Acadia National Park (ANP) is renowned for it’s incredible beauty and diverse landscape of forest, shoreline, and mountains. Acadia is located in east Maine, covering most of Mount Desert Island as well as several smaller islands. The park has an incredible array of natural life including various types of rocks, mosses, and lichen among other plants and animals. There are over a hundred miles trails throughout the park, and many of them offer greatly differing views of summits, lakes, vast ocean, and woodlands. There is a trail for almost every level of hiker from amateur to expert, allowing for many to enjoy the great beauty ANP has to offer. Remember to always be armed with a water bottle and a camera on any hike.
Champlain Mountain via Beachcroft Path
Beachcroft Path starts by winding through the woods until it leads up to open rock face. The trail then wraps around Huguenot Head, a small peak, before leading to Champlain’s 1,058ft summit. The Beachcroft Path offers a moderately strenuous hike with worthy views. On the way to the summit, to the west, Dorr and Cadillac Mountain are both visible. At the summit, panoramic views of Frenchman Bay are a reminder of the vastness of Mount Desert Island and ANP.
Dorr Mountain via the Ladder Trail and Schiff Path
Dorr Mountain is the third highest peak in the park, settled right next to the highest peak, Cadillac Mountain. The ladder trail up to the 1,270ft peak of Dorr Mountain is a challenging feat. The trail includes several iron rung ladders and begins with hundreds of stone steps leading up the face of the mountain. Halfway up the trail allows for a clear view of Champlain Mountain, making it appear as though the summit has been reached, but there is still quite a ways before the highest point. The Ladder Trail leads into Schiff Path for the last section of the hike across rock face. From Dorr mountain, it is possible to hike up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. There are several options for hiking down the mountain but the Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail that meets up with the Tarn Trail offers different views than the hike up and a lovely walk through marshlands.
The Beehive via Beehive Trail
The Beehive is one of the most popular hikes in Acadia. The Beehive trail is a steep and slightly treacherous hike, and not good for those who are unstable on their feet or have a fear of heights. The trail includes steps, iron rungs, ladders, and climbing sections. It is not advised to use this trail to hike down the peak but rather to return on the Bowl Trail. Though challenging, the Beehive is a short hike and is incredibly rewarding. From the Beehive, there is a great view of Sand Beach, as well as Champlain Mountain and Frenchman Bay.
Flying Mountain via Flying Mountain Trail
An extremely short and easy hike, Flying Mountain is the shortest labeled peak in the park. It’s a great choice if you just need a break from long, tiring, hikes. Along this trail, several other mountain peaks can be accessed, including Acadia Mountain. The 271ft summit offers unique views of the quiet waters of Somes Sound.
Acadia Mountain via the Acadia Mountain Trail
Acadia Mountain is located in Southwest Harbor and offers a diverse walk through woods and cliff face as well as a view of Somes Sound and Valley Cove. The hike can be a loop if the Man o’ War Truck Road, an old dirt road now closed to vehicles, is used for the hike back. Or it is possible to hike to St. Sauveur Mountain. Sometimes the overlook and other parts of the trail and closed due to falcon nesting, it's always a good idea to check the park’s website before embarking on this hike.
Bar Island via Bar Island Trail
A perfect short hike while in Bar Harbor, though by no means a strenuous one. The hike to Bar Island can only be done if the tide is out, as it requires passage across a sandbar to reach the island. Attention must be paid to the tides to ensure a return from Bar Island in a timely manner. From the island, there are views of downtown Bar Harbor as well as the various other small islands in the harbor. Bar Island is a perfect post-dinner adventure.
Penobscot Mountain via Penobscot Mountain Trail
There are several different ways to reach Penobscot Mountain’s summit, but the quickest way is to take the Penobscot Mountain Trail. The trail is a wooded path that opens into a barren rocky mountain top, an iconic Acadia look. From the top, Penobscot offers a full 360-degree view of the surrounding scenery from it’s 1,194ft peak. The trail does involve some climbing, so it is one for more experienced hikers. For a longer, but more scenic and relaxing hike, the Jordan Pond Path is an alternative.
The Bubbles via the Bubble Trails
Hiking the Bubbles is a double win as it is an easy hike to reach two peaks: North Bubble and South Bubble. The hike up is fairly short, though to reach both peaks involves some backtracking along trails as there is not a loop. Both Bubbles boast amazing views of Jordan Pond. South Bubble is also home to the iconic Bubble Rock, a large boulder that teeters on the edge of a cliff. Many have tried to push it over the edge, but so far none have prevailed. At the dip between the two mountains is a trail that leads down to Jordan Pond and eventually connects with the Jordan Pond Trail allowing for a longer hike.
Beech Mountain via the Beech Mountain Loop
Located in Southwest Harbor, Beech Mountain offers an interesting view of the island. The Beech Mountain Loop is a quicker way up the mountain than the trails that run down the south and west ridges, though it is fairly strenuous. Beech Mountain is most notable for the fire tower on the top of the mountain, part of which can be accessed for a more elevated and panoramic view from the top. It overlooks Echo Lake, Long Pond and in the distance, the Cranberry Islands.
Day Mountain via the Carriage Trail
For a change of pace, take your bike for a hike! Day Mountain offers the only bike accessible carriage trail in the park that takes you right to the summit. Day Mountain might not be the most exciting hike, but it still allows for vast views of the open ocean and the surrounding park. In the summer months, this carriage trail will be busy with horse-drawn carriages, but in the off-season, it is a much quieter and low traffic hike.