JOE’S GUIDE TO ACADIA NATIONAL PARKCitrusMilo.com
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK'S BEST HIKES!

Jordan Cliffs Trail hikeAcadia National Park has over 120 miles of trails beckoning for exploration. From family strolls along the rocky coastlines to strenuous and exposed scrambles to the tops of the majestic granite peaks, Acadia's large trail system has something for everyone. Because there are so many interconnecting trails and carriage roads, numerous interesting options exist for loop hikes. Carry the Map Adventures Acadia National Park Trail Map to help navigate the maze of trails.

Click on any of the hikes below for full descriptions and photos. IMPORTANT: You are responsible for your own safety. It is up to you to decide and determine if a trail or route is appropriate for you and plan for your hike accordingly.

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.
The Best Short-and-Easy Hikes:

OCEAN PATH (Sand Beach to Otter Point)Ocean Path, Acadia National Park
Rating: easy family stroll. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

Probably the most popular and most scenic hike in Acadia National Park is Ocean Path, the roadside trail that allows tourists to wander along the jagged pink granite formations of Acadia's beautiful coastline. The trail officially runs from Sand Beach to Otter Cliff, but multiple parking lots along the length of the trail allow for shorter strolls. While the path is family friendly, be careful when wandering along the coastline as the rock can be deceptively slippery and there are numerous exposed cliffs just off the trail. If this is your first trip to Acadia, do this hike!
Trail Information  Photos

CADILLAC MOUNTAIN SUMMIT LOOPCadillac Mountain Summit Loop, Acadia National Park
Rating: short and easy family stroll. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

No trip to Acadia is complete without a visit to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak on Mount Desert Island and is one of the first spots in the United States to catch the morning sun. Waking up very early for a pre-dawn drive to the summit to take in first direct sunlight is an Acadia classic! A short and easy loop trail wanders around the summit offering great views in all directions. (Be careful to not follow one of the longer trails down the mountain unless you intend to.)
Trail Information  Photos

JORDAN POND PATH (Jordan Pond Loop)Jordan Pond Path, Acadia National Park
Rating: easy family stroll. an Acadia classic

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. The Jordan Pond House (rated one of the best restaurants in any national park) is conveniently located on the south side of the pond and offers up wondrous views of the Bubbles (South Bubble Mountain and North Bubble Mountain) across the water. Before or after having afternoon tea and popovers (reservations recommended), a stroll around the Jordan Pond Trail (Jordan Pond Loop) is a wonderful leisurely activity while offering up great scenery.
Trail Information  Photos

SOUTH BUBBLE MOUNTAIN (and Bubble Rock)South Bubble Mountain, Acadia National Park
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

Located on top of South Bubble Mountain, Bubble Rock is a famous boulder that was deposited by glaciers at a seemingly precarious spot by the edge of a cliff. A hike from the Bubbles Parking Lot to Bubble Rock and the top of South Bubble makes for an easy and family-friendly hike with great views. Keep an eye on children as there are exposed cliffs near Bubble Rock and the trail gets more strenuous and exposed if you continue down the south face towards Jordan Pond.
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WONDERLAND TRAIL and/or SHIP HARBOR TRAILWonderland Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: short and easy family stroll. family-friendly

Located on the southern tip of the "quiet side" of Mount Desert Island, the Wonderland Trail and the Ship Harbor Trail are a pair of short and easy strolls through pleasant scenery that lead towards interesting spots along the ocean. Though the scenery is mostly level compared to the dramatic terrain of the more popular sections of Acadia, children of all ages enjoy searching for life in the various tide pools.
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BAR ISLAND and BAR ISLAND TRAILBar Island Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: easy family-friendly hike. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

Located in Frenchman Bay just north of the tourist town of Bar Harbor are several small islands including the Porcupine Islands and Bar Island. Bar Harbor's namesake feature is the long shallow bar that runs through the water between town and Bar Island. During low tide, the bar becomes dry land and allows tourists to experience a unique little hike onto the island, which is officially part of Acadia National Park. If you are staying in Bar Harbor and want to do a unique and very easy hike close to the downtown, this is the one!
Trail Information  Photos

BASS HARBOR HEAD LIGHT (Lighthouse)Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia National Park
Rating: short and easy family stroll. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

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.
Trail Information  Photos

Fairly Strenuous Day Hikes:

GORHAM MOUNTAIN TRAILGorham Mountain Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike. an Acadia classicfamily-friendly

With its close proximity to the popular Ocean Path trail, Gorham Mountain is a popular peak for hikers even though it isn't the tallest or most noticeable mountain in the park. The trail up to Gorham Mountain has relatively modest elevation gain and is a fairly easy family-friendly hike. Despite the ease of the hike, tourists are still treated to wonderful views from the summit with Sand Beach to the east, the Beehive to the north, and Otter Point to the south. The mountain is covered in blueberry bushes, so when they are in season, this is an added bonus!
Trail Information  Photos

