Hiking Acadia National Park  by Dolores Kong & Dan Ring

Hiking Acadia National Park Guide Book

by Dolores Kong & Dan Ring (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Acadia National Park  by Dolores Kong & Dan Ring
Established as the first national park in the eastern United States, Acadia National Park has 120 miles of hiking trails through more than 40,000 acres along the coast of Maine. Fully revised and updated, this edition of Hiking Acadia National Park covers ridge trails, forest paths, oceanside strolls, and cliff climbs for hikers of all ages and abilities.

© 2016 Dolores Kong and Dan Ring/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Acadia National Park" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 94.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 94.

There are no spectacular vistas on this wooded trail until you tag on the short, steep climb up to Dorr Mountain at the end. But recent rehabilitation of the garden-like stepping stones in the lower sections of the path provides for a perspective that’s just as awe-inspiring, in a different way. This less-traveled trail makes for a rigorous loop up Dorr Mountain, particularly since you need to first hike 1.1 miles to reach the trailhead and then climb steeply up from the gorge between Cadillac and Dorr Mountains. But the solitude on this memorial path and views from atop Dorr are worth it.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.8
The hike to 681-foot Acadia Mountain follows one of the older trails in the park and leads to a beautiful outlook of Somes Sound and toward nearby Norumbega and Beech Mountains. Another good option is a short side trip to Man -o- War Brook, named for the French and British warships of the 1700s that came to get drinkable water where the brook cascades into Somes Sound.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
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The Amphitheater Trail winds from Little Harbor Brook Bridge to 245-foot-long Amphitheater Bridge—the longest bridge in the carriage road system—and crosses a glacially carved valley between the Sargent and Penobscot ridges to Birch Spring. This trip takes you to the short spur up Cedar Swamp Mountain, but you can also make a longer day hike by adding Sargent or Penobscot.
Northeast Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
The longest hike on Schoodic Peninsula, the Anvil Trail provides access to views from both the rocky knob known as the Anvil and the 440-foot Schoodic Head. The trail starts by climbing through woods of ash, birch, and spruce. Highlights: Hike up the Anvil and Schoodic Head; great views. There aren’t many hikes here, and the longest one is only 0.9 mile long, but what Schoodic lacks in trails, it makes up for in solitude. The closest most visitors to Acadia get to Schoodic is atop Cadillac Mountain, when they look southeast from the summit parking lot and see the distinctive Schoodic Head in the distance, across Frenchman Bay.
Winter Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
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After an extensive overhaul in 2014, Asticou & Jordan Pond Path is prepared to handle the use it did in the late 1800s, when it was a major walking route between Northeast Harbor and Jordan. This garden-style path is special by itself, but it also provides important access to a historic section of the Penobscot Mountain Trail and the Amphitheater Trail, which ascends toward Cedar Swamp and Sargent Mountains.
Northeast Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
Bald Peak offers great views with little effort, as does the nearby Parkman Mountain. But the proximity of ME 198 to the trail means you can sometimes hear the traffic on the way up, and you’ll most likely have company at the top. You will also need to bring insect repellent, especially after a rain. Luckily, it doesn’t take long to reach more open terrain, where the wind can keep the mosquitoes at bay. Highlights: 360-degree views from 974-foot summit of Bald Peak.
Northeast Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
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A low-tide walk leads to a rocky island o Bar Harbor, providing a unique perspective back toward town and its mountain backdrop. The trail can also offer a close-up view of seagulls feeding, as they drop mussels from midair to crack open the shells, or starfish exposed by the tide. The Bar Island Trail is a short, easy jaunt within shouting distance of Bar Harbor, but you feel transported to another world. That is the beauty of being on an island, even a small one, so close to a busy summer resort town.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2
Intricately laid stone steps lead much of the way to open views along Huguenot Head, on the shoulder of Champlain Mountain. In line with its more than century-old history, this route’s name is reverting to the original description as a path, rather than a trail, to better characterize its highly constructed nature. It’s a mostly moderate ascent to Huguenot Head; more strenuous to reach Champlain and its ocean views.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
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Enjoy cliff top views of Echo Lake and beyond from this easy trail featuring a loop and out-and-back sections. You can see the fire tower on nearby Beech Mountain from a rocky knob. From spring to midsummer, peregrine falcons may be nesting in the cliffs below the trail. This is the easier of two ways to access Beech Cliff and its views, because the trailhead is basically at the same elevation as the cliff. (The other way is a difficult ladder climb up Beech Cliff from Echo Lake.) From the parking lot the trail rises gradually through the woods to a junction with the Canada Cliff Trail at 0.2 mile. Bear left (northeast) to the Beech Cliff Loop Trail, where you have a choice of taking the inland or the cliff side of the loop.
Acadia National Park, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.8
Featuring a nearly vertical climb up Beech Cliff along four long iron ladders, this hike takes you from Echo Lake Beach up to a cliff top loop and then back down a newly reopened historic section of the Canada Cliff Trail. Enjoy views of Echo Lake,Acadia and St. Sauveur Mountains, Somes Sound, the Gulf of Maine, and the fire tower on nearby Beech Mountain. This tough hike climbs from Echo Lake straight up to the Canada and Beech Cliff ledges, offering excellent views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It features the restored section of the Canada Cliff Trail that has been so highly anticipated. We first learned of it months in advance of the 2011 reopening from an Acadia insider we met while hiking on Isle au Haut. At the start of the Beech Cliff s Trail, a sign warns of exposed cliffs and fixed iron rungs.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
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This hike offers great views of Long Pond and Somes Sound, along with a chance to climb to the first platform of the park’s only re tower—a steel structure, still in good condition, atop 839-foot Beech Mountain. The trail is also a good place to watch the migration of hawks; we saw four kestrels dive and soar above us during a hike one fall.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
