Sand Beach

Sand Beach

Sand Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Acadia National Park. It is a large, natural sand beach at Newport Cove of Mount Desert Island. A lifeguard is on duty during the summer although most people prefer to sunbathe because the waters of Newport Cove are quite cold. The photograph above shows Sand Beach from Park Loop Road above the beach. The next photograph is a view of Otter Cliffs to the southwest from Sand Beach. The Island in the distance is Baker Island.

Sand Beach Shore

The next picture is a ledge called "Old Soaker" in the Atlantic Ocean beyond Newport Cove but easily seen from Sand Beach. Examine this photograph closely to see sea birds on the ledge and floats for lobster pots. Occasionally, sea mammals may sun themselves on these rocks.

Old Soaker

Behind, that is, north of Sand Beach are sand dunes held in place by salt marsh grasses. This area, shown in the next photograph, is very delicate and visitors are asked to stay away from these dunes. The mountains in the photograph are, from left to right, The Beehive, Enoch Mountain and Champlain Mountain.

Area North of Sand Beach

The sand dunes hide a stream that flows through the eastern side of Sand Beach to Newport Cove. This stream drains the watersheds between Gorham Mountain, The Beehive, Enoch Mountain and the Oak Hill section of Great Head. One major source of water for this stream is Kief Pond, a wetland between The Beehive and Gorham Mountain. Another wetland contributing to this stream is east of Park Loop Road between The Beehive and Enoch Mountain. Some sunbathers have found comfortable places along this stream.

Drainage onto Sand Beacj

The base of Great Head to the east of Sand Beach has many caves like the one shown in the photograph below. These caves are rich with sea life. Feel free to observe but not disturb this life.

Cave at Sand Beach

The photograph below shows Sand Beach in winter. The Park Loop Road and the Sand Beach parking areas are plowed in winter. Note the couple strolling the beach in the center of the photograph. They were the only people on Sand Beach at the time.

Sand Beach in Winter

Sand Beach is on the one-way section of Park Loop Road a bit more than half a mile (0.8 kilometers) beyond the toll stations. There are two large parking lots at Sand Beach. Parking is also allowed to the right of Park Loop Road in most sections of the road in this area. Do not park in no parking zones that are established to accommodate emergency vehicles. There are changing rooms and rest rooms at the lower Sand Beach parking lot. Trailheads at the Sand Beach area provide access to Great Head, The Beehive, The Bowl, Enoch Mountain and Champlain Mountain. Be cautious swimming at Sand Beach. If you plan to venture far from shore (Old Soaker, for example, is about half a mile or 0.8 kilometers from shore), check with the lifeguard on duty about the advisability of such a plan, possible dangerous currents and what to do should you encounter them.

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