There are so many different hiking paths in Acadia National Park which is incredible. Once you are here, there is something for everyone. From leisurely strolls along seaside roads to mountain hikes and exciting cliff walks. The abundance of routes with ladders and metal rungs is one of the things that makes Acadia so special and intriguing. With the help of these metal rungs, you can hike up steep rock walls. And along tiny ledges, much like a via ferrata.  Whether you have been hiking for a very long period of time or are just getting started. It is very important for you to know that there is so much beautiful scenery for you to explore your skills in hiking here in Acadia. In this piece, you will explore the top hikes in Acadia National Park.

#1. Precipice Trail

Image Source: Where Are Those Morgans

 The Precipice Trail, the most thrilling hike in Acadia National Park, is the only option for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. You are going to have to crawl under large boulders, use metal ladders to climb up a mountain and wriggle along narrow cliff edges. It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting walks in Maine and the national parks of the United States. Numerous uneven iron-rung ladders set into granite rocks, all with sharp drops and confined ledges, will be climbed by hikers. The spectacular views from Champlain Mountain’s summit are a deserving incentive to climb the Precipice Trail’s ladders.

The route down is different because this climb is a loop. The descent portion of the hike is considerably simpler and safer than the ascent. The ascent to the summit takes around 1.5 hours, while the descent is much quicker. This is undoubtedly one of the top Acadia National Park paths if you’re searching for excitement and adrenaline.

#2. Beehive Trail

Image Source: National Park Service

One of the Top Hikes in Acadia National Park is the Beehive Trail. This is a beautiful cliff hike with breathtaking views of the area and is one of the best walks to see fall colors in Acadia National Park. The Beehive Trail still contains a few steep drop-offs and ladder-climbing sections. But the Precipice Trail is more difficult and dangerous. This hike is a fantastic start if the Precipice Trail is something you want to take on. Children, people with mobility issues, and anyone who is afraid of heights shouldn’t go on this kind of hike. A slip might be fatal on an icy or wet path, so it is not recommended to try it in those conditions. The Beehive Trail is far more accessible and accommodating for a wider range of hikers visiting Acadia National Park.

The path that leads down is different because this climb is a loop. The descent portion of the hike is much simpler and safer than the ascent. The entire circular hike can be finished in one to two hours. 

#3. Ocean Park

top hikes in acadia national park
Image Source: Thrillophilia

Looking for one of the Top Hikes in Acadia National Park, Acadia? If so, the Ocean Path is definitely the route for you. The trail also boasts a number of stunning pink granite rock formations that are tucked along the coast and are truly breathtaking to see, making it one of the most famous in the entire park. It is also one of those walks in Acadia National Park that is great for families. Because it’s a relatively easy track to complete and it takes you along the rocky Atlantic coast from Sand Beach to Otter Point. Along the way, you can take in some of the park’s most iconic sights. Including Thunder Hole, Sand Beach, Monument Cove, Boulder Beach, Otter Cliff, and more.

Therefore, park your car in the Sand Beach Parking Lot, which is just off the Park Loop Road about a half mile from the park entrance. And then proceed to the stairs above Sand Beach if you want to try this awesome trail for yourself. Then go down the coast by using the well-maintained, largely gravel trail to your right. Just allow plenty of time to explore some of the side trails in this area because they will take you to a ton of really awesome viewpoints along the way. Watch out for Otter Cliff as well. It is a striking natural setting that is home to numerous magnificent granite formations.

#4. Jordan Pond Trail

Image Caption: Maine Trail Finder

Are you looking for a short and absolutely breathtaking hike through Acadia? The Jordan Pond Trail is the best place to go. It is not only one of the top hikes in Acadia National Park, but it’s also an outstanding, 3.4-mile circle route that takes you around the park’s second-largest and deepest lake. So as you stroll down the banks of this charming, not-so-little pond, get ready to be astounded by the breathtaking vistas all around you.

Just be aware that this is one of those trails in Acadia National Park that is definitely not a secret. Due to the presence of a restaurant that is worth a visit due to the lovely views and decent food. But that’s okay because there are lots of enjoyable boardwalks nearby that contribute to the preservation of the area’s delicate environment. And will lead you to a few sandy spots where you can unwind and hunt for local beavers.

#5. South Bubble Trail

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The Jordan Pond can be seen as one of the Top Hikes in Acadia National Park. In all its glory from the summit of South Bubble Mountain, which is only a short and straightforward climb away. Additionally, it features some of Acadia National Park’s best autumn foliage of any hike. You can take a break along the way to admire the enormous granite rock known as Bubble Rock. Which is positioned on a cliff and offers sweeping views of Park Loop Road and the forest below. The starting point and length of this hike will determine how challenging it is.

You can also ascend South Bubble in under 30 minutes if you begin at the tiny parking area at Bubbles Divide. But if you begin the hike further away at Jordan Pond or extend the hike past the South Bubble, it can become a longer and more difficult journey. In any case, it’s unquestionably among the top climbs in Acadia National Park.