PEMETIC MOUNTAINPemetic Mountain, Acadia National Park
Rating: fairly strenuous day hike. an Acadia classic

Located in the heart of Mount Desert Island towering over Jordan Pond on the east is the beautiful and majestic Pemetic Mountain. Pemetic is one of the great peaks of Acadia, comparable in size to Dorr Mountain and Sargent Mountain. A visit to the top involves some steep and strenuous uphill hiking, but the scenery is absolutely worth the effort. After ascending the initial forested cliffs, the upper sections of the mountain feel like a different world of wondrous granite formations. With unhindered views in all directions, including the trio of inner lakes: Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and Bubble Pond, Pemetic is one of Acadia's crown jewels.
Trail Information  Photos

PENOBSCOT MOUNTAIN and SARGENT MOUNTAINPenobscot Mountain and Sargent Mountain, Acadia National Park
Rating: strenuous day hike with exposure.

With its tall and exposed cliffs looking down on Jordan Pond from the west, 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.
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NORTH BUBBLE and CONNERS NUBBLENorth Bubble Mountain, Acadia National Park
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike.

Though less frequented than the more famous South Bubble and Bubble Rock, North Bubble is actually the taller peak and offers arguably better views of Jordan Pond. A loop hike up the North Bubble to Conners Nubble (one of the minor peaks) and back via the Eagle Lake Trail offers wonderful mountain and lakeside scenery in a manageable day hike.
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ACADIA MOUNTAIN and/or ST. SAUVEUR MOUNTAINAcadia Mountain, Acadia National Park
Rating: moderately strenuous day hike. an Acadia classic

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, including the park's namesake peak. Acadia Mountain offers wonderful views of Somes Sound to the south and makes for a terrific day hike. Acadia Mountain can easily be combined with St. Sauveur Mountain to make a nice loop hike.
Trail Information  Photos

Iron Rung Routes:

While most peak hikes in Acadia National Park are fairly strenuous, Acadia also has a special breed of peak hikes known as the "iron rung routes." Instead of trying to find the easiest way up the mountain, these ingenuous routes negotiate the steep mountain cliff contours with the aid of iron rungs, ladders, and handholds, offering hikers exhilarating exposed views. WARNING: These hikes are not suitable for small children or anybody who has a fear of heights or who isn't steady on their feet.

THE BEEHIVE TRAILThe Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: fairly strenuous and exposed hike with iron aides. an Acadia classicexposed scrambling route with iron aides

The Beehive is the majestic peak that overlooks Sand Beach from the northwest. The hike up the Beehive Trail (aka. the Beehive Cliffs Trail) is a thrilling Acadia classic, but it is not recommended for anybody with a fear of heights. This ingenious route heads right up the steep south face of the peak and includes granite steps, iron rungs to climb up, and several handrails for exposed rock scrambling sections. Those who control their fear of heights are rewarded with incredible views of Sand Beach, Great Head, and the surrounding area.
Trail Information  Photos

THE PRECIPICE TRAILPrecipice Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: Strenuous and exposed route with iron aides. an Acadia classicexposed scrambling route with iron aides

Located roughly a mile north of the Beehive and Sand Beach, Champlain Mountain is the 6th tallest peak in Acadia National Park and the cliffs along its east face are some of the most impressive. The Precipice Trail is an ingenious route that heads up these steep cliffs, navigating the various fault lines and shelf systems. Numerous iron rungs, ladders, handrails, and wooden bridges help hikers at the more difficult and exposed sections. As such, this trail may seem more like a via ferrata climbing route than a simple hike.
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JORDAN CLIFFS TRAILJordan Cliffs Trail, Acadia National Park
Rating: strenuous and exposed hike with iron aides. exposed scrambling route with iron aides

The east face of Penobscot Mountain has some of the most impressive and steep cliffs in Acadia National Park. Known as the "Jordan Cliffs," these scenic cliffs offer spectacular views of Jordan Pond far below to the east; the Jordan Cliffs Trail is a strenuous route that takes hikers on an amazing traverse through these exposed cliff bands. Although not as treacherous as the Beehive Trail or Precipice Trail, this route has several sections of handrails and aides and is considered one of the classic iron rung routes of the park, offering up fantastic views along the way.
Trail Information  Photos

BEECH CLIFF TRAILBeech Cliff Trail, Beech Cliff Loop, Acadia National Park
Rating: fairly strenuous and exposed day hike. an Acadia classicexposed scrambling route with iron aides

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.
Trail Information  Photos

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