Hiking

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Visitor hikes down a trail on granite marked with cairns
Hiker descends Cadillac South Ridge Trail

Photo by Ashley L. Conti, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Explore Hikes

Hiking opportunities at Acadia are seemingly endless on more than 150 miles of trails. Immerse yourself in forests, walk along rocky coastlines, or stand on exposed mountain tops — sometimes all in one hike.

Don't be fooled by the height of the park's mountains; challenging hikes climb from sea level to summits. If a leisurely stroll along the coast or around a lake is more your pace, there are plenty of easier, more level options. Many trails can also be combined with walks on the carriage roads and dirt fire roads.

Consult a topographic map before hiking. Do not rely on the park handout map. To buy trail maps, visit the bookstore.

Use the guide below to search for hikes by environment, route, location, and public transportation options.


 

By Environment

Hiking trails at Acadia pass through a variety of environments. Some stay in forested areas or along the coastline, while others outline lakes, rise through the trees, and walk along cliffs to mountain tops. You will even find some hikes fall into all three categories.

 
People on a mountain summit overlooking water

Summit Hikes

Want to stand on top of Acadia's mountains? Check out hikes with lots of elevation gain, stairs, ladders, and more.

Rugged coastline with waves crashing into rocks

Coastal Hikes

Learn about coastal hiking opportunities around the park.

Person walking on a boardwalk along lake

Lake and Forest Hikes

Looking for more tree coverage and views of lakes and ponds? See hikes that pass by freshwater or weave through the forest.

 

By Route

Enjoy seeing a trail twice? Check out a few out-and-back options. Do you want different views the whole way? Luckily, most hikes are loops or can be turned into them by linking together various trails. Some are even recommended as loops for safety based on steepness, iron rungs and ladders, or cliffs.

 
Person walking on a bridge over a creek

Loops and Lollipops

Many hikes at Acadia are loops or can be linked together to create one. Others form a "lollipop" shape.

Rock cairns mark a trail on exposed rock

Out and Back

Return the same way you came on these out and back trails.

 

By Location

Check out hiking options based on what parts of the park you decide to visit.

 
Person hiking up a ladder in a forest

Mount Desert Island Hikes

Check out all the hikes at Acadia on Mount Desert Island.

Person walking along rocks on a coastline

Schoodic Peninsula Trails

Check out the hiking trails and bike paths on Schoodic Peninsula.

 

By Public Transportation

Leave your car behind and ride the fare-free Island Explorer to a number of trailheads. This helps reduce congestion on park roads and in parking areas. Familiar with the park already? Create longer hikes using different drop off and pick up locations. Always check bus routes and schedules before trip-planning.

 
Bus with people deboarding at a sidewalk

Hikes via Island Explorer

No car, no problem! Take the fare-free Island Explorer to various trailheads across the park.

 

Hiking Rules and Regulations

  • Trail Closures are posted online and at park visitor centers.
  • Pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6 feet (1.8 m) and are not permitted on ladder trails.
  • Do not feed or disturb wildlife. If your presence changes the behavior of any wild animal, you are too close.
  • Bicycles and horses are not allowed on hiking trails.
  • There is no backcountry camping. Fires are permitted only in designated areas.
  • Swimming, wading, and pets are prohibited in public water supplies. Please respect posted regulations at lakes and ponds.

Tips and Safety

  • Be careful when hiking near cliff edges.
  • Carry water, at least 1 L (over 32 oz), and more on warmer days.
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Follow blue trail blazes and use a topographic map.
  • Do not modify or build new cairns.
  • Know the difficulty level of the trail and your physical abilities and limitations.
  • To buy trail maps, please visit the bookstore.

Leave No Trace

  • Stay on the trail and respect area closures.
  • Step carefully on summits.
  • Bury human waste in areas without toilets.
  • Carry out all trash, including toilet paper and cigarette butts.

 
Two boys on a footbridge drop rocks into clear water below

Plan Your Visit

Details of your visit start to come together here.

A park ranger speaks with visitors through a car window

Park Rules & Safety Advisories

Are visitors allowed to harvest mushrooms, or fly a drone in Acadia? Check out highlights of the park's important Rules and Regulations.

Last updated: September 9, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone:

(207) 288-3338

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