Select the topic on this page you wish to view by clicking on that topic in the following table.

Introduction Precautions Park Regulations Acadia Mountain Trails Bald Peak Trail
Bar Harbor and Bar Island Beachcroft Trail Beech Mountain Trails Beehive Trail Cadillac Mountain
Cedar Swamp Mountain Dorr Mountain Flying Mountain and Valley Cove Giant Slide Trail Gorham Mountain Trail
Hio Fire Road Isle au Haut Trails Jordan Pond Long Pond Fire Road Lurvey Spring Road
Man of War Brook Norumbega Mountain Trail Parkman Mouintain Pemetic Mountain Penobscot Mountain
Precipice Trail St. Sauveur Mountain Sargent Mountain Schoodic Peninsula Schooner Head Path
Ship Harbor Nature Trail Shore Path The Bowl Trail The Bubbles and Bubble Rock The Tarn
Western Mountain Wonderland Trail
 Introduction

Hiking is probably the most popular activity in Acadia National Park. This topic describes hiking trails, but not hiking along the carriage paths in Acadia National Park. Carriage paths are covered under a separate topic. The descriptions below are limited to trails open to the public and maintained by the Park Service or private organizations at the time this information was compiled. Talk to a park ranger about the trails you wish to hike. Some trails may be closed to protect wildlife. The Park Service may reroute trails slightly to prevent overuse of sensitive areas. Obtain the latest information on trails and hike safely.

There are hundreds of miles of trails on Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula, and Isle au Haut. Most of them are well maintained by the National Park Service. Some trails are quite difficult and others are quite easy. Many handicapped people will find the easier trails negotiable. The more difficult trails should only be used by people in good physical condition. None of the trails require technical climbing equipment (ropes and pitons) or experience. If you wish to depart from the trails to engage in technical climbing, consult with a park ranger on the restrictions and conditions in the area you wish to climb.

Most trails are well marked with cairns, marks on trees or rocks, or signs. Cairns are stones piled in cone-shaped mounds to mark trails. Each cairn will be within sight of the previous cairn or marker and the next cairn or marker (see the photograph below). Markers and cairns should not be disturbed. They are particularly important on the mountaintops where there may be no trees or shrubs to make the trails easy to see. The mountains of Mount Desert Island have high cliffs and deep ravines. You can waste a great deal of time searching for passable routes if you leave marked trails.

Trail Markers 

Most of the maps used in the descriptions below are portions of 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic maps produced by the United States Geological Survey and the State of Maine Public Utilities Commission. The trails are highlighted on these maps and some information may be added. Serious hikers, defined as people who may wish to visit off-trail attractions, should obtain copies of the Geological Survey topographic maps for the areas where they intend to hike. Casual hikers, who will stay on the trails, will find that the free maps published by the National Park Service are adequate. In any case, hikers should take appropriate maps with them. These maps should show all the area to be hiked and should suit the purposes of the hike. The Geological Survey maps are available in stores on Mount Desert Island or through USGS Information Services, Box 25286, Denver CO 80225. The telephone number for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is 1-888-ASK-USGS. Their fax number is 303-202-4693. You can also order maps over the World Wide Web.  The USGS accepts Visa or MasterCard. More information about USGS services and products can be found at the following web address: http://www.usgs.gov/. You can also order USGS products through this USGS website. If you require more detail than the map the National Park Service provides, frenchhillpond.org recommends the USGS maps over commercially produced maps.

If you decide to use USGS maps, you should obtain the USGS booklet "Topographic Map Symbols," which could be downloaded from http://www.usgs.gov  at the time this text was written, and the USGS Fact Sheet "Map Scales" that can also be downloaded from the USGS website. If you intend to use a compass, the USGS fact sheet "Finding Your Way with Map and Compass" may be useful. People using a Global Positioning System device may also wish to become familiar with the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid system described in the USGS Fact Sheet, "The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid." These publications are short but very useful. Study them and your maps before you hit the trails. You place yourself in great danger if you must learn how to use these tools when you are lost in the back country.

The original Geological Survey maps have the trails indicated by black, single-dashed lines. The carriage roads are represented by black, double-dashed lines. See the section of a Geological Survey map shown below. The topography on these maps is denoted by contour lines. Most of these maps have twenty-foot contours. Some are designated as having six-meter contours that are, for all practical purposes, the same as twenty-foot contours. Other maps of relatively flat terrain will have ten-foot contours. These differences must be kept in mind while studying two or more maps with different contour intervals. Examples of these various topographic maps are found below. The Hio Fire Road map is a combination of a twenty-foot contour map and ten-foot contour map. The Western Mountain map is a combination of a twenty-foot contour map and a six-meter contour map. DO NOT USE THE MAPS BELOW FOR HIKING BECAUSE IMPORTANT FEATURES MAY BE OBSCURED BY HIGHLIGHTING OR ADDED INFORMATION AND THE SCALE OF THE MAP IS NOT USUALLY INDICATED. These map sections are intended for planning purposes only.

Section of USGS Map 

The annotated topographic maps below have the main trails highlighted in tan or brown. Old trails that are no longer maintained at the time this text was written are highlighted in yellow. These old trails may appear on the topographic maps but should not be hiked because trail markers may not be present.

The trail names used in the descriptions below are used on most maps and markers. Some maps and markers may shorten the trail names. Many of the trails are divided into sections with names having little or no relation to the main trail name. The trail markers will usually use the main trail name. The free map published by the Park Service does not use trail names. The United States Geological Survey maps identify only a few of the trails by name. Privately printed maps will usually name the trails. These privately produced maps will often disagree on trail-section names. Be careful in the selection of privately produced maps. Some of them distort the distances along the trails.

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Precautions

Wear appropriate clothing. The summits of the mountains are generally windy and chilly. A windbreaker is often welcome, even on a warm day. Good hiking shoes are important. All trails, other than carriage roads, require shoe soles that will absorb the shock of sharp rocks and provide traction on slippery rocks and pine needles. Ankle support is also very desirable.

Carry water and a first aid kit. Although most of the trails cross or pass water, untreated water should not be used for drinking purposes. A first aid kit will be useful in treating scrapes and cuts incurred on sharp rocks. Binoculars and a camera may be important equipment for many hikers, but they do add weight and bulk which can be a hindrance on many trails.

Stick to the marked trails and watch your footing. The best trails are the safe trails. Many people have died from falls in Acadia National Park when they tried to blaze new trails. Some established trails are difficult, but they are safe if you watch your footing carefully. Proceed slowly on difficult climbs and don't take chances on precarious shortcuts. Every summer, some visitors return home with broken limbs. DON'T TAKE CHANCES. It is unnecessary.

Many of the mountaintops are quite large and have many nooks and crannies away from the trails that are ideal for picnics, rest areas, or which provide spectacular views. When you are ready to descend the mountain, it is best to find the summit marker and follow the appropriate trail off the mountain. Pay close attention to the destination of the trail chosen. Usually, several trails intersect at the summit marker. If you select the wrong trail, you could easily hike many more miles than you intended.

Summit Markers 

Check the weather forecast. Don't climb nor descend mountains during storms. If caught by a storm, find a sheltered area until it subsides. Some trails can become raging streams during a storm and other trails cross streams, which can be dangerous. Watch your footing in these areas and avoid walking in the water.

If you must use technical climbing equipment, exercise extreme care. The rock in Maine is old and breaks easily. Climbing the cliffs along the ocean is extremely dangerous. Stay well away from the surf and finish your climb well before high tide. DO NOT TECHNICAL CLIMB IN BAD WEATHER!

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Park Regulations

Overnight backpacking is not permitted in Acadia National Park. If you wish to build a fire, ensure you obtain permission from a park ranger. Fires are not normally permitted outside the campgrounds and certain picnic areas.

Dogs must be physically restrained in the park as well as in the surrounding communities. Many dogs are capable of negotiating the trails and may enjoy the exercise. However, keep in mind that dogs may try to chase wildlife and may be surprised by people or other pets on the trails. They must be kept under control. Within Acadia National Park, all pets must be physically restrained. Keep in mind that small animals are prey for a number of native animals in Acadia National Park. Cats and other small animals not kept near to the owner could quickly become victims. Do not leave animals in automobiles while you hike. Your pets can succumb to heatstroke even if the windows are partially open. Park rangers issue summons to people who leave their pets unattended in a car. Some local people are quick to alert the authorities to people whom do not comply with the law or who leave their pets unattended. Fines for these offenses are high.

