• Menu

15 Easy Hiking Trails In Acadia National Park

Sunset at Acadia National Park

Hiking Trails in Acadia National Park are often interconnected and can be a bit confusing. The options range in difficulty from easy to strenuous to simply driving but, who wants to waste all of this nature in a car. There are over 120 miles of trails and one of them fits everyone. Add to this the famous Carriage Roads where you can even ski in the winter, and all of you hikers have a wide selection of enjoyable hiking options.

Camping is restricted within the park to Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground but our Acadia Boondocking Post gives you 18 options to save money on free camping. Trust me the paid camping and lodging here can be very expensive. Be sure to review the hints and rules for hiking safety prior to arriving.

Acadia National Park is an immensely popular hiking location in Maine. Once you arrive at Mt Desert Island, you will quickly see why. Beautiful rugged coastlines, colorful fauna and flora, and scenic lakes are just a part of this 49,000 acre park. You’ll be eager to get outside as much as possible during your time in Acadia National Park.

Acadia Trails Pin

When doing research on the best things to do in Acadia National Park, you quickly notice things to do indoors are not many of the options! With a huge number of Acadia National Park hiking trails to choose from, the most difficult decisions will be deciding which one to visit first! Allow us to help!

Our 15 Favorite Hiking Trails

1. Compass Harbor Trail

1. Compass Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park-1

Compass Harbor Trail is a 0.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

We first hiked here, and yes, we loved every bit of it — a must-have on your travel bucket list.
While at it, be sure to climb all the rocky beaches. You’re lucky if you get there during a low tide. In which case, you do not want to leave without exploring the many tide pools.

What else? Well, incredibly stunning coves, the only ones in the park! Let me know if you love it as much as we do.

Length: 0.8 mi
Elevation gain: 42 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Running
Beach
Forest
Views
Fee

A small trail, less than a mile round trip, but with some steep inclines. Not suitable for those with mobility limitations (i.e., folks who cannot climb hills. Still, it works perfectly with kids. Youll love the tranquility, and your kids are certainly going to love the tide pools. Just remember to bring your water shoes.

1. Compass Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park Hiking

2. Bar Island Trail

2. Bar Island Trail-1

Bar Island Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Great for short hikes, with a breath-taking view of the bar/MDI. Just follow the arrow for the shortest route. And no need to panic if you miss it. You can always take a detour as you approach the summit.

We enjoyed the walk to the island, cool tide pools, and rocky beaches, not forgetting the sea creatures we saw. However, the island itself had very little to offer. Thus, Id recommend you enjoy the view from the shore. We faced a rugged slope as we approached the main path. We also got a little confused about the trail, so we ended up taking a shortcut for part of it.

Although not all trails on this list are suitable for kids, this one is! Its perfect for families who love to explore and walk along rocky beaches.

Length: 2.4 mi
Elevation gain: 236 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Beach
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

2. Bar Island hiking Trail

3. Ocean Path

2. Bar Island Trail-1

Ocean Path: Thunder Hole, Monument Cove and Otter Point is a 4.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

The first thing you want to do when you get to Acadia National Park is familiarizing yourself with everything. I have been here a few times — one time with my dog in tow, and another with friends. I always try to get there early (9.30.am.. Otherwise, the place can get really crowded. I was there in late August and late October. We even spotted a seal and loved the wildflowers when we recently visited the place. However, my dog was enamored with Otter Point. Making him turn around proved to be an even bigger challenge than we thought.

Length: 4.5 mi
Elevation gain: 374 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Beach
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Rocky
Scramble
Fee

3. Ocean Path hiking trail

4. Jesup Path Trail

4. Jesup Path-1

Jesup Path is a 2.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Beauty is an understatement. For us, it was the scenic views. We hiked here with our kids, and little did they know how close the summit was to the starting point. We decided to let them play in the sand first. That allowed us to take a glimpse of Acadia National Park before getting down on business. It didn’t work quite as planned, though, as our little explorers made it up to the summit.

