With most of these hikes in Acadia National Park being moderate to easy hikes of two to six miles, you can fit a few into a weekend.
Mount Desert Island’s Best Hikes
- Ocean Path: This popular trail is both easy and easy to reach. Best to time an early morning arrival for this 4.4-mile round-trip that mirrors the shore, taking in Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, and Monument Cove.
- Jordan Pond Shore Path: A mostly level 3.2-mile loop, the shore path navigates a counterclockwise circuit of Jordan Pond. Plan your hike for fall, for a supremely colorful palette, and reward your efforts with popovers at Jordon Pond House.
- Gorham Mountain Trail: This 1.8-mile round-trip hike covers the trail directly to the summit of 525-foot Gorham Mountain, with a return via Cadillac Cliffs for views of Sand Beach, Egg Rock Light, the Beehive, and Champlain Mountain.
- Beachcroft Path: Fifteen-hundred beautifully engineered pink-granite steps and slabs ease the moderate 2.4-mile round-trip climb to Huguenot Head on the west side of Mount Desert’s Champlain Mountain. Savor the views over Frenchman Bay before the more difficult ascent to the summit, where the views are even more spectacular.
- Penobscot and Sargent Mountains: This 6-mile round-trip hike takes in two summits on the west side of Mount Desert Island. The terrain is difficult to strenuous, but you can take a swim break between peaks in Sargent Pond, and the views are worth the effort.
- Flying Mountain Trail: Despite being the lowest of Acadia’s 26 peaks, this west-side mountain delivers gorgeous views over the mouth of Somes Sound via this 1.5-mile loop. The descent brings you to Valley Cove, a place to cool tootsies, before the easy walk back to the parking lot.
Schoodic Peninsula’s Best Hikes
- Schoodic Head Leap: The Schoodic Head Loop connects three trails for a 2.7-mile round-trip hike that travels from woods to the summit for expansive views.
- Schoodic Mountain: Not to be confused with the Schoodic Head Loop, this moderately difficult 2.8-mile loop in the Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land rewards hikers with panoramic views of Acadia’s peaks on Mount Desert Island across Frenchman Bay.
Blue Hill Peninsula’s Best Hikes
- Blue Hill Mountain Trail: On a clear day, head for the summit of Blue Hill and take in the wraparound view—encompassing Penobscot Bay, the hills of Mount Desert, and the Camden Hills—on this easy-to-moderate 2-mile round-trip hike.
Isle au Haut’s Best Hikes
- Western Head and Cliff Trails: For terrific shoreline scenery, day trip to Isle au Haut, and hike these two trails for a nice loop around Western Head. The route follows the coastline, ascending to ridges and cliffs and descending to rocky beaches, with some forested sections.
Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Acadia National Park.