HIKES IN THE MIDDLE PEAKS AREA:

In the heart of Acadia National Park are more than a dozen beautiful and majestic peaks with several idyllic lakes and ponds scattered in between. A vast network of hiking trails and carriage roads allow hikers and bikers to explore miles of scenic territory. Famous landmarks include the summit of Cadillac Mountain (the only peak you can drive to the top of for great views of sunrise and sunset) and the Jordan Pond House (one of the best national park restaurants with an amazing view of the Bubbles).

Cadillac Mountain Summit Loop (Acadia National Park)
Cadillac Mountain Summit Loop (Acadia National Park)

CADILLAC MOUNTAIN SUMMIT LOOP

Short and easy family stroll.
Cadillac Mountain is the largest and tallest mountain in Acadia National Park, and while there are four strenuous hiking trails that lead to the top, most tourists will opt for the easier option of driving up the Cadillac Summit Road and taking a leisurely stroll along the paved Summit Loop Trail. The hardest part about this hike is getting a permit to drive up Cadillac Mountain.

Jordan Pond Path (Acadia National Park)
Jordan Pond Path (Acadia National Park)

JORDAN POND PATH (Jordan Pond Loop)

Easy family stroll.
When you think of idyllic spots in Acadia, Jordan Pond probably comes to mind with its pristine calm waters surrounded by lush, majestic mountains in all directions. Before or after having afternoon tea and popovers at the Jordan Pond House, a stroll around the Jordan Pond Trail (Jordan Pond Loop) is a wonderful leisurely activity offering up great scenery.

South Bubble Mountain and Bubble Rock (Acadia National Park)
South Bubble Mountain and Bubble Rock (Acadia National Park)

SOUTH BUBBLE MOUNTAIN (and Bubble Rock)

Moderately strenuous day hike.
One of the most famous views in Acadia is from the south side of Jordan Pond looking north at the Bubbles across the lake. In addition to being a wonderful viewpoint, South Bubble also has a famous tourist attraction: Bubble Rock (aka. Balanced Rock), a large boulder that was carried by glaciers and deposited at the seemingly precarious edge of a cliff.

North Bubble Mountain (Acadia National Park)
North Bubble Mountain (Acadia National Park)

NORTH BUBBLE and CONNERS NUBBLE

Moderately strenuous day hike.
While a visit to the summit of North Bubble can be incorporated into a South Bubble hike, a longer loop hike along the (North) Bubbles Trail offers some great scenery, escapes the crowds, and also summits the lesser-known Conners Nubble for great views of Eagle Lake and heads back through some beautiful forested marshes.

Pemetic Mountain (Acadia National Park)
Pemetic Mountain (Acadia National Park)

PEMETIC MOUNTAIN

Fairly strenuous day hike.
Located in the heart of Mount Desert Island towering over Jordan Pond on the east is the majestic Pemetic Mountain. A visit to the top involves some steep and strenuous uphill hiking, but the summit is like a different world of wondrous granite formations offering unhindered views in all directions, including the trio of inner lakes: Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and Bubble Pond.

Penobscot Mountain and Sargent Mountain (Acadia National Park)
Penobscot Mountain and Sargent Mountain (Acadia National Park)

PENOBSCOT MOUNTAIN and SARGENT MOUNTAIN

Strenuous day hike with exposure.
Penobscot Mountain is the impressive north-south mountain that sits opposite of Pemetic Mountain in the Jordan Pond/Bubbles pantheon. A hike up Penobscot Mountain via the Spring Trail makes for a strenuous and invigorating hike with incredible alpine views. And those looking to extend the adventure can continue hiking north to the taller neighboring Sargent Mountain.

