HIKES ON THE QUIET WEST SIDE:

Affectionately called "the quiet side" by many locals, the section of Mount Desert Island west of Somes Sound is less visited by the masses, but there are still several great hikes and peaks to be found here. Landmarks include the iconic Bass Harbor Head Light (lighthouse), the Beech Mountain lookout tower, and the park's namesake peak: Acadia Mountain.

ACADIA MOUNTAIN
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike. an Acadia classicAcadia Mountain, Acadia National Park

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.
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ST. SAUVEUR MOUNTAIN (and Valley Peak)
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.St. Sauveur Mountain, Acadia National Park

Just south of Acadia Mountain, St. Sauveur Mountain is a larger formation that makes for a pleasant and not-too-strenuous day hike. While the actual summit of St. Sauveur Mountain doesn't offer a view as it is relatively flat and buried in trees, continuing both north and/or south on the Valley Peak Trail offers up stunning views of Somes Sound and the surrounding areas. Because there are so many interconnecting trails in the St. Sauveur pantheon, many different loop hike options are possible.
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FLYING MOUNTAIN (and Valley Cove/Valley Peak Loop)
Rating: fairly strenuous day hike.Flying Mountain, Acadia National Park

Located in the same pantheon as Acadia Mountain and St. Sauveur Mountain, Flying Mountain is the shortest labeled peak in Acadia National Park. Despite its comparatively small size, a hike up Flying Mountain offers terrific views from the top of the peak and also leads to the wonderfully secluded Valley Cove, a secluded section of shoreline that entices people to dip their feet and relax. A loop hike up the Valley Peak Trail to the top of St. Sauveur Mountain can turn this into a longer adventure with terrific views down into Somes Sound all along the way.
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BASS HARBOR HEAD LIGHT (Lighthouse)
Rating: short and easy family stroll. an Acadia classicfamily-friendlyBass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia National Park

Constructed in 1876, the Bass Harbor Head Light is one of the most famous landmarks of Acadia National Park and is arguably the most iconic and photographed lighthouse in all of Maine. The lighthouse is located at the southernmost tip of Mount Desert Island just south of the town of Bass Harbor and close to the nearby family-friendly Wonderland and Ship Harbor Trails. While the actual lighthouse compound is fenced off, tourists are welcomed to drive to the lighthouse and take a short 10-minute walk to a viewing platform to see the beautiful old lighthouse along the rugged coastline.
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WONDERLAND TRAIL
Rating: short and easy family stroll. family-friendlyWonderland Trail, Acadia National Park

Located near the town of Bass Harbor on the southern tip of the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, Wonderland and the Ship Harbor Trail are a pair of family-friendly strolls through pleasant scenery that lead toward interesting spots along the ocean. While the scenery is mostly level compared to the dramatic terrain of the more popular sections of Acadia National Park, this area is a safer and more leisurely spot to explore Acadia's rugged coastline. The Wonderland Trail follows an old gravel road to an interesting coastal outcropping where children and adults alike enjoy searching for life in the various tide pools.
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SHIP HARBOR TRAIL
Rating: short and easy family stroll. family-friendlyShip Harbor Trail, Acadia National Park

Located near the town of Bass Harbor on the southern tip of the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, Wonderland and the Ship Harbor Trail are a pair of family-friendly strolls through pleasant scenery that lead toward interesting spots along the ocean. Like the nearby Wonderland, the Ship Harbor Trail is a family-friendly stroll through some sublime forested scenery that leads to an interesting section of coastline where faults in the sheets of pink granite create numerous tide pools that are fun for children and adults alike to explore.
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BEECH CLIFF TRAIL (Beech Cliff Loop, Canada Cliffs Trail)
Rating: fairly strenuous and exposed day hike. an Acadia classicexposed scrambling route with iron aidesBeech Cliff Trail, Beech Cliff Loop, Acadia National Park

Located on the southwest shore of Echo Lake on the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, the Beech Cliff Trail is one of Acadia National Park's classic "iron rung" routes. Although less known than the popular Beehive Trail or Precipice Trail, this clever trail has a series of ladders that take hikers up through some of the most interesting and vertical cliff formations in the park. While this trail doesn't go all the way to the top of Beech Mountain, the views from the top of the cliffs of the surrounding area.
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BEECH MOUNTAIN (Beech Mountain Loop, Valley Trail)
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.Beech Mountain Loop, Acadia National Park

