THING TO DO

Swim Sand Beach

Sand beach with forest and mountains behind it

Details
From June 15 thru September 15, non-service dogs are prohibited beyond the top of the beach stairs. See Sand Beach Rules & Regulations.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Sand Beach is located off the Park Loop Road. This area is extremely congested during summer months. Taking public transportation is highly advisable.

Island Explorer Route #4 (Loop Road) provides access from the Visitor Center or Sieur de Monts throughout the day. Route #3 (Sand Beach – Blackwoods) also stops at Sieur de Monts and arrives at half-hour intervals staggered with those of Route #4.

Check bus routes for full schedules and timetables.
Accessibility Information
Sand Beach is not accessible. There is a large staircase leading down to the beach from the parking lot.
People on a beach with mountains and forests in the background
View of Sand Beach from Great Head Trail

Photo by Emma Forthofer, Friends of Acadia, NPS

Acadia’s only sandy ocean beach at the beginning of the Park Loop Road’s coastal section, is one of the park’s most heavily-visited areas. Three popular hiking trails—The Beehive, Great Head Trail, and Ocean Path—begin nearby. Other visitors come to swim in the frigid water, bask and play on the sand, seek intertidal creatures, or view a feature widely publicized as a “must-see.”

The beach is approximately 290 yards, and consists of 70% shell volume and 30-40% shell weight. Daily water temperatures are posted the bulletin board by the parking lot. Normal range is 50-60° Fahrenheit (10-15° Celsius), depending on the time of year. The Gulf of Maine gets significant input from the frigid Labrador Current and from deep-sea currents, but little of the warm Gulf Stream.

Lifeguards may be on duty from early June through Labor Day. Be aware: Swimming in natural areas poses risks. Your safety depends on your own good judgement.

Sand Beach Rules & Regulations

Sand Beach is a designated swimming beach from June 15 thru September 8.
During swimming beach designation, the following rules apply:

Activities/Items Permitted/Not Permitted during Swimming Beach Designation

Possession/use of USCG-approved flotation

Permitted

Possession/use of other flotation

NOT PERMITTED

Possession of glass containers

NOT PERMITTED

Possession of dogs/pets

NOT PERMITTED

Fishing (see below)

NOT PERMITTED

Snorkeling/Scuba Diving

NOT PERMITTED

Launching/landing of boats

NOT PERMITTED

Possession of alcohol

NOT PERMITTED

Incompatible sporting activities

NOT PERMITTED

Kite Flying that creates an interference

NOT PERMITTED

Surfing

NOT PERMITTED


During the time that Sand Beach IS NOT a designated swimming beach (September 9 thru June 14),
the following rules apply:

Activities/Items Permitted/Not Permitted during Non-Swimming Beach Designation

Possession/use of USCG-approved flotation

Permitted

Possession/use of other flotation

Permitted

Possession of glass containers

NOT PERMITTED

Possession of dogs/pets

Permitted

Fishing (see below)

Permitted

Snorkeling/Scuba Diving

Permitted

Launching/landing of boats

Permitted

Possession of alcohol

NOT PERMITTED

Incompatible sporting activities

Permitted

Kite Flying that creates an interference

Permitted

Surfing

Permitted


  • Sand Beach Sand Dunes are closed to the public - the dunes and associated dune grasses are a unique and sensitive park resource that are easily impacted by human foot traffic.
  • No camping
  • No metal detectors
  • No smoking
  • Collecting occupied seashells is not permitted
  • Fishing is permitted from adjacent rocks on either side of the beach

Last updated: May 20, 2021