Jordan Cliffs Trail (Acadia National Park)
Jordan Cliffs Trail (Acadia National Park)

JORDAN CLIFFS TRAIL

Strenuous and exposed hike with iron aides.
The east face of Penobscot Mountain has some of the most impressive and steep cliffs in Acadia National Park. The Jordan Cliffs Trail is a strenuous route that takes hikers on an amazing traverse through these exposed cliff bands. This route has several sections of handrails and aides and is one of the classic iron rung routes of the park, offering up fantastic views along the way.

Cadillac South Ridge Trail (Acadia National Park)
Cadillac South Ridge Trail (Acadia National Park)

CADILLAC SOUTH RIDGE TRAIL

Fairly strenuous day hike.
While most tourists drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on Mount Desert Island has several hiking trails that lead to the summit. Starting near the Blackwoods Campground on the south side of the island, the Cadillac South Ridge Trail is arguably the most interesting route and is one of the longest straight stretches of trail in the park.

Cadillac North Ridge Trail (Acadia National Park)
Cadillac North Ridge Trail (Acadia National Park)

CADILLAC NORTH RIDGE TRAIL

Fairly strenuous day hike.
A slightly shorter alternative hike to the South Ridge, the Cadillac North Ridge Trail is an easy-to-follow trail makes a slow and steady ascent though pleasant forest scenery to reach the higher pink granite sections. This is arguably the least interesting trail to the summit of Cadillac with cars on the nearby Cadillac Summit Road disturbing the wilderness experience.

Gorge Path to Cadillac Mountain (Acadia National Park)
Gorge Path to Cadillac Mountain (Acadia National Park)

GORGE PATH (to Cadillac Mountain Summit)

Fairly strenuous day hike.
Gorge Path is a unique trail that heads up the forested and dark gorge between Cadillac Mountain and its smaller sibling Dorr Mountain, staying close to the watercourse of the seasonal stream to reach the saddle between the two peaks. At the saddle, the trail dries up as it turns west to ascend the east face of Cadillac Mountain to finally reach the summit.

Dorr North Ridge Trail and Kebo Mountain (Acadia National Park)
Dorr North Ridge Trail and Kebo Mountain (Acadia National Park)

DORR NORTH RIDGE TRAIL and KEBO MOUNTAIN

Fairly strenuous day hike.
While the Dorr North Ridge Trail might not be the most unique or stunning hike in the park, it does offer up some idyllic Acadia scenery and peakbaggers will be able to check off the small Kebo Mountain in addition to Dorr Mountain. The Hemlock Trail and the Stratheden Trail offer an alternate return route back to the starting point.

Day Mountain and The Triad (Acadia National Park)
Day Mountain and The Triad (Acadia National Park)

DAY MOUNTAIN and THE TRIAD

Moderately strenuous day hike.
Day Mountain has the distinction of being the only peak that also has a carriage road that leads to the summit. Located directly north, The Triad is a mountain that actually has three distinct peaks, and several trail options lead to each high point. Although both mountains are perhaps off of the casual tourist's radar, these peaks have relatively easy access and make for a fun hike!

Bald Peak, Parkman Mountain, and Gilmore Peak (Acadia National Park)
Bald Peak, Parkman Mountain, and Gilmore Peak (Acadia National Park)

BALD PEAK, PARKMAN MOUNTAIN, and GILMORE PEAK

Fairly strenuous day hike.
Just west of the much larger Sargent Mountain and Penobscot Mountain are a trio of smaller peaks--Bald Peak, Parkman Mountain, and Gilmore Peak--that offer arguably better views. The wonderful (and sometimes confusing) Acadia trail system allows you to link these three peaks together into one enjoyable day hike.

Cadillac West Face Trail (Acadia National Park)
Cadillac West Face Trail (Acadia National Park)

CADILLAC WEST FACE TRAIL

Fairly strenuous day hike with exposure.
Starting at the Bubble Pond trailhead, the Cadillac West Face Trail isn't as well known as the other routes to the top of Cadillac Mountain, but it is the most thrilling and precipitous! This short but strenuous stretch of trail zigzags its way up the steep rock formations of the west face of Cadillac Mountain, offering wonderful views of Bubble Pond and Eagle Lake below.