Length: 2.2 mi
Elevation gain: 78 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Hiking
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

4. Jesup Path hiking trail

5. Ship Harbor Trail

4. Jesup Path-1

Ship Harbor Trail is a 1.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bass Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

The hike was easy, fast, and breath-taking. We enjoyed the views on the way to the Ship Harbor. We were even joined on our trek by an angry black Angus who didnt like us invading his territory! The trail is also close, so you dont need to go far for fresh air and exercise. Finally, if you want to eat or sleep here after hiking, there are plenty of food and lodging options as well as public restrooms. As for the hike itself, you can take various trails to reach the ship harbor, but I recommend the one on the right.

Length: 1.3 mi
Elevation gain: 65 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Hiking
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Beach
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Rocky
Fee

5. Ship Harbor Trail hiking trail

6. Gorham Mountain Trail Loop

6. Gorham Mountain Trail Loop-1

The Acadia National Park Ocean Path and Gorham Mountain Loop Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

We didnt know much about this trail before we went there. And we were pleasantly surprised! Its a family-friendly hike with great views of the park and beyond. We loved everything about it, from the trailhead (right at Gorham Mountain Road. to the destination (the beautiful summit. We took our time to enjoy each viewpoint, especially in Thunder Hole. Well, we got there a little late and before sunset. We will definitely do it again!

Length: 3.1 mi
Elevation gain: 580 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Partially paved
Views
Rocky
Fee

Waypoints:

1. Sand Beach Parking Lot – Park here and head on down the Ocean Path along the coast towards Thunder Hole.
44.3297962, -68.1841993

2. Thunder Hole – Check out the amazing crashing waves inside this tight channel.
44.3207701, -68.1887484

3. Gorham Mountain Trail – Head into the parking lot from the coast and follow the trail up the south ridge of Gorham Mountain. Start heading up the trail.
44.3170549, -68.1911516

4. Gorham Mountain Summit – You are at the top of this mountain that overlooks Newport Cove and Sand Beach below to the east.
44.32732, -68.19317

5. Bowl Trail Junction – Head down the Bowl Trail to the east back towards the Sand Beach Parking Lot.
44.33346, -68.19154

6. Beautiful Sand Beach – After your hike take some time and relax on this beautiful beach before leaving the area.
44.32904, -68.18317

6. Gorham Mountain Trail Loop hiking

7. Hunters Beach Trail

7. Hunters Beach Trail-1

Hunters Beach Trail at Acadia National Park is a 0.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Desert, Maine that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

We did this as the last hike of the day, and were glad we didnt skip it. Our short trek through the forest was marked by a few bridges, a babbling stream, and unexpected stairs. The hike was a breeze. But we loved the destination more. We enjoyed watching the stream emptying into the ocean. It was incredible to watch the water percolate. The trail led to a cobblestone beach, secluded but fabulous. We had to watch out for exposed roots. We loved the serenity of the place, and, for this, were definitely coming back.

Length: 0.6 mi
Elevation gain: 68 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Nature trips
Walking
Beach
Forest
Views
Wildlife
Fee

7. Hunters Beach hiking Trail

8. Thunder Hole to Sand Beach

8. Thunder Hole to Sand Beach-1

Thunder Hole to Sand Beach is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Seal Harbor, Maine that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

It was one of the most leisurely walks weve ever had. Speaking of which, much of it ran parallel to the road. However, Thunder Hole didnt live up to the hype. We got there during high tide, but we were disappointed that we couldnt see any water spray. The sea remained calm most of the time. But my biggest disappointment was the super-huge crowd. Imagine a group of more than 100 people blocking the path and trying to climb the rocks. If you want a lower-key experience, walk over to Sand Beach. It was packed too but less crowded than Thunder Hole. The sand is absolutely gorgeous! We decided thats where well return when we visit Acadia National Park next time.

Length: 1.7 mi
Elevation gain: 180 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Walking
Bird watching
Running
Beach
Paved
Views
Wildlife
Fee
No dogs

8. Thunder Hole to Sand Beach trail

9. Otter Point

9. Otter Point-1

Otter Point in Acadia National Park is a 1.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking.