Dog 

Bar Harbor requires dog owners to "immediately remove and dispose of any feces left by his or her dog…" This law applies in the Bar Harbor section of Acadia National Park. The law does not state how a person is supposed to dispose of feces. Theoretically, anyone can file a complaint against a dog handler who does not comply with this law. Town and Park authorities will probably not attempt to enforce this law unless the feces are a clear nuisance. Unfortunately, a few people in Bar Harbor feel that it is their duty to enforce the letter of this law. Hikers with dogs should carry plastic bags for disposal of feces. Check with the authorities about the appropriate means of fecal disposal. the National Park authorities will position disposal containers for feces at various locations in the park.

All accidents resulting in serious injury or property damage must be reported to the park headquarters. Don't shrink from reporting falls of people if you cannot ascertain the safety of the victim. Look for clear landmarks that can be used to locate the victim. Don't try to move seriously injured people unless a situation is immediately life threatening. The park has specially trained individuals who can safely effect a rescue.

Vehicles left unattended overnight may prompt a search by the park rangers for the owner. If a vehicle must be left unattended for a long period, notify park rangers. Search and rescue operations are costly.

Some trails may be closed and posted for environmental reasons, e.g. over use or endangered species are nesting along the trail. Don't hike these trails. There are substantial fines for entering closed areas.

Fishing is permitted in the park. However, freshwater fishing requires a State of Maine fishing license, which may be obtained from town clerks. Some bodies of water may be closed to fishing or open to special groups only. For example, fishing is not permitted in The Tarn except for minors and senior citizens at the time this information was compiled. Normally, the waters will be posted. Sometimes the posting will say something to the effect, "Special Regs. Apply." This posting normally refers to fishing regulations. The specific restrictions are found in the pamphlet that is issued with the fishing license.

Hunting is not permitted in Acadia National Park.

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Acadia Mountain Trails

The Acadia Mountain Trail begins across the road from the Acadia Mountain parking lot on route 102 about three miles (five kilometers) south of Somesville. A short trail to the shore of Echo Lake begins at this parking lot. The trail up Acadia Mountain is across the highway. Be careful crossing this highway. Some drivers travel too fast for this section of the highway and may not see pedestrians in time to avoid an accident.

The views from the summit of Acadia Mountain are spectacular which makes this trail one of the most popular. Although the distance from the parking lot to the summit is only about one mile (1.6 kilometers), some parts of the trail are steep. Some of the steeper ascents have stone stairs where rock climbing cannot be avoided.

Acadia Mountain Trails 

The trail, represented by the dark green line on the map, begins in a mixed conifer and deciduous forest. About three tenths of a mile (half a kilometer) from the parking lot, the trail crosses a fire road, represented by the dark brown line on the map. This fire road begins on route 102 just north of the beginning of the trail and ends near Somes Sound. The trail continues up Acadia Mountain through a conifer forest. Eventually, the conifers become smaller as one approaches the summit. The summit itself is covered by small pines and bushes with numerous clearings created by rock outcroppings.

On the way up Acadia Mountain, Echo Lake and Beech Mountain are visible from clearings. Once on top of the mountain, there are excellent views of almost all of Somes Sound, the Atlantic, Beech Mountain, Echo Lake, St Sauveur Mountain, and Norumbega Mountain on the other side of Somes Sound. In the distance, the Appalachian Mountains in Maine and New Hampshire may be seen on a clear day.

The summit of Acadia Mountain is 681 feet (208 meters) above sea level, which makes it the highest mountain between Echo Lake and Somes Sound. There is a second summit, Robinson Mountain, nearer Somes Sound at an elevation of about 645 feet (197 meters). The trail to Somes Sound passes over this second peak. St Sauveur Mountain is south of Acadia Mountain and has an elevation of 679 feet (207 meters). You can hike down Acadia Mountain toward Somes Sound. This trail has two branches. One branch follows Somes Sound to Fernald Point. The other branch intersects the St Sauveur Mountain trails. There is a trail connecting the St Sauveur Mountain summit to the Acadia Mountain parking lot. You can expend much of a day hiking the trails on and around these two mountains.

A hike from the Acadia Mountain parking lot to the summit of Acadia Mountain and back to the parking lot will require about two hours.

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Bald Peak (Mount Desert Island) Trail

Bald Peak north of Northeast Harbor (as opposed to Bald Mountain at Seal Cove or on Isle au Haut) is less frequently visited than other some other summits because it is somewhat remote and little known. The summit provides some excellent views of nearby mountain peaks, Upper and Lower Hadlock Ponds, northern Somes Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean. On a clear day, the hills on the mainland and part of the Appalachian Mountains can be seen.

Bald Peak 

The Bald Peak Trail is most easily accessed via the carriage road, which runs along the shore of Upper Hadlock Pond. From the Parkman Mountain and Norumbega Mountain parking areas on routes 3 and 198 about three miles north of Northeast Harbor, follow the carriage road south toward Upper Hadlock Pond. The Bald Peak Trail intersects the carriage road on the left (east) just beyond a brook. From the Gate House parking area about a mile north of Northeast Harbor, follow the carriage road north past Upper Hadlock Pond. The Bald Peak Trail begins just before a brook a bit over a mile from the parking area.

The trail follows a brook through a forest until crossing another carriage road. Beyond this second carriage road, the trail becomes steeper and rocky. Some parts are challenging. The amount of time required for this hike may vary from two to three hours depending upon where one begins.

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Bar Harbor and Bar Island

For those folks whose concept of a good hike is a trek through a mall, Bar Harbor and Bar Island offer an easy and unique excursion. You can walk up and down Main Street in Bar Harbor visiting the various shops. However, don't confine your activity to shopping. Stop at the athletic field at the southern end of Main Street. This field was the site of the summer Indian village. Note the fresh water stream, Cromwell Brook, at the south end of the field. Stop for a rest at the common next to Mount Desert Street. Opposite this common is the street leading to Albert Meadow (Grant Park) which has an excellent view of Frenchman Bay. Walk by some of the "cottages" along this part of the shore. Visit the green overlooking the town pier. From the pier, you can view Bar Island to the northwest and the Porcupine Islands to the northeast.

Bar Harbor 

Walk down West Street, which runs west from the town pier. Go north onto Bridge Street. During low tide, you can cross the bar to Bar Island and walk along the rocky shore. This bar is normally passable for two hours before and after low tide. The more adventurous can follow the trails on Bar Island to explore the forest or climb to the highest point which provides a spectacular view of Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay.

Return to Bar Harbor and visit some of the historic neighborhoods.

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Beachcroft Trail - Champlain Mountain

The Beachcroft Trail starts off route 3 opposite the north end of The Tarn and just below The Tarn parking area. It starts in woods and ascends the northwest face of Huguenot Head in switch back fashion providing dramatic views of The Tarn and Dorr Mountain. Most of this portion of the trail is granite ledge. The trail does not cross the summit of Huguenot Head at 720 feet (219 meters) elevation, but drops down into the ravine between Huguenot Head and Champlain Mountain. The climb to the summit of Huguenot Head is an easy side trip.

As the trail climbs Champlain Mountain, it becomes very steep. The summit of Champlain Mountain at an elevation of 1,058 feet (322 meters) is quite broad. The views of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor, Dorr Mountain, and the mountains to the south are spectacular. You can descend The Precipice Trail to the east, the Champlain Mountain Trail south to The Bowl, or north to the Bear Brook area.

Beachcroft Trail 

The distance from The Tarn to the summit of Champlain Mountain is about 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers). Allow about two hours for a round trip. Add two and one half hours for a trip to The Bowl, another two and one half hours for The Precipice Trail, and another one and one half hours for a trip to Bear Brook.

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Beech Mountain Trails

Beech Mountain rises to an elevation of 839 feet (256 meters) at the southeast end of Long Pond (sometimes designated Great Pond) in Southwest Harbor. A fire tower is located at the summit. You can view Southwest Harbor and the Atlantic to the south. To the west is Long Pond and Mansell Mountain. St Sauveur Mountain and part of Somes Sound can be seen to the east. Echo Lake and the hills of the mainland can be seen to the north.

The Beech Mountain parking lot is at the end of a three-mile road, which begins on route 102 west a short distance southwest of Somesville. Route 102 West begins at the fire station in Somesville which is in the southern part of the village. Look for the road signs for Beech Mountain and Beech Cliff.

There are several trails and a fire road, which begin at the parking lot. The northern-most trail has the better views. Connecting trails go down to Long Pond and to Mansell Mountain. Other easy trails begin at the parking lot and lead to Beech Cliff and Canada Cliffs which overlook Echo Lake and St Sauveur Mountain. A short but difficult trail connects the Beech Mountain parking area with the beach at the southern tip of Echo Lake. Allow at least one hour to explore the Beech Mountain area.