Beech Mountain is the prominent peak located between Long Pond and Echo Lake that has several tall ridgelines and cliffs descending to the east. In this section of Acadia National Park is a fairly complex network of trails that wander through the Beech Cliffs, the Canada Cliffs, and also head to the summit of Beech Mountain proper. Two fun little loop hike options include the short-but-sweet Beech Mountain Trail and the slightly longer Beech Mountain Valley Trail to South Ridge Trail. Both hikes offer beautiful and varied scenery and top out at one of Acadia's famous landmarks, the Beech Mountain fire tower.
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BEECH MOUNTAIN via WEST RIDGE TRAIL
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.Beech Mountain via West Ridge Trail, Acadia National Park

Beech Mountain is the prominent peak located between Long Pond and Echo Lake that has several tall ridgelines and cliffs descending to the east. In this section of Acadia National Park is a fairly complex network of trails that wander through the Beech Cliffs, the Canada Cliffs, and also head to the summit of Beech Mountain proper. The West Ridge Trail is an interesting loop hike option that starts on the southern shore of Long Pond and heads up the southwestern side of Beech Mountain to top out at one of Acadia's famous landmarks, the Beech Mountain fire tower.
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MANSELL MOUNTAIN via PERPENDICULAR TRAIL
Rating: fairly strenuous day hike.Perpendicular Trail, Acadia National Park

Located just west of Long Pond, Mansell Mountain and Bernard Mountain (collectively known as "Western Mountain") have several trails leading up to their peaks. The most interesting is the Perpendicular Trail, a steep and dramatic route made of many precisely-positioned stone steps that work their way up a steep boulder field to the top of Mansell Mountain. Although not as vertical as its name might imply, this is still a great hike on an amazingly engineered trail.
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RAZORBACK TRAIL (Mansell Mountain, Knight Nubble)
Rating: fairly strenuous day hike.Razorback Trail, Acadia National Park

There are an overwhelming number of interconnected hiking trails in the Western Mountain pantheon, and while they are all pleasant, the mostly forested scenery is fairly mellow. The Razorback Trail, however, is one of the more stunning stretches of trail in this part of "the quiet side." Following an exposed granite ridgeline along the southwest side of Mansell Mountain, the Razorback Trail offers unhindered views as you hike up the interesting rock formations reminiscent of the spine of a gigantic dinosaur.
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BERNARD MOUNTAIN TRAIL (and West Ledge Trail)
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.Bernard Mountain Trail, Acadia National Park

Located on the southwest side of Mount Desert Island near Seal Cove, Bernard Mountain is probably the most remote and least-visited peak in Acadia National Park. Hiking up the Bernard Mountain Trail and then back down the Sluiceway Trail makes for a nice loop that takes you to the summit of Bernard Mountain and its smaller sub-peak, Knight Nubble. While the mountain is densely forested and doesn't give up too many scenic views, it is a pleasant walk in the woods. The West Ledge Trail is an alternate start to the hike that does offer some nice open views along a ridgeline sometimes referred to as Bald Mountain.
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LONG POND TRAIL and GREAT NOTCH TRAIL
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.Long Pond Trail, Acadia National Park

Located on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island, Long Pond is yet another beautiful glacier-carved north/south body of fresh water. While much of the northern portion of this huge pond is private property, the southern and western portion fall within NPS land and Long Pond Trail allows hikers to stroll along the pleasant shoreline. Combining this with the Great Notch Trail allows hikers to do a loop hike through the pass (notch) between Mansell and Bernard Mountains. While the nearby peak trails may be more exciting, these two trails offer a pleasant and less-strenuous alternative.
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INDIAN POINT BLAGDEN PRESERVE
Rating: fairly easy family-friendly hike.Long Pond Trail, Acadia National Park

Located on the remote northwest coastline of Mount Desert Island, Indian Point Blagden Preserve is a 110-acre preserve that was donated to the Nature Conservancy in 1968 by the Blagden family. A 2.5-mile hike (round-trip) through a lovely mature forest leads to the rocky shore looking out at the mellow Western Bay of the Mt. Desert Narrows. Please note that this hike is not in Acadia National Park and is surrounded by private property. Please be respectful of property boundaries to guarantee access for others in the future.
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Go Beyond Mount Desert Island ->

Hiking symbols used for descriptions:
an Acadia classic ACADIA CLASSIC: a must-do hike if you want to see the best of Acadia!
family-friendly FAMILY-FRIENDLY: a good choice for those with children who like to hike.
exposed scrambling route with iron aides WARNING: a hike that may have scrambling, significant exposure, and/or sections of iron rungs or other aides.

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