Otter Point is perfect for a short hike. Its fun and informative. We loved learning about the surrounding area, and well definitely recommend this to our friends. We started at Gorham Mtn TH at precisely 0800 on a Sunday morning. We started with a beautiful walk along the ocean then climbed some stairs. Try going there as early as 7.30 am, and the trail will be almost empty. So, if you want to rock the best photos and enjoy the best high tide view, go a little early. Note: Access is free, but car parking requires a parking pass.

Length: 1.1 mi
Elevation gain: 95 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Hiking
Beach
Forest
Views
Rocky
Fee

9. Otter Point hiking

10 Cadillac Summit Loop Trail

10 Cadillac Summit Loop Trail-1

Cadillac Summit Loop Trail is a 0.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Remarkable sceneries, lovely lakes, and waterfalls People come here to view the sunrise. You just have to get there early — 30 to 45 minutes early to be allowed to get through the gate and find the perfect spot to park and view the sunrise. The weather wasnt an issue. Nor were the views blurred. The trail was well-paved and maintained — not a problem even for people with limited mobility. We just could not ask for a better hike!

Length: 0.5 mi
Elevation gain: 52 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Nature trips
Walking
Bird watching
Paved
Views
Rocky
Fee

10 Cadillac Summit Loop hiking Trail

11. Acacia National Park Loop Road

11. Acacia National Park Loop Road-1

Acadia National Park Loop Road is a 24.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

We had a bike hike here in July, and we loved the experience. The trail starts at a two-lane road. We had to dodge a few cars, but it wasn’t an issue at all (the road isnt bustling.. It ends at the same spot where you started, right next to Sand Beach. That marked our first bike hike in Acadia National Park. We enjoyed it so much that well surely do it again when we visit Acadia National Park in the future.

Length: 24.5 mi
Elevation gain: 2,047 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Kid friendly
Nature trips
Road biking
Scenic driving
Bike touring
Bird watching
Beach
Dog friendly
Forest
Paved
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

Waypoints

1. Hulls Cove Visitor Center – Stop in the visitor center to acquaint yourself with the park and learn a little bit about what you will see. Pick up some free pamphlets as well that will tell you a bit more about all the spots that you will visit on this guide.
44.4092517, -68.2465875

2. Coastal Loop – Take a left here to follow the twisting Park Loop Road towards the coast first.
44.3754656, -68.2337666

3. Abbe Museum, Wild Gardens, and Nature Center – Take a left into this area to explore a wonderful museum and nature center. There are beautiful gardens to explore and nature trails if you have the time.
44.3623, -68.2039

4. Precipice Trail – Take this trail up very steep Champlain Mountain.
44.34943, -68.18791

5. Beehive Trailhead – I have another guide for this hike.
44.33157, -68.18514

6. Sand Beach and Great Head Trail – This is a beautiful beach to relax at and if you have time you can take the short 2 mile Great Head Loop Trail to the point of land extending out into the Atlantic. You can also choose walk the Shoreline trail but it’s easier if you keep driving as there are parking places as well along the coastline.
44.32996, -68.18377

7. Thunder Hole – Watch as the waves get channeled into a narrow crack in the rocks causing the water to explode upward. You might get wet here!
44.3207241, -68.1886303

8. Gorham Mountain Trailhead – 44.3168, -68.19152
9. Otter Cliffs – The 110 foot high famous Otter Cliffs.
44.3109135, -68.1891561

10. Little Hunters Beach – This rocky beach in a protected cove is a nice place to relax by the ocean.
44.2984062, -68.2121587

11. Wildwood Stables – Here you can take a carriage tour along the parks old carriage roads to the top of nearby Day Mountain or to Jordan Pond House or Mr. Rockefeller’s Bridge.
44.3153, -68.2348

12. Jordan Pond House – The only full service restaurant in the park. Stop here to grab something to eat and have amazing views out over Jordan Pond, which unfortunately you are not allowed to swim in.
44.3198567, -68.2527781

13. Jordan Pond & Bubble Mountain Trails – Here is a trailhead with access to multiple carriage roads and trails to Bubble Mountain and the north shore of Jordan Pond.
44.34114, -68.25034

