enough, Acadia Mountain is the only peak on Mount Desert Island that runs east-west rather than north-south.
The well-marked "Acadia Mountain" trailhead and roadside parking lot are located along Route 102 across from Echo Lake. Cross the road to find the standard trailhead marker. (This trailhead serves as the starting point for both the Acadia Mountain Trail and the St. Sauveur Mountain Trail.) To head up Acadia Mountain, either hike up the St. Sauveur Mountain Trail and turn left (north) at the Acadia Mountain Trail junction OR hike north along the well-groomed roadside trail then east on the "Man o' War" dirt road to the intersection with the Acadia Mountain Trail. (See map below.)
|Rating:||Moderately strenuous day hike|
|Access:||Acadia Mountain Trailhead along Route 102 by Echo Lake|
|Time Required:||1.5-2.5 hours|
|Length:||2.8 miles total for loop hike|
|Elevation Change:||500-ft elevation gain to summit|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
The forested trail quickly makes its ascent up the west face of Acadia Mountain, with a few sections of relatively steep rock formations that require a bit of scrambling. Soon enough, the territory levels out and you will be walking along the beautiful granite formations towards the summit. The views near the summit marker are spectacular. Continue east along the ridgeline towards a second summit point for even more outstanding views. The trail then turns south and makes a steeper descent through the granite formations; take care in this section as several obstacles will require a bit of scrambling to get down.
Once back in the forested valley, the trail crosses the lovely Man o' War Brook and an optional viewpoint spur trail takes you to the spot where the brook flows into the ocean. To complete the loop of this hike, take the Man o' War truck road (closed to vehicles) west back to the parking area. Note: For longer loop hike options, you could continue along the Valley Peak Trail to the summit of St Sauveur Mountain or take the Flying Mountain Trail to Flying Mountain returning via St. Sauveur Mountain.
Acadia Mountain is a great little peak! While it's not the tallest mountain or the most dramatic trail, the scenery is sublime. Consider tying this in with a loop hike up St. Sauveur Mountain for a longer adventure.