Drawing of tick

Take Care From Ticks

Ticks are prevalent in Acadia, mostly active late spring to early fall. Tick-borne diseases are an increasing public health concern across the region. To limit your exposure:

  • Walk in the middle of trails away from tall vegetation
  • Wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot
  • Wear pants tucked into socks
  • Spray your shoes and clothing with repellent
  • Check yourself carefully after walks

Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hikers with Dog
Hikers with a dog on leash.


Emergency, dial 911

General Advice

  • Be careful while walking near cliff ledges.
  • Tell someone your plans.
  • Remain in one place if you become separated from your group.
  • Check for ticks. Wear long pants and use insect repellent.
  • Poison ivy is found throughout Acadia. Learn to identify and avoid it.
  • Drive safely and wear your seatbelt at all times.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • When in doubt, ask a ranger first

While hiking remember to bring:

  • Water; at least 20 oz (.6 L)
  • Map
  • Adequate clothing (rain jacket and warm layers)
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
Hikers on The Precipice Trail.
Hikers on The Precipice Trail.

NPS/Kristi Rugg

Trail Safety

  • Carry water; at least 20 oz (.6 L) and more on warm days
  • Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for variable weather
  • Follow blue trail blazes and use a map
  • Do not modify or build new cairns. Changes to trail markers may endanger other hikers
  • Know the difficulty level of the trail and your physical abilities and limitations.
A climber ascends Otter Cliffs over the ocean.
A climber ascends Otter Cliffs over the ocean.

NPS/Kent Miller

Climbing Safety

  • Climbers assume responsibility for personal safety.
  • On some routes local climbers maintain fixed protection or rappel stations. As always, evaluate them before using.
  • At Otter Cliff, the park maintains fixed anchors on top that must be used instead of trees to belay several climbs. Evaluate these anchors as well, and notify the park immediately of safety concerns.
  • Climbers at Great Head and Otter Cliff should know tides and weather forecasts; climbing at these areas is more difficult and dangerous at high tide or in heavy seas.
  • Climb within your limits.
Child on a bike on the carriage road over Duck Brook Bridge.
Child on a bike on the carriage road over Duck Brook Bridge.

NPS/Greta Rybus

Carriage Road Safety

You may encounter heavy machinery and trucks used for carriage road maintenance. Please be careful.

  • Bicyclists yield to all users. Everyone yields to horses, which can be startled by sudden movements.
  • Slow down! Speeding can be hazardous.
  • Be prepared to stop. Sudden stops are dangerous on loose gravel.
  • Stay to the right. Give a clear warning before passing on the left.
  • Move to the side when stopped.
  • Wear a helmet and carry water; at least 20 oz (.6 L) and more on warm days.
  • Leave no trace. Carry out what you carry in.
  • Snowmobiles may travel on the carriage road on the east side of Eagle Lake. Please use caution..

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is found throughout the park. It is not an invasive exotic plant, but rather a native component of the plant community of coastal Maine. It thrives in areas of disturbance, such as along the shore and is tolerant of salt spray and other harsh conditions. Berries from the plant are a highly nutritious food for birds and animals. The vine provides cover and protects the soil from erosion.

As a native plant, poison ivy is protected in most places in the park. We do manage poison ivy along Ocean Path. We will never get rid of it or be able to treat all areas where people might come in contact with it, but we do try to reduce the greatest risk. Please use caution while in the park and keep an eye on your children and pets.

Remember, leaves of three, let it be! If you do come in contact with poison ivy, use soap and water within 30 minutes to gently wash off the resin from your skin or pet's fur. If you think you've come into contact with poison ivy on your clothes, promptly wash them with detergent. If a rash develops, consult your doctor.

For more information, visit our Poison Ivy article.


Safety Checklists

Driving Rules and Advisories
  • Be Aware of Tides, parking along sandy ocean coastline can leave you stranded
  • Park on asphalt along one-way roadways
  • Pass pedestrians and bicyclists with at no less than three feet of separation
  • Use Established Pull Outs and Parking Areas: Resist “selfie madnessâ€,
  • Watch Out for Wildlife While Driving

Dog Rules and Advisories
  • Avoid Wildlife Encounters
  • Bites: Please don't allow yourself to be surprised by your own dog's behavior toward others, and please don't assume predictable behavior of dogs that are new to you.
  • Fights with Other Dogs
  • Leash at all Times
  • Pick up Poop and Dispose Appropriately
  • Porcupines
  • Stay Out of Water Supply Areas
  • Ticks
  • No dogs on trails with iron rungs

Hiking Rules and Advisories
  • Always Carry an Appropriate Map, Water, and Cell Phone
  • First Aid and Trekking poles recommended
  • Keep Wildlife Wild: Do not feed or disturb wildlife, including birds. If your presence changes the behavior of wild animals, you are too close.
  • Intertidal Zones
  • Leave No Trace: pack out litter, don’t stack rocks
  • Slips and Trips on Trails (Especially When Wet)
  • Stay on established trails, durable surfaces
  • Storm Waves
  • Ticks
  • Tides

Biking Rules and Advisories
  • Helmets, lights, reflectors required
  • Speed
  • Ride defensively
  • Road surfaces
  • Share the (carriage) roads
  • Single file in traffic

Boating Rules and Advisories
  • PFDs required
  • Reflective stickers and whistle recommended
  • Safe boat handling
  • Fog, keep track of the shore
  • Reversing currents
  • Tidal currents
  • Bigger boats may not see you
  • Freshwater ponds and lakes are often sources for public drinking water
  • Keep your distance from aquatic birds and wildlife

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    Last updated: February 5, 2020

    Contact the Park

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 177
    Bar Harbor, ME 04609


    (207) 288-3338

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