Best Trails To Hike In The Summer
June 23, 2017
Many places can boast that they can offer vacationers the perfect destination for their much awaited and much needed time off; but if you have never seen the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, watched the seals and puffins off Egg Rock, or hiked any of the Acadia National Park trails that inevitably peak with an amazing view of the North Atlantic waves splashing on the granite-lined shore, then visiting Bar Harbor, Maine, will be an adventure that you will not soon forget.
Bar Harbor, Maine, offers visitors perfect summertime temperatures with very little precipitation and one of the most picturesque backdrops on the entire eastern seaboard. Majestic mountains meet the salty North Atlantic forming long expanses of perfect pink and gray granite ledges that seem to be acting as a barrier that the mighty waters cannot breach. The perfectly maintained parklands of Acadia National Park are absolutely the highlight of any trip to Maine, but even outside the park boundaries, there are hidden treasures galore in any of the other tiny towns that make up Mount Desert Island.
Thousands of visitors each year flock to the small Downeast Maine island that is home to Acadia National Park to enjoy the rustic beauty as they hike any one of the dozens of trails that wind throughout the island. If you have decided to spend your vacation hiking the trails on Mount Desert Island, take a moment to discover a bit about these top 5 trails:
This 3.1-mile hike is, perhaps, one of the most popular for avid hikers from around the world. With a staggering 930 foot incline in under a mile up the east face of Champlain Mountain, this strenuous hike typically takes around 2 hours to master. But it is definitely worth every step. You will encounter steps, boulder scrambles, iron rungs, ladders, and rock ledges during the hike which peaks with some of the most spectacular views of the Atlantic and the many islands in the area. This hike is listed as ‘strenuous’ and comes with a 5-star rating, but the trail is closed in late spring to early summer to accommodate the nesting peregrine falcons.
Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail
This 4.4-mile hike up Cadillac Mountain offers a total elevation gain of more than 1100 feet and takes about 3 hours to complete. The moderate hike up the north face to the highest point along the Atlantic coast offers some of the most spectacular views of Eagle Lake, Frenchman’s Bay, the Porcupine Islands, and Bar Harbor. A trip to Mount Desert Island would not be complete without a hike on this ‘highest peak in the park’.
Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
This 7.7-mile hike up Cadillac Mountain is a moderate hike that offers a gradual climb to the top. Scale to the top in record time, stop and take a break on the wooden bench at the Featherbed which is a small pond along the trail, or follow the Eagle’s Crag Loop Trail which leads out onto a rocky ledge overlooking the vast forest below and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. No matter which you choose, this hike is sure to please and if the hike doesn’t leave you breathless, the views surely will!
Although this trail is less than a mile long and a mere 520 feet in elevation, it is definitely a strenuous hike. This mainly wooded hike spills out onto narrow rocky ledges equipped with iron rungs and sections that must be scaled with hand and foot holds. The beehive hike offers some spectacular views of the surrounding area near Sand Beach, Frenchman’s Bay, and Great Head. Because of the dramatic cliff face and steep incline, this is one hike where you are advised not to return the same way you arrived. The recommended decent runs through forest land to the Park Loop Road or you may choose to incorporate the Gorham Mountain Trail and Ocean Path route that leads back to Sand Beach. Either way, be ready for a nice, warm bath to soak those tired, worn-out muscles.
Sargent Mountain North Ridge Trail
Although this hike rises up around 1200 feet to the top of the park’s second highest mountain, it is perhaps the most strenuous hike in the park; but the difficult trek is worth all the sweat. The summit provides 360-degree views of Somes Sound, the Cranberry Islands, Cadillac Mountain, and the Porcupine Islands. Plan to spend at least 3.5 hours on this 5-mile hike.
Of course, these are some of the more strenuous hikes to take, but a blog about hiking trails On Mount Desert Island would not be complete without at least mentioning the family friendly hikes at Great Head, Jordan Pond, the Ocean Path Trail, Wonderland, Seawall, Eagle Lake - and the coup de gras – over 40 miles of perfectly groomed carriage trails for hiking, biking, and walking, (or for snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing during the winter).
When you are planning your trip to experience all that Bar Harbor and the rest of Mount Desert Island has to offer, make sure that you check out Acadia Sunrise Motel. Conveniently located just off the head of the Island, our rooms and our rates cannot be beaten, and you are about 15 minutes from the start of any one of these amazing hikes. Comfort – Convenience – Affordability - Fun. Acadia Sunrise Motel.