Beech Mountain trails

 

 

The Beech Cliff Trail begins on the other side of the road from the parking area and near the entrance to the parking area. This trail follows the cliff along Echo Lake in a northerly direction. The Canada Ridge Trail branches south from the Beech Cliff Trail at about a quarter mile (0.4 kilometers) from the beginning of the Beech Cliff Trail. The Beech Cliff Trail loops back to itself making the total length about one mile (1.6 kilometers).

The Beech Mountain Trail begins at the northwest point of the parking and climbs Beech Mountain to the summit. There are two branches of this trail. The northern branch is easier and has better views. Regardless of the branch taken, the distance from the parking lot to the summit is a bit more than half a mile (0.8 kilometers).

The Canada Ridge Trail starts at the end of the fire road found at the southern end of the Beech Mountain parking area. It follows the Canada Cliff and diverges into two branches that converge before intersecting the Beech Cliff trail. The length of this trail is about a mile (1.6 kilometers).

At the intersection of the Beech Cliff and Canada Ridge trails is a third trail, called the Canada Cliff Trail, which goes 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) to the Echo Lake beach. This trail is difficult and has iron ladders.

The Valley Trail begins at the end of the fire road found at the southern end of the Beech Mountain parking area. It descends to the southern tip of Long Pond (Great Pond). The length of this trail from its beginning to Long Pond is about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers). At about the 0.7-mile (1.1 kilometers) point, this trail intersects the Beech Mountain South Ridge Trail. An interesting feature of the Valley Trail is a series of small caves and cliffs near the beginning of the trail. Most of the trail goes through an old forest but passes by clearings providing views of the Valley Peak area.

The South Ridge Trail runs between the summit of Beech Mountain and the Valley Trail. It has excellent views of the nearby mountains, Long Pond, Blue Hill Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and long views as well. This trail is about a mile (1.6 kilometers) long.

The West Ridge Trail begins at the summit of Beech Mountain and descends to the eastern shore of Long Pond (Great Pond). This trail is about 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) long and does not intersect any other trail at Long Pond.

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Beehive Trail

The Beehive is a mountain overlooking Sand Beach. At an elevation of only 520 feet (158 meters), one would expect the trail to be easy and the view mediocre. Neither is the case. The climb is difficult and the views of Sand Beach, Frenchman Bay, Great Head, and surrounding terrain are impressive.

Beehive Trails 

The trail begins across the Park Loop Road from the Sand Beach parking area. The trail splits into two trails. The longer trail is the easier and winds through a deciduous forest with a nice birch grove. The shorter trail is very steep and difficult. A marker at the fork identifies the longer and shorter trails. Allow about one and one half hours for this hike.

A connecting trail to the south goes to Gorham Mountain at an elevation of 525 feet (160 meters). You can climb The Beehive, continue on to Gorham Mountain and follow the Park Loop Road back to the Sand Beach parking area. Another trail connects The Beehive to Champlain Mountain at 1058 feet (322 meters). This trail is much more difficult and time consuming. One can also hike to a tarn called "The Bowl" which is between The Beehive and Champlain Mountain.

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Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak in the park. A paved road provides automobile access to the summit. There are four hiking trails to the summit. The shortest trail is the West Face Trail at just less than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). The longest is the South Ridge Trail at a bit more than 3.5 miles (5.7 kilometers). The beginnings of all these trails are accessible by automobile. The summit is at 1,530 feet or 466 meters.

The views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain are spectacular. There are few trees on the side of the mountain, which ensures good views from almost everywhere along the trails.

A shop sells souvenirs and light snacks at the summit. Rest room facilities are also available at the summit. At one time, the summit was the site of a hotel and the terminus of a cog railway.  The cog railway was dismantled and rebuilt on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Today, the summit is closed from midnight to just before sunrise. Camping on the summit is generally not permitted.

Cadillac Mountain Trails

 

 

Cadillac Mountain - North Ridge Trail

The Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail begins on the Park Loop Road about one quarter of a mile after the road becomes one-way. A small turn-off parking area is opposite the trail marker with room for about eight cars. The trail extends about two miles along the north ridge of the mountain. There are very nice views in all directions from most points along this trail. Occasionally the trail passes through wooded areas but generally remains open. The ascent is steadily uphill but generally not difficult. You should keep track of the trail markers because you can easily wander off the trail.

For most of the way, the trail stays close to the Cadillac Mountain automobile road and nearly touches this road at two points. The trail is much shorter and more direct than the automobile road. Therefore, it is advisable to remain on the trail. Once the summit is reached, the trail continues down the south ridge of the mountain towards the Blackwoods Campground. This section of the trail is commonly called the "Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail."

Allow about two hours to hike from the Park Loop Road to the summit.

Cadillac Mountain - South Ridge Trail

The South ridge Trail connects the summit of Cadillac Mountain with the Blackwoods Campground. This trail is most attractive when traveling from the summit of Cadillac Mountain to the campground because most of the dramatic views are to the south. The summit of Cadillac Mountain is relatively barren. The trail becomes more heavily forested just before Eagles Craig, a rock outcropping with good views. The distance from the summit of Cadillac Mountain to the campground is about 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers). Allow about five hours for a round trip.

Cadillac Mountain - West Face Trail

The West Face Trail is short but difficult. It starts at the northern tip of Bubble Pond and proceeds for almost a mile to intersect the South Ridge Trail. The trail is very steep and cluttered with rocks or rock outcroppings. Ledges provide some nice views to the west. Allow at least an hour and fifteen minutes to climb this trail. Once you reach the South Ridge Trail, the summit of Cadillac Mountain is another hour and a half away.

The Gorge Path

The Gorge Path begins on the Park Loop Road about 0.9-mile (1.4 kilometers) beyond the point where the road becomes one way. Kebo Mountain is to the east of this trailhead. Follow the trail markers carefully. Stay on the trail. Don't hike in washes or dry streambeds. You must cross streams several times and hike over rocks in very narrow passes. Parts of this trail are difficult. It really shouldn't be called a "path." Perhaps "obstacle course" would be a better term. It is a beautiful hike. The trail remains in the gorge between Dorr Mountain and Cadillac Mountain to the intersection of the Dorr Mountain Notch Trail and the A. Murray Young Path. It then turns west to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. Allow about two hours to hike this trail one way. If you intend to descend from Cadillac Mountain along this trail, take careful note of where the trail is located on the summit. Trailheads at the summit of Cadillac Mountain are not easy to find.

Cannon Brook Trail

The Cannon Brook Trail begins on route 3 beyond the southern tip of The Tarn, which is a small lake west of route three about a mile south of Bar Harbor. It is often more convenient to begin at The Tarn's parking lot and follow the west shore of The Tarn until The Tarn Trail interseorr Mountain. The Cannon Brook Trail then continues around Dorr Mountain where it intersects a trail going up the south face of the mountain. Beyond this intersection is Cannon Brook which drains Cadillac and Dorr mountains. See the map of the Cadillac Mountain trails above.

The trail goes through a deciduous forest near marshes. Insect repellent is necessary during spring, summer and early fall. As one goes around Dorr Mountain, the trail increases in elevation. There are clearings, which permit views of the mountains and marshes, but the trail stays in the forest.

At Cannon Brook you can continue on a trail, which lies in the valley between Dorr and Cadillac Mountains, or continue on other trails to Jordan Pond or Blackwoods Campground. Allow at least 1.5 hours for this excursion. The connecting mountain trails are difficult; much more time will be required if you wish to climb the mountains.

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Cedar Swamp Mountain

Cedar Swamp Mountain at 942 feet (287 meters) is south of Sargent Mountain and with Jordan Ridge forms the area called "The Amphitheater." The summit of Cedar Swamp Mountain is accessed via the Sargent Mountain South Ridge trail. You can begin hiking from the Brown Mountain Gate House on routes 3 and 198 just north of the village of Northeast Harbor. Follow the carriage road east toward The Amphitheater and Jordan Pond House until you come to the beginning of the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail. Another commencement point is the Asticou Trail, which begins in the village of Asticou.

Cedar Swamp Mountain 

Follow the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail until the first summit marker is spotted to the right (west) of the trail. That marker is the summit of Cedar Swamp Mountain. The distance from the Brown Mountain Gate House parking area to the summit is about a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) and requires about an hour of hiking time. You can continue down Cedar Swamp Mountain and up to the summit of Sargent Mountain about one mile (1.6 kilometers) further.

The hike to the summit of Cedar Swamp Mountain goes through cool forests, which provide very nice picnic areas. There are excellent views of the surrounding mountains, Northeast Harbor, and long views to the mainland. This trail is generally easy, rising quickly in only a few places. The continuation to the summit of Sargent Mountain is more difficult.

