Popular Bar Harbor Region Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails

Popular Hiking Trails & Walks

Hiking is an excellent way to help maintain good personal health - both physical and mental. Being able to do so in a beautiful natural environment is the ideal. On Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, there is approximately 125 total miles of varied and often interconnected trails available for this recreational activity. Individual trails are generally 2 miles or less in length (one way), but often may be combined with others, to make loops and longer routes. A trail's level of difficulty is defined relative to a Difficulty Ratings Standard that has four groupings. They are:

Acadia National Park on Mount Desert IslandVery Easy - Smooth path over level ground
Easy - Uneven ground but fairly level
Moderate - Some steep grade, some level stretches
Strenuous - Steep grades, many steady climbs

One should never attempt to do a Strenuous rated hiking trail unless in optimal health. Before doing any hike, it is advised to read and become familiar with:

Hiking Hints & Safety

The map to the right shows Mount Desert Island and the location of Bar Harbor for reference. The green area is Acadia National Park land. Included below is a partial list of some popular trails to consider taking advantage of. For a much larger and comprehensive list, select: Acadia Hiking Trails

Popular Walking or Hiking Trails

Bar Harbor Shore Path - rated very easy
This historic and very popular shore side path, less than one mile (1.6 km) round trip, begins at the Bar Harbor Town Pier next to Agamont Park, moves in an easterly direction past the Bar Harbor Inn, then turns southeast with the shoreline. The path crosses private property with access granted by owners providing that hikers respect their residences and stay on the path. Views are spectacular of the Porcupine Islands and the rocky coastline, especially at sunrise. (vew photos)

Bar Island Walk & Trail - rated easy to island, some moderate on island
At low tide, a natural land bridge of shells, sand, and stone becomes visible between Bar Harbor at Bridge Street and Bar Island, making the forested island accessible by foot. Once on the island, a trail takes you along the island's interior (on a gradual climb) from west to east where it begins a steeper climb up some ledge until arriving at a prime observational point from which you have commanding views of Bar Harbor including the town pier, boats in the harbor, West Street, Main Street, and much more. Access is totally controlled by the local tide so be sure to be aware of the schedule. Allow no more than a maximum of 1.5 hours on either side of the low tide. Refer to Bar Island for more info. (view photos)

Eagle Lake Carriage Road - rated easy
A 6.1 mile (9.8 km) Carriage Road goes completely around Eagle Lake making this an exceptionally beautiful location for walking, jogging, or biking. The access point is in Bar Harbor just west of town on Route 233. There are parking areas on either side of the highway and a Carriage Road that goes right under Route 233 so there is no risk of conflicts with roadway traffic. See: Eagle Lake (view photos)

Gorham Mountain Trail - rated moderate
This is a wonderful option for a hike on a medium sized mountain (525 foot/160 km) located right on the coast providing exceptional views of the eastern side of Mount Desert Island including Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otter cliff. Park in the Gorham Mountain parking area on the right side of the Park Loop Road just past Thunder Hole. The trail is 1.8 miles/2,9 km round trip. See: Gorham Mountain (view photos)

Great Head Trail - rated moderate
When you first arrive at Sand Beach, straight ahead on the east side of the beach is a large land mass with cliffs called Great Head. At the base of this are granite stairs that lead to a marked trail that continue up the granite cliffs, arriving at the top where there is a spectacular view looking back at the beach (see photo). The trail (1.4 miles/2.2 km) loops around the land formation to the right. (view photos)

Great Meadow Loop Trail - rated easy
This traditional Bar Harbor walking trail was expanded in the year 2000 to connect up with Jesup Path that leads to the Sieur de Monts Spring area. You have the option of doing the one hour Great Meadow Loop (2.5 miles/4.1 km) or branching off onto the Jesup Trail. The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus has a scheduled stop at Sieur de Monts Spring (see schedule) if you want to do just a one way walk. (view photo)

Ocean Path - rated easy
This breathtaking trail begins at the upper parking level at Sand Beach, heads in a southerly direction while hugging the coastline, passes Thunder Hole, then continues until it reaches Otter Cliff. One way is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) or about 4 miles (6.4 km) round-trip. (view photos)

Enjoy the Hike!