#6. Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail

top hikes in acadia national park
Image Source: Maine Trail Finder

Along the entire eastern shore of Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain is the highest point. You can be among the first people in America to witness the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean from the peak. Most visitors drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain and then hike up the short, straightforward Cadillac Mountain Loop Trail. But hiking from the loop road is by far the best and most rewarding way to reach the top of Cadillac Mountain. You must also choose between hiking the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, which is only 4.4 miles round trip, or the Cadillac South Ridge Trail, which is 8 miles round trip. The quickest hiking path to North Ridge is the North Ridge Trail.

#7. Gorham Mountain Trail

Image Source: Hiking Project

Gorham Mountain, one of the region’s lesser summits, is only 525 feet tall. It also affords absolutely breathtaking views of the nearby Atlantic Ocean and is only a, skip, and leap from the Ocean Path. Even though this hike is only two miles long, it can be quite steep in some places. So hikers should be prepared for that before beginning the trail.

However, if you want to try it, just park at Gorham Mountain’s lot which is immediately after the one for Thunder Hole, and walk through the forest until you come across the Waldron Bates Memorial Plaque. After that, you will enjoy a gentle climb that includes a few sets of carefully chosen steps. You will eventually emerge above the cliffs and be greeted with magnificent views of Otter Point.

If you are feeling very daring, you can go on the Cadillac Cliffs Trails on the way down. And proceed to stroll along the cliffs’ oceanside. The trail is steep, so there will be some scrambling involved, but you will pass a cool cave and shortly re-join the main path at the Waldron Bates Memorial Plaque.  Since there are lots of blueberries in the area, try to go during the blueberry season, which runs from July through August. During the summer, you can also use the free Island Explorer shuttle service to avoid parking problems.

#8. Great Head Trail

top hikes in acadia national park
Image Source: Trailing Away

Another popular hike in Acadia National Park is the Great Head Trail, which is easy to follow and suitable for families with young children. If you don’t want to climb a difficult peak but yet want to get away from Acadia’s tourist crowds, the Great Head Trail is your best bet. The eastern side of Sand Beach along the Great Head peninsula is reached through this lovely, rather simple ascent.

So if you want to take this hike on your own, get there early—like at the crack of dawn—and park in the lower Sand Beach Parking lot, which is accessible from the Park Loop Road. Wonderful Head is more than simply a “great” Acadia walk due to its tranquility. 

#9. Jordan Cliff Trails

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Jordan Pond has another trail, however, this one climbs the cliffs on the pond’s western side. Although the Jordan Cliffs Trail is difficult, it is less crowded than the Jordan Pond Loop and provides stunning lake views from an unusual vantage point. You can alternatively finish this trek by making a loop that includes the South Bubble Trail, the Jordan Pond Loop, or both.

If you’re seeking another place to enjoy the stunning views of Jordan Pond and the opportunity to trek across perilous cliffs with the aid of iron rungs, you should put the Jordan Cliffs Trail on your list. After a strenuous climb from the Jordan Pond House, you arrive at the trail’s highest point, where the views are breathtaking. 

#10. Sundew Trail

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This out-and-back trail is situated on the Schoodic Peninsula, a short distance north of Schoodic Point, and is well-maintained and simple to follow. Therefore, if you are in the area anyway, you can definitely go on one of Acadia National Park’s best hikes, especially since the trailhead is conveniently located on the campus of the Schoodic Education and Research Center. Turn right onto Schoodic Point Road after traveling down Schoodic Loop Road. You can park at the Schoodic Education and Research Center site after traveling for about a quarter of a mile at a spot by a green water tower that is close to Eliot Hall.

Once you arrive, you will discover that the Sundew Trail begins close to the forest’s edge. You are likely to reach it by hiking for about a quarter of a mile. Return to the main route after that, and continue walking until you reach a second perspective of the wonderful beach with these huge pink granite blocks. After a brief period of exploration, keep on moving until you reach a third overlook of West Pond Cove.

The fact that there are so many trees right along the coast makes this location, while rather lovely, difficult to explore. So feel free to either turn around and head back the way you came or to use one of the many roads that run through this campus to get back to your car.

#11. Beech Cliff Ladder Trail

This hike goes beyond what you will think or imagine. Beech cliff trail offers a variety of activities, including short cliff treks, iron rungs and ladders, beautiful lake and coastline views, and stunning vistas. If you want a thrill without the risk of these other cliff paths, Precipice or Beehive are better options because they aren’t quite as nerve-wracking. To begin, you must first park at the Echo Lake Beach Entrance before beginning the hike. The second option is to ascend Beech Mountain’s peak via the short but difficult Beech Cliffs Trail. The sights are stunning once you arrive.

The nicest views are seen on the brief but lovely Beech Cliff Loop, which is the highlight. There are some exposed areas here, but the cliffs are broad, so even if you’re afraid of heights, you can stand a safe distance away and still take in the scenery. Return to the parking area at Echo Lake Beach by hiking the Canada Cliffs Trail.

What Is the Most Intense Hike in Acadia?

The hardest hike in Acadia is the precipice trail which has a loop. This hike is not for people who don’t have a strong heart. There are also Iron ladders, wooden bridges, and stunning vistas of Frenchman Bay that make up the Precipice Trail.

Is Acadia a Difficult Hike?

Yes in Acadia National Park, there are many connected hiking trails that range in difficulty from easy to physically draining hikes.

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