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Dorr Mountain

Dorr Mountain at 1,270 feet (387 meters) is between Champlain Mountain to the east and Cadillac Mountain to the west. At the foot of Dorr Mountain and along route 3 is a lake called "The Tarn." There are several trails to the summit from The Tarn, Cannon Brook trail, The Gorge, Kebo Mountain, and the Sieur de Monts Spring area. Dorr Mountain is also known as Flying Squadron Mountain.

The summit of Dorr Mountain is bare and has excellent views of Bar Harbor to the north and northeast, Frenchman Bay to the east, Champlain Mountain to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Cadillac Mountain as well as The Gorge to the west. The summit of Dorr Mountain is much smaller than that of Cadillac Mountain which makes the overall view from the summit of Dorr Mountain somewhat more dramatic and interesting than that from Cadillac Mountain. There are neither roads nor concessions on Dorr Mountain and the view to the west is devoid of roads or man made structures.

Dorr Mountain Trails

 

Dorr Mountain Trail

The Dorr Mountain Trail begins at Sieur de Monts Spring west of the Nature Center. It starts in a wood but the trees soon become sparse among the granite ledges of Dorr Mountain. A good deal of the way is paved with granite steps. The trail has many switchbacks not shown on the map. The final leg is very steep. Allow about ninety minutes to climb from the parking lot at Sieur de Monts Spring to the summit.

Dorr Mountain - East Slope Trail

This trail begins at the northern end of The Tarn. There is a parking lot just north of The Tarn. Hikers can park automobiles while they hike the trails originating near The Tarn or simply enjoy this lake. The East Slope Trail ends at the Dorr Mountain Trail, which provides access to the summit. Allow about an hour and a half to hike the 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) to the summit at 1,270 feet (387 meters).

There are many fine views from these trails as they snake up the east face of the mountain. The lower part of the route is in a mixed conifer and deciduous forest. Stones are placed in a stair pattern over much of the route. Some passages are narrow and are bordered by steep drops. This route is not for people who fear heights. Unless one is in good physical condition, this route may be difficult.

Dorr Mountain - North Ridge Trail

The North Ridge Trail begins on the one-way section of Park Loop Road north of Kebo Mountain about one and a quarter mile (2 kilometers) beyond the point at which the Park Loop Road becomes one way. There is no parking lot on the Park Loop Road. You could park your automobile at the parking areas for the other trails originating on Park Loop Road or park at Sieur de Monts Spring and hike the Jesup Path or Strath Eden Trail to the Park Loop Road. As shown on the map, the northern trails originating at Sieur de Monts Spring connect to the North Ridge Trail south of Kebo Mountain. The trail from the Park Loop Road goes over the summit of Kebo Mountain at 407 feet (125 meters) and continues due south to the summit of Dorr Mountain. The initial climb up Kebo Mountain is very steep. The trail continues along the east side of another peak with a summit at 425 feet (130 meters). This part of the trail goes through a red pine forest. It is very fragrant but the pine needles can be slippery. The trail crosses the Hemlock Trail just before it ascends Dorr Mountain. The climb up Dorr Mountain is steep. Allow about two hours to hike from the Park Loop Road to the summit.

Dorr Mountain - South Ridge Trail

The Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail is a continuation of the North Ridge Trail down to the intersection of the Canon Brook Trail and The Tarn Trail. Like the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail, it is probably best to hike down this trail to walk into the scenery. There are open ledges at higher altitudes. The trail is more heavily forested at the bottom. At the bottom of the trail and to the west is a wet area. Be prepared for an increase in the number of insects. The trail is about a mile and a quarter long. The Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail is steeper than the corresponding Cadillac trail. Allow at least an hour to hike down this trail, a little more time to hike up the trail.

Dorr Mountain - Notch Trail

The Notch Trail is a short trail between the summit of Dorr Mountain and The Gorge Path. It drops sharply from Dorr Mountain to the intersection of the Gorge Path and the A. Murray Young Path. This descent can be accomplished in about 15 minutes. The climb up Cadillac Mountain on the Gorge Path is longer but not as steep. Allow about an hour to hike the route between the summits.

The A. Murray Young Path

The A. Murray Young Path is a continuation of The Gorge Trail south through the gorge between Dorr Mountain and Cadillac Mountain. It ends at the Canon Brook Trail just after crossing Canon Brook. The distance between the trailhead at the intersection of The Gorge Trail and Dorr Mountain Notch Trail and the end at Canon Brook Trail is about 1.25 miles (2.0 kilometers). Allow about an hour to hike this trail one way.

The Hemlock Trail

The Hemlock Trail begins at Sieur de Monts Spring runs northwest along the base of Dorr Mountain on a fire road for about 0.3 mile (0.5 kilometers) then turns west to cross the Dorr Mountain North Ridge Trail. The Hemlock Trail ends at the Gorge Path about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Sieur de Monts Spring. Parts of this trial are steep. Keep the trail markers in sight. Allow 45 minutes to hike this trail one way.

Jesup Path

The Jesup Path begins on the Park Loop Road about 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) beyond the point where the road becomes one way. There is a two-vehicle parking area at the beginning of the trail. Jesup Path ends at The Tarn but connects to the Dorr Mountain North Ridge Trail, The Gorge Trail, Dorr Mountain Trail and East Slope Trail. This path is a nice walk through a deciduous wood. Allow about half an hour to walk this easy trail.

Strath Eden Trail

The Strath Eden Trail begins on the Park Loop Road about one and one half miles from the point at which the road becomes one way. It connects to several trails on Dorr Mountain and the Jesup Path. The distance from the beginning of this trail on Park Loop Road to Sieur de Monts Spring is about 1.1 miles (1.75 kilometers). Allow about 45 minutes to hike this trail.

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Flying Mountain and Valley Cove

Flying Mountain is a hill at 284 feet (87 meters) which overlooks Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and the islands south of Somes Sound. The hike to the top of the hill is about one third of a mile (0.5 kilometers). Allow about 45 minutes for a round trip. Be sure to note the point at which you arrived at the summit if you intend to descend the same way.

Flying Mountain and Valley Cove 

The trail begins just beyond the intersection of Fernald Point Road and Valley Cove Fire Road. Fernald Point Road runs east from route 102 north of the Village of Southwest Harbor.

Valley Cove is the part of Somes Sound north of Flying Mountain. The Valley Cove Road ends just west of the beach. The road is about 0.5 miles long. Man of War Brook is a mile (1.6 kilometers) north of the beach and is on the way to the summit of Acadia Mountain.

You can continue to hike down the north face of Flying Mountain and return to the parking lot via Valley Cove Road. If you feel more ambitious, you can hike to Man of War Brook and the summit of Acadia Mountain. A trail up the south face of St. Sauveur Mountain at an elevation of 679 feet (207 meters), Valley Peak Trail, begins a short distance up Valley Cove Road.

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Giant Slide Trail

The Giant Slide Trail passes through a chasm between Parkman Mountain and Sargent Mountain. This trail follows the upper section of Sargent Brook through a mixed conifer and deciduous forest. Some parts of this trail are difficult and dangerous especially when ice is present. Sargent Brook is crossed three times and the trail is on the edge of the brook for much of the distance. Hikers must negotiate large boulders on the bank of the brook and work their way through narrow passages between the brook and cliff walls. Some portions are very steep. Hikers are rewarded with nice views north and west at the top of the trail. The trail continues through the valley between Parkman Mountain and Gilmore Peak to its end at the Maple Spring Trail.

Giant Slide Trail 

This trail begins at the end of Giant Slide Road in Mount Desert. Unfortunately, this road is very narrow and lacks parking area. Vehicular traffic on this road is limited to residents and their invited guests. There is some limited parking on the shoulder of routes 3 and 198. The hike up Giant Slide Road to the trail is short. Giant Slide Road is on routes 3/198 about a mile (1.6 kilometers) south of the intersection with route 233.

A better way to hike the Giant Slide Trail is to drive further south on route 3/198 to the Parkman Mountain parking area about a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) south of Giant Slide Road. You can hike the carriage road north from the parking area to the Giant Slide Trail. When you reach the top or end of Giant Slide Trail, you can return to the parking area via the carriage roads or take a side trip to the summit of Parkman Mountain and then descend to the parking area. Allow at least three hours for these hikes.

Ice may remain in the Giant Slide chasm until late May or early June. Avoid hiking on these ice fields. A fall could be deadly.

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Gorham Mountain Trail

Gorham Mountain rises to 525 feet (160 meters) above Park Loop Road between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole. The parking lot for the Gorham Mountain Trailhead is about a quarter of a mile south of Thunder Hole. Allow about two hours to hike this trail.

Gorham Mountain Trails 

The trail splits into two branches about a quarter of a mile from the trailhead. One branch is a slight detour to Cadillac Cliffs. The other is a more direct route to the summit. The Cadillac Cliffs trail provides access to caves and cliffs formed long ago by the sea and large boulders. At the summit, one has unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding terrain.

