5 Best Hikes In Acadia National Park

Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. There are freshwater, estuary, forest, and intertidal habitats.

1. The Beehive Loop Trail

A steep climb to the top of this small mountain with wonderful views out over the Atlantic and surrounding Acadia hills The Beehive Trail is a very popular moderate to difficult out and back or loop trail using iron rungs on ledges of exposed cliffs, and is very steep, offering spectacular views of Sand Beach and the surrounding area at Acadia National Park. Start just north of and across the One way loop road from the Sand Beach parking area, climbing steps and through the forest to some exposed fairly flat rocky areas and a tall cairn of rocks marking your next steps. Be sure to look for the light blue (Carolina Blue) trail markers as the trail can be quickly lost in your enthusiasm to scale the cliffs. Stay on trail as strategically placed iron rungs, bridges and hand and foot holds take the technical part out of the climb. Once at the top you can opt to go down the back side and make it a loop or go down the way you came.

AllTrails Grade : Hard

Total Distance : 1.4 miles

Elevation Gain : 488 feet

Type : Loop

For more information visit All Trails.

2. Cadillac North Ridge Trail

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 moderate. 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.

AllTrails Grade : Moderate

Total Distance : 4.0 miles

Elevation Gain : 1,118 feet

Type : Out & Back

For more information visit All Trails.

3. Jordan Pond Full Loop Trail

Great views on a lot of the walk around the lake. This trail can get crowded at points, especially on the parts where there were narrower wooden walkways for paths. Go early, as it can be difficult to find a parking spot due to its traffic. The backdrop of the pond and bubbles are beautiful as you meander through the woods along the pond. The boardwalks are unique, and outside of a couple muddy spots, a trail that is very enjoyable and easy. There’s a section with some rocky terrain but other than that it’s a flat, easy, peaceful walk suitable for just about anyone. There are a couple sandy areas as well where people can step aside and relax on the shore. Dogs, swimming, and wading are not allowed in the pond!

AllTrails Grade : Moderate

Total Distance : 3.4 miles

Elevation Gain : 95 feet

Type : Loop

For more information visit All Trails.

4. Ocean Path and Gorham Mountain Loop Trail

A wonderful loop hike that will take you along the shore of the Atlantic, over mountain ledges to end at Sand Beach. This hike that will take you along the shore of Newport Cove past powerful Thunderhole and then up over the open ledges of Gorham Mountain. You will have beautiful ocean views along the entire route. When you come down Gorham Mountain to the north you can also run up the Bee Hive if you have the energy. After you descend back to Sand Beach spend some time out on the sand relaxing!

AllTrails Grade : Moderate

Total Distance : 3.1 miles

Elevation Gain : 597 feet

Type : Loop

For more information visit All Trails.

5. Thunder Hole to Sand Beach

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

AllTrails Grade : Easy

Total Distance : 1.7 miles

Elevation Gain : 180 feet

Type : Loop

For more information visit All Trails.


Acadia National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. For more information about trail status, fees and more visit the Acadia National Park Service Website.