Canon Brook Trail and A. Murray Young Path (Acadia National Park)
Canon Brook Trail and A. Murray Young Path (Acadia National Park)

CANON BROOK TRAIL and A. MURRAY YOUNG PATH

Moderately strenuous day hike.
Aside from the popular trails up Cadillac Mountain, there are also a few interesting connectors trails, including the Canon Brook Trail, A. Murray Young Path, and the Bubble-and-Jordan-Ponds Path. These remote sections of trail traverse around the south side of Cadillac Mountain to hit a few unique spots and can be included in longer loop hikes through the park.

Norumbega Mountain via Goat Trail (Acadia National Park)
Norumbega Mountain via Goat Trail (Acadia National Park)

NORUMBEGA MOUNTAIN (via Goat Trail)

Moderately strenuous day hike.
Norumbega Mountain is the westernmost peak on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, sitting adjacent to Somes Sound. A hike up the steep and aptly-named "Goat Trail" quickly ascends the mountain to reach the summit. Despite the viewpoints being rather obscured by vegetation, a loop hike around Norumbega Mountain takes hikers through sublime forested areas.

Hadlock Ponds Trail (Acadia National Park)
Hadlock Ponds Trail (Acadia National Park)

HADLOCK PONDS TRAIL

Fairly easy stroll.
Located between Norumbega Mountain and Cedar Swamp Mountain, Upper Hadlock Pond and Lower Hadlock Pond are two neighboring reservoirs that function as catch basins for all streams flowing down from the peaks southwest of Sargent Mountain. Trails around the ponds make for pleasant hiking in some idyllic scenery, even though no swimming is allowed.

Giant Slide Trail (Acadia National Park)
Giant Slide Trail (Acadia National Park)

GIANT SLIDE TRAIL (and Sargent Mountain Loop)

Fairly strenuous day hike.
Starting from a trailhead along Route 198, the Giant Slide Trail is a clever route follows Sargent Brook up into a boulder-filled valley, weaving around and even under large boulders as it makes its way upstream. Once above the "Giant Slide", a popular option is to continue along the Grandgent Trail to the top of Sargent Mountain, Acadia's second tallest peak.

Cedar Swamp Mountain (Acadia National Park)
Cedar Swamp Mountain (Acadia National Park)

CEDAR SWAMP MOUNTAIN (via Sargent South Ridge)

Moderately strenuous day hike.
Located south of the maze of trails that traverse the prominent Penobscot and Sargent Mountains, Cedar Swamp Mountain might be the least noticed of all of the peaks in the heart of Mount Desert Island. A hike up Cedar Swamp Mountain via the Sargent South Ridge Trail makes for a great little off-the-beaten-path trek, offering great views from the exposed cliffs.

Hadlock Brook Trail (Acadia National Park)
Hadlock Brook Trail (Acadia National Park)

HADLOCK BROOK TRAIL and MAPLE SPRING TRAIL

Fairly strenuous day hike.
While there are many options for wandering hikes up and around Sargent Mountain, one interesting idea is a loop hike up the lesser-travelled Hadlock Brook Trail to the summit of Sargent and then back down the Maple Spring Trail. This hike passes by several unique viewpoints as well as offering easy access to three of Acadia's majestic carriage road bridges.

Hunters Brook Trail (Acadia National Park)
Hunters Brook Trail (Acadia National Park)

HUNTERS BROOK TRAIL (to The Triad)

Moderately strenuous day hike.
Good for the wanderer who wants to get away from the crowds, the Hunters Brook Trail is a lonely stretch of trail that leads to the summit of one of Acadia's lesser-known peaks: The Triad. Starting at the remote roadside trailhead off of the Park Loop Road, the trail follows Hunters Brook ascends the east face of The Triad to a muted but sublime view from the summit.

Continue to the Quiet West Side ->

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