Another trail connects the summit of Gorham Mountain to the summit of the Beehive. You can hike from the Beehive to the Park Loop Road and back to the Gorham Mountain (Monument Cove) parking area. This excursion would take the good part of a day, but provides great views, a good workout, and the opportunity to visit Sand Beach and Thunder Hole while parking your vehicle in an area less crowded.

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Hio Fire Road

Hilo Fire Road 

The Hio Fire Road runs from the Seawall Campground to Route 102 in Tremont. This road passes through a mixed deciduous and conifer forest and wetland area. The Seawall Campground end of the road begins at the north end of campsite loop C near the group camping area. It is a very nice place for an evening stroll or jog and is very convenient for the Seawall campers. In many places, the deciduous trees form a canopy over the road. During the fly and mosquito season, be sure to wear insect repellent or dress appropriately. Note: The lower part of the map above (lighter green) has ten-foot contours. The upper part (darker green) has twenty-foot contours.

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Isle au Haut Trails

Isle au Haut has a network of trails on both private and public lands. These trails connect the summits of the hills on the island and major place locations. By virtue of the remoteness of this island, the trails are used less than the trails on Mount Desert Island. Hikers should check with the park ranger or local authorities on Isle au Haut to determine the condition and availability of the trails. Isle au Haut is primitive, plan for it. There is a National Park campground at Duck Harbor and a bed and breakfast in the old lighthouse. Ensure you have a place to stay before you travel to Isle au Haut if you plan to stay overnight. Check with the National Park information office about travel to the island and accommodations.

Isle au Haut Trails 

You can begin hiking at the ranger's station or from the Duck Harbor campgrounds. With the exception of the trails around and south of Duck Harbor, the trails tend to remain inland. Of course given the size of Isle au Haut, you are never far from the ocean. The trails shown on the map that are maintained by the Park Service are indicated by tan lines. Private and old trails are indicated by yellow lines. The passable roads are indicated by violet lines. These roads are not necessarily paved or hardpan. The scale on this map is approximate because the aspect ratio of specific computer monitors may deviate from the standard 4:3 ratio. A printout of this map will have a more accurate scale but still be approximate.

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Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond is an important body of water. It supplies potable water to this area of the Park and is the location of the world famous Jordan Pond House. A large number of trails originate here and a number of carriage roads go through this area. The Jordan Pond House has two large parking areas at the south end of Jordan Pond. Hikers are asked to use the overflow area. Parking is also available at The Bubbles off Park Loop Road. From the Hulls Cove Visitors Center, follow the two-way section of Park Loop Road past the Cadillac Mountain Road and Bubble Pond to the Jordan Pond area.

The map below shows the trails in tan. Carriage Roads are in violet. The number of trails and carriage roads are bewildering. Study the map carefully.

Jordan Pond Trails

 

 

Jordan Cliffs Trail (Jordan Ridge)

The Jordan Cliffs Trail runs between the Penobscot Mountain Trail and the summit of Sargent Mountain at 1,373 feet (418 meters). The Sargent Pond Trail intersects the Jordan Cliffs Trail about 1.25 miles (2km) from the beginning and continues to the summit of Penobscot Mountain at 1,194 feet (364 meters). The Jordan Cliffs Trail is difficult, but has sensational views of Jordan Pond, The Bubbles to the north, and Pemetic Mountain to the east. Portions of this trail have ladders and handrails. People who suffer from acrophobia should not attempt this trail. Hikers have died from falls in this area. Exercise caution.

The trail is accessed most directly from the Penobscot Mountain Trail which intersects the carriage road about one half mile west of the Jordan Pond House. The Jordan Cliffs Trail begins a short distance along the Penobscot Mountain Trail. Allow about two hours to hike to Jordan Cliffs and back.

You can hike from the Jordan Pond House to Jordan Cliffs. Then hike to the summits of Penobscot Mountain and Sargent Mountain. From there hike down to the north end of Jordan Pond, up and down the Bubbles, and along Jordan Pond. Return to Jordan Pond House for a well-deserved rest and meal. Such a hike would consume the better part of a day and be a thorough workout.

Jordan Pond Shore Trail

This trail circles Jordan Pond. You can begin the hike at the Jordan Pond parking area off Park Loop Road near the south end of Jordan Pond or from the Jordan Pond House a bit further south. The trail is about three and a quarter mile. Allow about two hours to hike this trail. The trail stays fairly close to the pond. Some areas are wet and there are footbridges over some of these wet areas.

You hike close to the base of Pemetic Mountain east of the pond, The Bubbles to the north, and Penobscot Mountain to the west. Jordan Ridge (also known as Jordan Cliffs) rises majestically above Jordan Pond on the east face of Penobscot Mountain.

Several trails intersect the Jordan Pond Shore Trail. Pond Trail is a connector to the Cannon Brook Trail. The Jordan Pond Carry Trail connects to Eagle Lake. Two trails connect to the gap between the North and South Bubbles. Another challenging trail goes up the south face to the summit of South Bubble at 766 feet (233 meters) elevation. The Deer Brook Trail goes up Penobscot Mountain at an elevation of 1,194 feet (364 meters) and connects to a trail up Sargent Mountain at 1,373 feet (418 meters) elevation.

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Long Pond (Great Pond) Fire Road

About one quarter of a mile south of the entrance to the Pretty Marsh Picnic Area on state route 102 is a fire road that provides access to the west shore of Long Pond, sometimes called "Great Pond." During summer months this road may be open to motor vehicles. At any time of year, it provides the route of a nice hike through coniferous and deciduous forests to the shore of the largest lake on Mount Desert Island.

Long Pond and Hodgdon Pond Roads 

As the Long Pond Fire Road leaves the shore of the lake and continues south, it becomes Hodgdon Pond Road. The road passes Duck Pond, Western Trail, a side road to the top of Pine Hill, and a wet land south of Hodgdon Pond before intersecting state route 102 again a bit more than a mile south of where it began.

The combined length of Long Pond Fire Road and Hodgdon Pond Road is about four miles long. The shore of Long Pond is about 1.5 miles (2.5km) from the beginning of Long Pond Fire Road. Allow about two hours to make the complete circuit of this road (including the route 102 distance).

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Lurvey Spring Road

Lurvey Spring Road begins at the access road to Echo Lake beach and ends at Long Pond Road. During the summer months this gravel road is open to motor vehicles. At other times of the year, travel on this road is limited to foot or bicycle traffic. When there is sufficient snow on the ground, Lurvey Spring Road is used by snowmobilers. At any time of the year, it is popular with hikers.

Lurvey Spring Road 

This road passes through a mixed conifer and deciduous forest and past a large field (posted private property). There are some fine views toward Somes Sound. To the west of the gate near the Long Pond Road end there is a gravel road leading to east shore of Long Pond and the trails to Beech Mountain and Long Pond. The intersection of Lurvey Spring Road with Long Pond Road is a bit more than a quarter of a mile from the Long Pond pumping station.

You can park in the Echo Lake Beach parking area and walk a quarter of a mile south on the access road to the beginning of Lurvey Spring Road. A hike down this road to Long Pond, up Beech Mountain and down Beech Cliffs to Echo Lake again would be a good tour of this area. The length of the road is about 1.5 miles (2.5km) and requires about an hour to hike to the end of the road and back.

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Man of War Brook

This brook is on the south side of Acadia Mountain. It has historic significance in that early sailing ships would gather fresh water from this brook. Many of these ships were warships, whence the name. Ships would anchor in Somes Sound north of Valley Cove. Water casks would be loaded on landing boats and filled under the small waterfall at the point the brook enters Somes Sound.

Man of War Brook 

The brook is crossed by the trail from Flying Mountain to Acadia Mountain. Just south of the point this trail crosses, the brook is a side trail going to an overlook of the waterfall at the end of the brook. A more direct way to hike to Man of War brook is to use the fire road from route 102. This fire road is about a mile long and begins just north of the Acadia Mountain parking area on the opposite side of route 102. Be careful crossing this highway. A 0.1-mile trail to the Flying Mountain and Acadia Mountain trail begins at the end of this fire road. Man of War brook is about another eighth of a mile (0.2 kilometers) towards Acadia Mountain.

This hike is easy and through a cool mixed deciduous and conifer forest. There are some good views of Somes Sound and the waterfall. Allow about an hour to hike to and from the brook using the fire road.

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Norumbega Mountain Trail

The trail to the summit of Norumbega Mountain starts at a turn-off west of routes 3 and 198 about two miles north of Northeast Harbor and just south of the Parkman Mountain parking area. The marker for the trail is at the extreme north end of the turn-off. A short distance into the woods, the trail splits. One part goes south to Lower Hadlock Pond. The other goes up the mountain.

