Ocean Path - There is at least one important difference between driving through Acadia National Park versus actually doing some walking. The difference lies in what we are able to see and appreciate. When we are driving, our attention must be on the road so we are distracted. We try and grab a look here and there giving sighs of gratitude and appreciation when warranted. But these are short lived as we come upon another scene. It is almost like we are just flipping channels on our television. It inhibits us from engaging completely in the experience in a meaningful way.
However, when we make the choice to walk, now this is the way it is meant to be! We see more, feel more, smell more, and absorb more. We can pause and relax. We can even close our eyes for a moment to reflect upon the beauty around us, breathing in a long breathe of coastal air that is scented with the sweet smell of cold water seaweed and salt air. This is living within the sensory reality.
The Ocean Path was created for just these moments. It begins near Sand Beach, meanders southward along the rocky coast to Thunder Hole, then continues further until it arrives at Otter Cliff. In all, the one-way distance is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) or about 4 miles (6.4 km) round-trip. There are many places along the way where you will want to sit for a few moments, perhaps even kick back a little while on the rocks to enjoy the ocean breeze, sound of crashing waves, or the warm summer sun on your face. Remember, this is your time! Do what feels right.
Photos: Ocean Path Start | Golden Trail | Near Otter Cliff | On Otter Cliff
The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus Service makes regular (in season) stops at the Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter Cliff. (Refer to their #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods & #4 Loop Road Routes.) The #3 Sand Beach/Blackwoods Route Bus returns to Bar Harbor at the Village Green and the #4 Loop Road Route Bus stops at the the Hulls Cove Visitor Center.
Sand Beach Parking GPS: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998
Thunder Hole Parking GPS: Latitude 44.321011; Longitude -68.189330
Otter Cliff Parking Area GPS: Latitude 44.310803; Longitude -68.189828
Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501
Enjoy the Ocean Path!