THING TO DO

Hike Ocean Path Trail

View of the ocean and coastline from the ocean path trail

Explore vast slabs of pink granite, picturesque cliffs, and breathtaking oceans views as the Ocean Path takes you along the bold coast of Maine. The Ocean Path is a great way to access Thunder Hole and Otter Point from Sand Beach on a gradual hike. Find a plaque dedicated to John D. Rockefeller for all of the work he did in providing the experience that people continue to have today in Acadia National Park.

  • Distance: 2.2 mile traill one way, 4.4 miles round trip. The trail is 0.7 miles from Sand Beach to Thunder Hole.

  • Terrain/Safety: From Sand Beach to Thunder Hole the trail is a mix of concrete and packed gravel surfaces. The rest of the trail is gravelly and rocky with uneven surfaces. There are two staircases present 1.4 miles into the trail as the path climbs around a rocky cliff section. Steep drops into the ocean. Keep children away from the edge. Good footwear is recommended.

Hike Description

  • The trail begins from the upper parking lot of Sand Beach. It can also be accessed from the Thunder Hole and Otter Point parking areas.
  • Leaving from Sand Beach the trail consists of concrete and packed gravel sections that gradually rise over a hill providing a overarching view across the entire ocean path coastline.
  • Gradually descend on accessible trail to Thunder Hole, an underwater sea cave that with the right conditions (2 hours before high-tide and high winds) can produce thundering crashes heard up and down the trail.
  • Continuing past Thunder Hole the trail becomes uneven but remains gradual as it begins climbing up through a spruce/fir forest.
  • Arrive at Otter Cliffs, 110-ft cliffs that mark the highest point along the Ocean Path. Climb up a granite staircase to a walkway that parallels the road to cross over the cliffs and descend down another staircase on the other side.
  • The trail continues down to Otter Point where granite slabs are surrounded by ocean on both sides. Many people return to Sand Beach from here but a couple hundred more feet the trail ends at Otter Cove with a small staircase and a stunning view across the Otter Cove causeway with Cadillac and Dorr Mountain in the background.
Details
Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Between May 15 and September 15, dogs are only permitted on Sand Beach long enough to cross to the trail head.
Although this activity is free, a park entrance pass is required for all areas of the park from May 1 through October 31.
Starting in 2021, if you're accessing this trail from Sand Beach you will need a reservation to use a private vehicle to enter the Sand Beach Entrance Station from mid-June to mid-October. 
Excellent location to watch sunrise and escape the crowds on Cadillac Mountain.
Accessibility Information
Ocean Path is accessible from the upper parking lot of Sand Beach to Thunder Hole. From Thunder Hole to Otter Point the trail becomes uneven and granite staircases help bring the trail past Otter Cliffs.

There is accessible parking at the Sand Beach parking areas as well as accessible restrooms.

Last updated: October 20, 2020