Norumbega ountain Trail 

The part of the trail up the mountain is very steep in spots. Exercise caution, particularly around loose rocks. The distance from the parking lot to the summit at an elevation of 852 feet (260 meters) is about half a mile (0.8 kilometers). Most of the hike is through a mixed forest. There are excellent views of Parkman and Penobscot Mountains on the way up. From the summit, one can see parts of Somes Sound to the west and north, The Cranberry Isles to the south, and Parkman and Penobscot Mountains to the east.

At the summit, the trail continues down the south face of the mountain, through a conifer forest to Lower Hadlock Pond. You can then hike around the Pond and back to the parking lot. Allow about two hours for this hike.

Numerous trails go south from Lower Hadlock Pond to Northeast Harbor. These trails are outside the park boundaries.

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Parkman Mountain

Parkman Mountain at an elevation of 941 feet (287 meters) is located in a less visited part of the park. The summit of the mountain is barren. A number of nearby peaks can be seen as well as the larger peaks like Sargent Mountain and Norumbega Mountain. The valleys between these peaks offer many hours of exploring. This area of the park is primitive and usually less crowded than other areas.

Parkman Mountail Trails

 

 

Parkman Mountain Trail

The Parkman Mountain Trail begins opposite the Norumbega Parking area on routes 3/198. This is the same point of origin as the Hadlock Brook Trail. The two trails almost immediately diverge with the Parkman Mountain Trail heading north and the Hadlock Brook Trail heading east. The Parkman Mountain Trail goes through mixed woods and over ledges until it reaches the barren summit of the mountain. There is a side trail to Bald Peak, at a summit elevation of 974 feet (297 meters), to the southeast of the Parkman summit. Gilmore Peak at a summit elevation of about 1,025 feet (313 meters) is between Parkman Mountain and Sargent Mountain. Parkman Mountain Trail continues down the northern slope of Parkman Mountain, crosses a carriage road and ends at the Giant Slide Trail. Allow about and hour to hike from the highway to the summit of Parkman Mountain. The hike from the summit to the Giant Slide Trail will require another half-hour.

Grand Gent Trail

The Grand Gent Trail connects the summit of Parkman Mountain at 941 feet (287 meters) elevation with the summit of Gilmore Peak at about 1,025 feet (313 meters) elevation and the summit of Sargent Mountain at an elevation of 1,373 feet (418 meters). The descent from Parkman Mountain is steep, as are the climbs up the other two mountains. The quickest way to access this trail is to use the Parkman Mountain Trail. You can also start at the other end of the trail by hiking the Sargent Mountain North Ridge Trail, the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail or the Jordan Cliffs Trail. Allow about an hour to enjoy the Grand Gent Trail.

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Pemetic Mountain

Pemetic Mountain at 1,247 feet (390 meters) is one of the highest mountains in Acadia National Park. It lies just east of Jordan Pond on the other side of Park Loop Road. There is only one trail to the summit, The Pemetic Trail that runs along the north-south spine of the mountain. Several other trails provide access to this main trail.

Jordan Pond Trails

 

 

Pemetic Trail

The northern end of the Pemetic Trail begins at the northern end of Bubble Pond near the Bubble Pond parking area on the Park Loop Road. The trail goes through a conifer forest to the summit where open ledges provide good views. Just before the summit, the Pemetic Trail is joined by another branch trail, sometimes called the Bubble-Pemetic Trail, which starts at the Pond Carry Trail. The Bubble-Pemetic Trail stays in the forest for the most part until it merges with the main trail. The Pemetic Trail continues down the south side of the mountain into a mixed conifer and deciduous forest. It intersects the West Cliff Trail and crosses the Pond Trail and Triad-Hunters Brook Trail. The Pemetic Trail then crosses the summit of The Triad before coming to an end on the Park Loop road east of the riding stable. Allow about an hour and a quarter to hike the distance from Bubble Pond to the summit of Pemetic Mountain. The hike from the Pond Carry Trail to the summit is steep and requires about an hour. Allow about two hours to walk from the summit to the Park Loop Road near the stables.

You can park your vehicle at the Jordan Pond overflow parking area, at the Bubbles parking area or at the Bubble Pond parking area. From the Jordan Pond parking area, you can hike the Pond Trail to the West Cliff Trail or Pemetic Trail. The Bubble-Pemetic Trail is opposite the Bubbles parking area. The Pemetic Trail begins south of the Bubble Pond parking area. Whatever route you choose, allow plenty of time to return to the parking area if you miss a trail marker and walk too far.

West Cliff Trail

The West Cliff Trail goes up the southwest corner of Pemetic Mountain. This trail is not as steep as the nearby portion of the Pemetic Trail. The West Cliff Trail begins on the Pond Trail and intersects the Pemetic Trail at an elevation of 960 feet (293 meters) just as the trails begin to emerge from the forest. This route is the most direct way to the summit of Pemetic Mountain from the Jordan Pond House parking area. Allow about an hour and a half to hike from the Jordan Pond House to the Summit of Pemetic Mountain.

Pond Trail

The Pond Trail starts on the shore of Jordan Pond and goes to the west end of the Canon Brook Trail south of Cadillac Mountain. It crosses the Park Loop Road and enters the valley between Pemetic Mountain and The Triad. Before leaving the valley, it intersects the West Cliff Trail and crosses the Pemetic Trail. As it leaves the valley, it crosses a carriage road, turns north and parallels the carriage road until it meets the Canon Brook Trail and Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail. This easy trail stays in the forest. Allow about an hour to hike this trail one way.

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Penobscot Mountain

Penobscot Mountain at an elevation of 1,194 feet (360 meters) lies west of Jordan Pond. The summit is barren of trees and brush. The views of Cadillac Mountain to the northeast, Pemetic Mountain to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Jordan Pond at the base, and Eagle Lake to the northeast are impressive. There are also long views to the hills and mountains on the mainland.

The summit can be reached via trails from either end of Jordan Pond or the trails on Sargent Mountain. The trails from Jordan Pond are difficult but more direct than the access from the Sargent Mountain trails.

Penobscot Mountain Trails

 

 

Sargent Pond Trail

The Sargent Pond Trail connects the Jordan Cliffs Trail and the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail. It crosses the summit of Penobscot Mountain at the terminus of the Penobscot Mountain Trail. A short distance northwest of the summit of Penobscot Mountain, it intersects with the Deer Brook Trail. Before it terminates at the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail, it passes a tarn called Sargent Pond. For more information about this trail, see the description under Sargent Mountain.

Penobscot Mountain Trail and Jordan Cliffs Trail

The Penobscot Mountain Trail begins near the Jordan Pond House at the south end of Jordan Pond. It intersects the Jordan Cliffs Trail less than a half a mile (0.8 kilometers) from its beginning. The Penobscot Trail follows the western face of Penobscot Mountain to the Sargent Pond Trail and the summit of Penobscot Mountain. The Jordan Cliffs Trail route is more difficult and scenic and follows Jordan Cliffs to the Deer Brook Trail. This trail has handrails and ladders. The summit of Penobscot Mountain can be reached via the Sargent Pond Trail or the Deer Brook Trail. The Jordan Cliffs Trail ends at the summit of Sargent Mountain. Allow about two hours to hike from the Jordan Pond House to the summit of Penobscot Mountain via the Penobscot Mountain Trail or the Jordan Cliffs Trail.

Deer Brook Trail

The Deer Brook Trail starts at the north end of Jordan Pond. It climbs the northeast face of Penobscot Mountain to Sargent Pond Trail, which provides access to the summit of Penobscot Mountain. Allow about an hour to hike from Jordan Pond to the summit of Penobscot Mountain on this trail.

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Precipice Trail

The Precipice Trail is perhaps the most difficult of the established trails in Acadia National Park. This trail leads from the Precipice parking area on the Park Loop Road to the summit of Champlain Mountain. The parking area is a little more than a mile and one half south of Sieur de Monts Spring and a mile north of the toll house. This trail is frequently closed when eagles or other endangered wildlife establishes residences along or near the trail. Check with the visitor's center on the use of this trail.

Precipice Trail 

The trail is very steep. In some areas, ladders are installed to assist climbers. Ledges can be quite narrow and have long drops. People with acrophobia should not attempt this trail. There are alternative trails on this mountain.

The views of Frenchman Bay and surrounding mountains are spectacular. From the summit, at 1,058 feet (322 meters) one can look down on the bay to the east. The Beehive, at 520 feet (158 meters), is to the south. Bar Harbor is to the north. Dorr Mountain at an elevation of 1,270 feet (387 meters) is to the west.

Allow at least two hours for this climb.