14. Bubble Pond – There is a carraige road located between the parking lot and pond that you can take to explore the area if you’d like.
44.3499311, -68.2415342

15. Cadillac Mountain Road – Take this road to the top of Cadillac Mountain at dawn to be the first to witness the sun rising on the Eastern Coast of the United States. From here continue north to POI #2 where you will continue to travel north back to the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. There are more viewpoint just off the Loop Road at the North End of Eagle Lake. From there head back down the Eagle Lake Road to get back on the Loop Road and head back north to Hulls Cove.
44.36884, -68.23857

11. Acacia National Park Loop Road

12. Cadillac North Ridge

12. Cadillac North Ridge-1

Cadillac North Ridge Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Although rated difficult by Acadia National Park standards,this trail wasnt as tough as other trails. Yes, there are stairs. Yes, its uphill almost all the way (so your legs will get tired.. But youre not going to find yourself struggling for breath or kicking rocks on this trail. The view from the top, though, is a different story! If youre into views, youll love North Ridge Trail. There are several spots where you can get a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the surrounding area!

Length: 4.0 mi
Elevation gain: 1,118 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Hiking
Nature trips
Bird watching
Running
Forest
Partially paved
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Rocky
Fee

Waypoints:

1.Overlook
44.37774, -68.22882

2. Overlook
44.36359, -68.23041

12. Cadillac North Ridge hiking trail

13. Wonderland Trail

13. Wonderland Trail-1

Wonderland Trail is a 1.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bass Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Enjoy the best of both worlds on this trail at Acadia National Park — a tremendous easy walk couple with a fantastic ocean view. Walk on the rock as you enjoy the ocean view. However, the trail is a bit gravely, so you want to wear good shoes. We struggled with mud as well as gravel, but it wasnt a big deal. Its one of the least talked-about trails — a good thing if you ask, considering you dont have to deal with huge crowds. Given a choice, wed walk the trail again, but not anytime soon!

Length: 1.3 mi
Elevation gain: 78 ft
Route type: Out & back

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Cross-country skiing
Hiking
Nature trips
Snowshoeing
Beach
Forest
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

13. Wonderland Trail

14. Jesup and Hemlock Loop

14. Jesup and Hemlock Loop-1

Jesup and Hemlock Loop is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Go through your map keenly this time. One thing you’ll notice is that the Jesup trail stretches past the visitors centre. This trail is pretty cool because it has two sides: one leading to the visitors center and another at the other side of the loop. Following the signs strictly will ensure you dont end up in the loop. So, don’t. And you’ll have a good time here. The loop is about 4 miles long (round-trip., and it offers some of the best ocean views in Acadia National Park! So many opportunities for photos. So many trails and possible loops! Youre not going to get bored of the park. And who knows? You might end up loving it more than us (we know we did.

Length: 1.7 mi
Elevation gain: 42 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Wheelchair friendly
Kid friendly
Stroller friendly
Hiking
Walking
Bird watching
Forest
Partially paved
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

14. Jesup and Hemlock Loop

15. Eagle Lake Carriage Trail

15. Eagle Lake Carriage Trail-1

Eagle Lake Carriage Road Trail is a 6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

A relaxing trail for a solo hiker in Acadia National Park. Much of this trail is a boardwalk, perfect for people with limited mobility. We just wish there were better views. We enjoyed the sights at Lakeshore Path more than the views here. The road in this area is all uphill, so a hike may be a bit tough for some people. But its doable for a slower day hike.

Length: 6.0 mi
Elevation gain: 337 ft
Route type: Loop

Interactive Map

Dogs on leash
Kid friendly
Cross-country skiing
Hiking
Mountain biking
Nature trips
Paddle sports
Road biking
Skiing
Walking
Running
Forest
Lake
Views
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Fee

15. Eagle Lake Carriage Trail

For complete photos and videos of our trip visit our photos on our page Facebook Page

You May Want to Join Our Facebook Group Boondocking Group on Facebook For More Information

Our Big Escape