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My Favorite Hiking Trails In Acadia National Park

Updated on June 30, 2012
harrynielsen profile image

I have enjoyed hiking for many years, so I enjoy sharing what I know and tips about places to hike.


Bubble Pond is just one of the many quiet places found in Acadia National Park.
Bubble Pond is just one of the many quiet places found in Acadia National Park. | Source

Overview of Acadia

Acadia National park is located on the coast of Maine, where towering mountains run right up to the edge of the sea. Situated midway between the Canadian border and the southern tip of Maine, this rocky border to the Atlantic Ocean has attracted multitudes of visitors, including President Barrack Obama, who visited the area with his family, early in his first term. Besides the much fabled coastline, the park includes several offshore islands and large tracts of forests interspersed with many lakes and ponds. The park can get very crowded during the summer, but adventurous hikers can find uncrowded trails that will transport visitors away from the larger crowds. Following is a quick overview for those wishing to take a quiet walk, while visiting Acadia.

Off Mt. Desert Island

As this 1856 painting by Fitz Hugh Lane suggests, travelers have been coming to the Acadian Coast of Maine for a long time
As this 1856 painting by Fitz Hugh Lane suggests, travelers have been coming to the Acadian Coast of Maine for a long time | Source

Bubble Pond

For a very easy stroll around a beautifully situated small pond, visitors to Acadia can try the trail at Bubble pond. The parking lot can be easily found on the two way portion of the Park Loop Road near Jordan Pond. For most of the route, the trail hugs the edge of the pond providing beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and a few low-lying mountains. Along the way you will find numerous opportunities to sit and contemplate this serene landscape. While you're there be sure to check out the old stone bridge along the Carriage Trail.

Isle Au Haut

For a memorable hiking experience that is not very strenuous, visitors can take the ferry from Stonington to Isle Au Haut and climb Duck Harbor Mountain, which rises several hundred feet above sea level for an excellent view of Penobscot Bay and a few surrounding mountains. If time is available take a walk along Eastern Head for an uncrowded view of the windswept Maine coastline as the Atlantic Ocean pounds the island's eastern edge. Overnight accommodations are available at Duck Harbor Campground, but you must reserve months ahead of time. The round trip day ride on the ferry gives summer hikers a good six hours or so to explore this most interesting of Maine islands.

Schoodic Peninsula

The Schoodic Peninsula provides an uncrowded opportunity to walk along the rocky Maine coastline
The Schoodic Peninsula provides an uncrowded opportunity to walk along the rocky Maine coastline | Source

Norumbega Mountain

Though the summit of Noreumbega Mountain is only 852 feet, it provides a wonderful view of not only the Atlantic, but also Somes Sound, a natural fjord that borders the narrow summit on one side. The climb up this majestic peak begins at the parking lot on Highway 198 and proceeds steeply to a plateau area. Here, a short level walk across a rocky surface will take you take you to the actual summit, where both bodies of water can be seen. Other coastal mountains can be climbed within the park, (Penobscot and Acadia Mountain for example), but this trail gets my vote because it is relatively uncrowded and also allows you to look down on that long finger of water called, Somes Sound.

Schoodic Trails

Although it's a ways from Bar Harbor, Cadillac Mountain and the main portions of the park, the Schoodic Peninsula and Point provide some of the best oceanside walking in the Acadia region. You won't officially marked trails here, just a lot of access points, where you can clamor over massive rock layers and follow the edge of the water for as far as you can go. To reach the Schoodic region, just head north on State Highway 1 until you see the signs for the national park. It is well worth the drive for the park is just a jumping off point for continuing your journey north along the coast towards the Canadian border.

Cadillac Sunset

Many visitors to Acadia drive to the top of Cadillac mountain for this stunning view
Many visitors to Acadia drive to the top of Cadillac mountain for this stunning view | Source


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    • harrynielsen profile imageAUTHOR

      Harry Nielsen 

      6 years ago from Durango, Colorado

      Somes Sound is a nice part of the park. I've heard that Flying Mountain is a little extra special and I think that is where the Obamas went hiking when they visited the park in the first summer of the present term.

    • bankscottage profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great Hub Harry. I love Acadia and so do a lot of others (I believe it is the second most visited national park). I've been on a lot of these hikes including Schoodic Peninsula and Isle Au Haut.

      My personal favorite hike is Gorge Path, off of the loop road not far after it becomes one way. After a flat stretch you then basically walk up a granite stream bed (seems like going up 50 sets of stairs). About 1/3 of the way up there is a nice memorial on a large rock. You can continue all the way to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

      I also like hiking on the quiet side. For kids, I think Flying Mountain (near the Causeway golf course just before Southwest Harbor) is best. The elevation is only about 250 feet, but it provides great views of Somes Sound and some of the mansions of Northeast Harbor. Continuing down the far side toward Acadia Mountain you reach the shoreline. If the tide is out, the kids can explore tide pools.

      Voted up, awesome and shared. (Have to share anything about Acadia).


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