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St. Sauveur Mountain

St. Sauveur Mountain at an elevation of 679 feet (207 meters) is on the western side of Somes Sound at Valley Cove. The Mountain is covered with a conifer forest but does have some nice views of Somes Sound, surrounding mountains and Southwest Harbor. Acadia Mountain lies to the north.

St. Sauveur Trails 

 

 

St. Sauveur Trail

St. Sauveur Trail begins at the fire road to Man of War Brook. It jogs toward highway 102 where a short path leads to the highway. Across the highway from this path is a parking area for Acadia Ledges. The trail proceeds through a conifer forest up the northwest spine of St. Sauveur Mountain. It joins the Ledge Trail at about the one-mile (1.6 kilometers) point. The summit of the mountain is about one third of a mile (half a kilometer) further. The trail is easy with nice views. Allow about an hour to hike to the summit and a bit less time to hike down the trail.

Ledge Trail

The Ledge Trail begins at the St. Sauveur Mountain Parking Lot on the east side of route 102 north of the entrance to Echo Lake Beach. This trail rises steeply through a conifer woods. It splits into two branches before it intersects the St. Sauveur Trail. The southern branch intersects the St. Sauveur Trail at about half a mile (0.8 kilometers) from the highway. The summit of the mountain is about one third of a mile (half a kilometer) further from the southern branch intersection. Allow about 45 minutes to hike from the road to the summit using either branch.

Valley Peak Trail

The Valley Peak Trail begins a short distance north of the Valley Cove Fire Road parking area off Fernald Point Road. The Fernald Point Road goes east from route 102 just north of the Village of Southwest Harbor. The trail rises steeply up the side of the Valley Peak section of St. Sauveur Mountain. Valley Peak has a large relatively flat and exposed area with good views, called "Eagle Cliff." The trail splits into two branches around this area. The branches intersect again at the summit of St. Sauveur Mountain. Allow about an hour to hike from the parking lot to the summit of St. Sauveur Mountain.

Valley Peak Trail continues down the northern side of St. Sauveur Mountain to the Man of War fire road and Man of War Brook. Acadia Mountain Trail begins where the Valley Peak Trail stops. Allow about 45 minutes to hike from the summit of St. Sauveur Mountain to the beginning of the Acadia Mountain Trail.

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Sargent Mountain

Sargent Mountain at 1,373 feet (418 meters) is about halfway between the northern tip of Jordan Pond and Somes Sound. The summit of this mountain can be reached from all four directions of the compass. The Sargent Mountain North Ridge Trail follows the northern ridge of the mountain. Likewise, the South Ridge Trail follows the south ridge. The Hadlock Brook Trail, Maple Spring Trail and Grand Gent Trail approach the summit from the west. The eastern approach is the Jordan Cliffs Trail.

The summit of Sargent Mountain is open and affords excellent views in all directions. The isolated location of this mountain makes one feel as if civilization is far away. Some folks even stop for a swim in Sargent Pond, a tarn located between Sargent and Penobscot Mountains. Be careful. There are no lifeguards. You swim at your own risk.

Sargent Mountain Trails

 

 

Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail

This trail is the longest direct approach to the summit of Sargent Mountain. One can begin hiking this trail from at least two points. Most folks park their vehicles at the Brown Mountain Gate House on routes 3/198 about a mile (1.6km) north of the Village of Northeast Harbor. One can then hike the carriage road south (right) toward the Jordan Pond House. The South Ridge Trail intersects the carriage road about a mile (1.6km) from the parking area. The Asticou Jordan Pond Trail also provides access to the South Ridge Trail near its intersection with the Asticou Ridge Trail.

The trail rises slowly through a mixed coniferous and deciduous forest and provides good views of the surrounding mountains and Northeast Harbor at many places along the way. After passing the summit of Cedar Swamp Mountain, it crosses Little Harbor Brook and passes Sargent Pond. The climb up to the summit of Sargent Mountain is over rock and remains open. The Hadlock Brook and Maple Spring trails intersect the South Ridge trail between Sargent Pond and the summit. The Amphitheater Trail and Penobscot Mountain Trail intersect south of the pond. From the Asticou trails to the summit is about 2.5 miles (4km).

Hadlock Brook Trail and Maple Spring Trail

The Hadlock Brook and Maple Spring trails provide access to the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail from a point opposite the Norumbega Mountain parking area on routes 2/198. This point is also the origin of the Parkman Mountain trail. The Hadlock Brook trail goes east but the Parkman Mountain Trail goes north. The Maple Spring Trail begins on the Hadlock Brook Trail at less than one half mile (0.8 kilometers) from routes 3/198. The Hadlock Brook Trail continues on to the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail, as does the Maple Spring Trail. Either route will get you from the highway to the summit of Sargent Mountain in less than two hours. These trails go through forests and up steep slopes.

Sargent Pond Trail

The Sargent Pond Trail is a short but important trail. It connects the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail with the Jordan Cliffs Trail and passes along the shore of Sargent Pond and over the summit of Penobscot Mountain at 1,194 feet (360 meters).

From the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail, the Sargent Pond Trail drops sharply to the southern shore of Sargent Pond, a small tarn between Sargent and Penobscot Mountains. It then ascends briefly through a woods and down into a gorge where it intersects the Penobscot Mountain Trail. From there, it goes to the summit of Penobscot Mountain and then drops to the Jordan Cliffs Trail on the eastern face of Penobscot Mountain.

Sargent Pond is a beautiful tarn surrounded by trees except for a few small clearings on the south shore. The pond is deep enough for swimming but hikers swim at their own risk. Camping and fires are prohibited. Between the pond and the summit of Penobscot Mountain is an interesting little gorge. Hikers must make their way around or between large boulders in the bottom of the gorge. The remaining way to the Jordan Cliffs Trail is over the granite cap of Penobscot Mountain and devoid of trees or shrubs.

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Schoodic Peninsula - Schoodic Head and The Anvil

Schoodic Peninsula is the section of Acadia National Park on the mainland near the village of Winter Harbor. Two hills provide views of Schoodic Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, The Anvil and Schoodic Head. The latter hill has an elevation of 440 feet (134 meters). A trail, about a mile (1.6 kilometers) long, begins opposite a parking lot off the one-way loop road just beyond Little Moose Island. This trail crosses the eastside of The Anvil and proceeds to the summit of Schoodic Head. At that point, it splits into two trails. One goes northeast to the loop road. The other goes to the ranger station. Another trail between the ranger station and the parking lot passes over The Anvil. Allow about two hours to hike and explore this area.

Schoodic Peninsular 

The parking area at which the trails begin is called the "Blueberry Hill" parking area. It is a bit over half a mile (one kilometer) from the turn-off for Schoodic Point. The trailhead is opposite the entrance to the parking lot. The trail intersects the one way road again about a mile north of Blueberry Hill Parking.

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Schooner Head Path

Schooner Head Path is a new trail that runs from Compass Harbor behind the Jackson Laboratory to the Schooner Head Overlook area of Acadia National Park. It follows Schooner Head Road in Bar Harbor for most of its 2.8 mile (4.5 kilometer) length and is relatively level for most of its length. Joggers frequent this path. Good views of Champlain Mountain and Frenchman Bay from the overlook can be enjoyed along the way. Allow about three hours for a round trip down this path to enjoy the views and the wildlife.

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Ship Harbor Nature Trail

The Ship Harbor Nature Trail is located off route 102A a bit over a mile southwest of the Seawall Campground and about two miles from Bass Harbor. This trail is an easy hike along the shore and through a forest. The hike from the Ship Harbor parking lot should require about one hour of time. Check with the park visitors center or the rangers at Seawall Campground for a schedule of guided nature walks along this trail or to obtain a brochure for the self-guided nature walk. Important points along this trail are marked and keyed to the brochure.

Ship Harbor Nature Trails

 

 

There is a variety of shore life and interesting geological features along this trail. At low tide, much of the harbor bottom is exposed. Much of the shore is pink granite with cobblestone beaches. The brackish ponds and pools created at low tide trap marine life and attract waterfowl.

Off shore, one can see numerous islands. To the southwest is Great Gott Island behind which are Placentia Island, Black Island, and Swans Island. To the south are Little Duck and Great Duck Islands. The Cranberry Isles can be seen to the east.

Ship Harbor was the site of a shipwreck in 1739 on the ledge in the harbor. Only a few of the passengers survived.

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Shore Path

Shore Path is a path along the shore in Bar Harbor. It begins at the town pier and runs southeast along the shore almost to the breakwater at Bald Porcupine Island. This path passes by the Bar Harbor Inn to Albert Meadow where there is a public parking area and green called "Grant Park". It continues past the Balanced Rock Inn named for a large boulder, which is balanced on the beach nearby. Several private estates are passed along this path until it ends near Cromwell Cove.