Of the three ways up to Beech Mountain, this is the longest if you count the Valley Trail on which you must first hike. It is also the most architecturally fascinating, with its carefully laid stone steps. Highlights: Climb up switchbacks and stone steps to Beech Mountain and its fire tower and views.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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This is the roughest way up Beech Mountain, climbing about 700 feet in less than a mile from the shore of Long Pond along the mountain’s west face. The Beech West Ridge Trail starts easily enough, giving no hint of the rugged ascent ahead. The trail begins along Long Pond and heads through some tall cedars with views across the water of 949-foot Mansell Mountain. At 0.3 mile, after passing a private home along the pond, the trail heads right (east) away from the pond and crosses the foot of a private footpath and skirts a gravel drive. Soon the trail begins its steep ascent over a smooth rock slab that can be extremely slick when wet.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
A nearly vertical climb up the 520-foot Beehive using iron rungs rewards you with spectacular close-up views of Sand Beach, Great Head, and the ocean beyond. If you hike this trail in summer, plan to start early or late to avoid crowds. You may then find solitude and even encounter wildlife, like the barred owl we saw early one morning on the way down from the Beehive. The Beehive Trail is not for the faint of heart or weak of limb, nor for anyone afraid of heights or crowds. It features an almost perpendicular climb up iron rungs at its steepest and a Grand Central Station–like atmosphere at its busiest. So crowded is the narrow trail during the peak summer season that, from a distance, people climbing up and down it look like bees swarming around a hive. The Beehive, a 520-foot-high granite dome overlooking Sand Beach, was named by nineteenth-century artist Frederic Church of the Hudson River School for its jagged, glacially carved face.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
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A remote circuit, this hike provides plenty of solitude as you climb the wooded summit of Bowditch Mountain and skirt the western shore of 6,300-foot-long Long Pond, the only freshwater pond on the island. There are no expansive views along wooded Bowditch Trail, but the path is fresh and not trampled. It’s full of rich green moss and ferns and blooming with rhodora, sheep laurel, and tiny white star flowers in spring. Reach the trailhead after a total 1.7-mile hike from town landing, first 0.3 mile on the paved road, and then 1.4 miles on the Duck Harbor Trail.
Stonington, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
Part of a historic late-1800s loop trail connecting Bubble and Jordan Ponds, this hike harkens back to a different way of life and preferred mode of transportation, before carriage road and Park Loop Road construction impacted the route. You can still do a grand tour on foot from pond to pond, but you now have the option of hopping the Island Explorer bus back to the Jordan Pond House for afternoon tea and popovers. Once a main thoroughfare in the footpath system connecting Bar Harbor to Jordan Pond to Seal Harbor, part of this trail was supplanted when John D. Rockefeller Jr. built the carriage road along Bubble Pond in the late 1920s. Now that the park service is restoring some of the old routes and trail names, you can re-create the original pond-to-pond experience by walking along a portion of the carriage road and following a section of what used to be known as the Pond Trail as it gets returned to its historic name of Bubble & Jordan Ponds Path.
Northeast Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
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A moderate hike with some steep stretches brings you to 360-degree views from South Bubble and an up-close perspective of Bubble Rock, a precariously perched glacial erratic visible from the Park Loop Road that generations of hikers have playfully attempted to “push.” From South Bubble, Jordan Pond and the Atlantic Ocean are to the south, North Bubble to the north, and Sargent and Penobscot Mountains to the west. By going up into the gap between South and North Bubbles, this historic trail, dating back to the late 1800s, provides the shortest ascent to either of the rounded mountains that overlook Jordan Pond. The trip also goes to Bubble Rock, a glacially deposited boulder known as an erratic, which sits atop South Bubble, and which generations of hikers have been photographed vainly trying to “push.”
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The sea washes against the shore hundreds of feet below the pink Cadillac Cliffs, but these rock formations were once submerged below the ocean’s surface. As the Cadillac Cliffs Trail winds through huge rock slabs perched against each other and skirts the base of the cliffs and an ancient sea cave, it provides a reminder of nature’s powerful forces. A spur off the Gorham Mountain Trail, the Cadillac Cliffs Trail can be done as the first half of a loop or the second half. Hiking the cliffs first brings you to the interesting rock formations more quickly.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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The open north ridge of Cadillac Mountain provides expansive views of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor, and the Porcupine Islands. In season, naturalists and volunteers help spot migrating raptors at perhaps the prettiest hawk-watching site in North America. Cadillac North Ridge Trail follows old Native American footpaths and nears the route of a former buckboard road up spectacular 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic coast. Like many of the ridge trails in Acadia, this one traverses exposed granite ledges much of the way, offering grand scenery. Here the views include Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, Schoodic Peninsula, and a series of distinctive rocky islands, beginning with Bar Island and extending into the bay with the Porcupines.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4
One of the longest trails in Acadia, this hike provides fine views along Cadillac’s open south ridge, the chance to see raptors soar at Eagles Crag, and a pleasant place to rest on benches along a mountain pond called the Featherbed. First described in an 1870s guidebook, the Cadillac South Ridge Trail has long been an important part of the extensive trail network on Mount Desert Island. Like the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, the South Ridge Trail is a gradual climb, but it has the advantage of not coming close to the Cadillac Mountain Road until near the end. The trail, which can also be picked up via an extension from the Blackwoods Campground, begins by going over a few log bridges and ascending gradually. At 0.9 mile it reaches the junction with the south end of the 0.3-mile Eagles Crag Loop.
Bar Harbor, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
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