Thing to Do

Hike Hadlock Ponds Loop

view of a pond with fog rolling in

Serene woods, babbling brooks, and crystal clear ponds accompany hikers throughout this walk. Enjoy boardwalks, wooden bridges and some uneven terrain on this figure eight trail that includes both Lower and Upper Hadlock Ponds. Listen for the iconic wail of common loons who can be seen on this hike. 

  • Distance: 4.1 miles round trip

  • Terrain and Safety: The trail has places with uneven footing. Bog walks can be narrow and slippery when wet. Good footwear is recommended. 

Hike Description

  • Park at the Norumbega Mountain parking area. This is a parking area on Route 198 that is a pull through parking area on the western side of the highway. Cross Rt. 198 safely and begin walking on the Hadlock Ponds Trail.
  • The Hadlock Ponds Trail begins with a dirt path through the woods. Follow this trail 0.5 miles past multiple other trail intersections and two carriage road intersections. Always make sure to continue on the trail directed to by a sign with Hadlock Ponds Trail carved into it.
  • Continue another 0.7 miles after the last carriage road intersection to begin following the edge of Upper Hadlock Ponds. Watch out for uneven terrain and roots within the trail. As the trail parallels the pond it does become a narrow bogwalk. Appropriate footwear with good traction is recommended. Bogwalk is very slippery when wet. Caution is advised.
  • The trail will intersect with Route 198. Safely cross Route 198 and continue on the Hadlock Ponds Trails for 0.3 miles. The trail winds it way past brooks and many vernal pools in this section. Pay close attention to the blue blazes that mark the trail.
  • The Hadlock Ponds trail splits at Lower Hadlock Pond. Take a left to continue around the pond. Follow this trail 1.6 miles to circle Lower Hadlcok Pond in its entirety. 
  • Once the loop has been completed around Lower Hadlock Pond, return back up the trail first taken after crossing Route 198. In 0.1 miles there will be an intersection with the Norumbega Connector Trail. Take this trail 0.9 miles through spruce woods back to the Norumbega Parking area. This trail has a lot of tree roots. Sturdy footwear is recommended.
  • The Hadlock Ponds loop is 4.1 miles round trip. However, there are many ways to shorten this hike if desired. 
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Please pack out and place in a waste receptical all dog waste in Acadia National Park. Bog walk sections are narrow. Caution advised if trying to take a dog on this trail.
Although the activity is free, a park entrance pass is required for all areas of the park from May 1 through October 31.

The Trailhead: Where to Begin

  • Norumbega Mountain Parking Area (unmarked pull off after Parking Mountain Parking Lot

Getting to the Trailhead

  • By car: After reaching Mount Desert Island on ME Route 3, stay to the right to follow ME Route 102. At the stop light turn left following ME Route 198 towards Northeast Harbor. (From Bar Harbor, follow ME Route 233 to reach ME Route 198.) Park at first unmarked pull off on the right south of Parkman Mountain parking lot. The trailhead is located on the north side of the pull off
  • By bus: Take the Island Explorer (mid-June to October) to Parkman Mountain. Check bus schedules for times and routes.
Accessibility Information
The Hadlock Ponds Loop is not accessible. The trail has uneven footing and narrow bogwalks.
view of pond with fog rolling in
Fog rolling in over Lower Hadlock Pond

Ashley L. Conti, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Last updated: October 20, 2020