Bar Harbor 

The views of the Porcupine Islands are excellent. The Porcupine Island nearest the town pier is Sheep Porcupine Island. Beyond in a clockwise order are Burnt Porcupine Island, Long Porcupine Island, and Bald Porcupine Island. The large Island behind Bald Porcupine Island is Ironbound Island.

Many people enjoy lounging on the rock beach along the Shore Path. It is an excellent place to watch the boat traffic in an out of the harbor. The geology of the beach is interesting as well as the marine life. This area also supports some colorful lichen.

Much of the land over which the shore path runs is private property. Please respect the privacy of the owners and keep the area clean. Dogs are permitted on this path if they are leashed.

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The Bowl Trail

The Bowl is a tarn between The Beehive and Champlain Mountain. The trail begins on Park Loop Road just opposite the Sand Beach parking area. It winds around the base of The Beehive through a deciduous forest. At one point, the trail passes through a very nice birch tree grove. The Bowl itself is a pond surrounded by brush and low trees. The trail is a bit more than one half of a mile (0.8 kilometers) from the road to the pond. Allow about 45 minutes for a round trip.

The Bowl Trail 

Other trails cross The Bowl trail. Three short trails provide access to the summit of The Beehive at 520 feet (158 meters). Another trail goes to Gorham Mountain at 525 feet (160 meters). If one continues past The Bowl, the trail goes up the south ridge of Champlain Mountain at 1,058 feet (323 meters). You can expend many hours hiking these trails.

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The Bubbles and Bubble Rock (Balanced Boulder)

The Bubbles are two peaks at the north end of Jordan Pond. On the east side of South Bubble peak is a boulder deposited by a glacier many years ago. This boulder appears to be balanced precariously on the side of the mountain and can be seen from the section of Park Loop Road, which passes Jordan Pond. The trail to the peaks and the boulder begins at the Bubble Rock parking area which is west of the Park Loop Road a bit more than a mile south of Bubble Pond and about two miles north of the Jordan Pond House.

The Bubbles and Bubble Rock Trails 

This trail is relatively short, but divides into several trails, which connect to trails around Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake. One branch leads to the South Bubble, which has an elevation of 766 feet (233 meters). The famous boulder is a short distance east of this trail. One must look closely for the rock, but it is easily accessible.

The branch leading to North Bubble at an elevation of 872 feet (266 meters) is more challenging. Both peaks have large areas of forest and brush. However, the summits are bare and have excellent views of Jordan Pond, Pemetic Mountain to the east, Penobscot Mountain to the west, Eagle Lake and Cadillac Mountain to the north, and the Cranberry Isles far to the south. Allow about an hour to hike The Bubbles. Hiking the connecting trails will require much more time and considerable effort.

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The Tarn

The Tarn is a small lake west of route 3 about a mile south of Bar Harbor and just south of the Sieur de Monts entrance to Acadia National Park. There is a parking lot off route 3 at the northern tip of the lake.

The Tarn Trails 

Dorr Mountain and Champlain Mountain flank The Tarn. The trails up these mountains begin at the northern tip of The Tarn, as does the Tarn Trail. A short trail leads to Sieur de Monts Spring, the Abbe Museum, and the Wild Gardens of Acadia.

You can hike around The Tarn or along the west shore to The Gorge and east to route 3. This hike is rather easy. The scenery is interesting and, if you feel ambitious, you can climb Dorr or Champlain Mountain and even over to Cadillac Mountain.

The Tarn is an excellent place to begin a variety of hiking activities.

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Western Mountain Trails - Bernard Mountain, Knight Nubble, and Mansell Mountain

Western Mountain consists of two major peaks, Mansell Mountain to the east at 949 feet (289 meters) and Bernard Mountain to the west at 1,071 feet (326 meters). In between is Knight Nubble at 930 feet (283 meters). These summits are heavily wooded which make sweeping views difficult to find. Some observation points give excellent views of Southwest Harbor, Beech Mountain, Long Pond, and points west. Most folks climb these peaks to experience the exhilaration of the climb or the wildlife of the deep woods.

Western Mountain Trails

 

The map of this area is a combination of two U. S. Geological Survey topographic maps with different contour standards. The light green part of the map has twenty-foot contours. The darker green portion of the map has six-meter contours. Six meters and twenty feet are almost the same distance. Therefore, the contours line up very well at the joint. The difference is so small that hikers can treat both maps as being either of the contour standards.

There are two parking areas at the beginning of Western Mountain trails. The first is at the southern end of Long Pond. Drive to Southwest Harbor on route 102. Turn onto Seal Cove Road, which is just north of the village. Then turn right onto Long Pond Road. Follow this road to its end in the parking lot beside the water treatment plant at Long Pond.

A trail up Beech Mountain begins at the east end of the parking lot. At the west end of the lot, on the other side of the water treatment plant, is the beginning of the Great Pond Trail. This trail provides access to the trails on Western Mountain.

Great Pond Trail and Western Trail

Great Pond Trail is a broad trail that follows Long Pond (also called Great Pond) for a distance of about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). It continues up the north slope of Western Mountain to the Western Trail, an additional distance of 1.4 miles (2.25 kilometers). From the Western Trail, one can ascend the peaks of Western Mountain, none of which is more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) further. The Great Pond Trail and most of Western Trail are easy grades. The trailhead of the Western Trail is on the Hodgdon Pond Road. Allow about two hours to hike the Western Trail from the trailhead to the summit of Mansell Mountain. The climbs up to the summits are more difficult than the lower parts of the trails. One must be careful to stay on the marked trails and exercise caution climbing rock formations. Allow about six hours to hike the trails and explore the summits.

Cold Brook trail

At the beginning of the Great Pond Trail is another trail, called Cold Brook Tail, which connects to the second parking area and the beginnings of other Western Mountain trails. These other trails provide more direct routes up the west face of Mansell Mountain. The Cold Brook Trail ends at the South Face Trail.

Perpendicular Trail

A still more direct trail up Mansell Mountain is Perpendicular Trail, which begins on the Great Pond Trail, about 1,000 feet (305 meters) north of the water treatment plant. This trail is steep and difficult. Allow about three hours for a round trip on this 1.4-mile (2.3-kilometer) trail.

South Face Trail

The second parking area is on Western Mountain Road. One can reach this area by following Seal Cove Road into the national park and turning right onto a fire road about three quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometers) west of the park entrance. This road ends at Western Mountain Road. Turn right on Western Mountain Road to the parking area.

Several trails begin at this parking lot. South Face trail, which begins at the end of a fire road, goes up the south and west faces of Bernard Mountain to the summit. It continues to Little Notch, which is about 1,000 feet (305 meters) beyond the Bernard summit. This trail has good views. The distance to the summit of Bernard Mountain is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers). Allow about three hours for a round trip.

Mansell Peak Trail and Razor Back Trail

Mansell Peak Trail begins at the second parking lot and climbs directly up the south face of Mansell Mountain. The Razor Back Trail runs parallel to Mansell Mountain Trail. Both trails are difficult but provide good views. Allow about ninety minutes to hike from the parking lot to the summit of Mansell Mountain on either of these trails.

Sluiceway Trail, Little Notch Trail and Great Notch Trail

The Sluiceway Trail is another steep trail that originates at the bottom of the South Face Trail. About half way up Western Mountain, this trail divides into the Little Notch Trail and the Great Notch Trail. The Great Notch Trail goes to the Great Notch where it joins the Western Trail. The Little Notch Trail goes northwest to Little Notch between Bernard Peak and Knight Nubble to connect to the South Face Trail. The portion of the South Face Trail between the Little Notch Trail and the Western Trail is sometimes called the Moss Trail. Allow about three hours to hike a circuit on these trails.

The trail system on Western Mountain is somewhat confusing. Hikers should use a map and be familiar with place designations.

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Wonderland Trail

Wonderland is located off route 102A about a mile southwest of the Seawall Campground and a little more than two miles from Bass Harbor. The trail starts at the Wonderland parking area and requires less than an hour to hike. Most of the trail is level and broad, resembling an access road. Physically handicapped people should be able to negotiate most of this trail.

Wonderland Trail

 

 

 The trail cuts through a forest to a rocky shore, which slopes gently to the water. The beach area is quite large and has flat areas where a family can enjoy a picnic or just relax on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.

You can see the Little Duck and Great Duck Islands to the south (straight out to sea) and the Cranberry Isles to the east.

The Ship Harbor Nature Trail is to the southwest on the other side of a wetland. Bennet Cove is to the north of the trail. There is quite a bit of beach and forest to explore with little chance of becoming hopelessly lost because a trail, the shore, or route 102A is within a half mile (0.8 kilometers) of any point. Keep an eye on children. There are hazards in this area.

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