Hiking in Acadia National Park
Hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine offers more than 120 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads for all levels.
A good place to start is one of the longer hiking trails, the moderate 8.4 mile (13.5 km) North Ridge Trail up and back down Cadillac Mountain.
Before starting your hike stop at the Visitor’s Center for the excellent film on the history of Acadia National Park. Then a short drive on the Park Loop Road brings you to the trail head for your hiking in Acadia National Park along the North Ridge Trail. There is no parking area so join the other cars along the side the road.
North Ridge Trail
The trail is easy to follow with a mixture of painted blazes and rock piles as you gently climb up the mountain. If you take just a short walk off the main trail you will find wild blueberries. There were plenty of vantage points along the way to observe the rugged coast of Maine and Schoodic Peninsula across the Frenchman Bay. Below us was the resort town of Bar Harbor and two cruise ships anchored just off shore.
As the trail neared the top you are mainly walking across rock until you reach one of the viewing platforms. When we arrived there was a park ranger with binoculars watching for migrating birds of prey which were then identified for the surrounding crowd. During my visit many people were only walking the first section of the trail.
Cadillac Mountain is Acadia’s tallest peak at 1,530 feet and the viewing platforms were crowded with many people who had driven up the other side of the mountain. There is also a small store and snack bar at the top.
If the North Ridge trail sounds too easy then try the South Ridge Trail for your hiking in Acadia National Park which also climbs 1530 feet but is 14.8 miles (23.8 km) with some strenuous sections. For easy walking there is the extensive network of Carriage trails.
To get the most from your visit get a copy of Hiking Acadia National Park. Although this is one of the most visited parks there are plenty of hotels and camping areas nearby.
Click here for information on some of the best hiking trails in the Americas.
Although we were hiking on a long summer weekend we found hiking in Acadia National Park enjoyable with the trails actually not too crowded.