Acadia Best day hikes

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peakbagger

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Looking like I may be over that way for few days. I have visited Acadia back in college but never hiked there. So what are the best or must do hikes? It will be soon to avoid the crowds.
 
Have fun, we visited in April 2021. Fun family trip and it was nice exploring in the off-season as it was very quiet. I took some early morning trips up Dorr Mountain (nice view of Cadillac) and Champlain Mountain which had great views of Bar Harbor and the coast. I could have continued on from Champlain towards the Beehive if I wished. We hiked around Great Head over by Sand Beach which featured fantastic craggy ocean features.
 
Thanks, I got the National Geographic map of day hikes in the park showing up tomorrow.
 
You can't go wrong, every hike I've been taken on Acadia has been special. But: we climbed Dorr Mountain by going S-N up A Murray Young path then turning right up Dorr, and A Murray Young was magical. It's a deep gully between Dorr & Cadillac mountains, with a brook running through it and lots of red rock. Also, I've climbed the Bubbles S-N from Jordan Pond and the approach to S Bubble over exposed ledges with expansive views was wonderful. Finally, we had a great morning climbing the Canada Cliffs & Beech Mt from Echo Lake. That one has a number of ladders bolted into the rock.

I use the Map Adventures map of Acadia and it's great. We've been several times, and usually log more time on the carriage paths bicycling but fit in some hikes as well.
 
Acadia is great for bang-for-the-buck hiking. Almost every trail is well constructed, relatively short, with a bald summit and amazing views. You can link together a bunch of little mountains if you want a longer hike. Precipice and a few other trails are closed to protect peregrine falcons currently, so if you want a steep ladder trail with amazing views then Beehive and the Bowl from Sand Beach or Beech Mountain from Echo Lake. Otherwise, just explore.
 
Think about a gravel bike, carriage roads are great fun.
Also lots of interesting spots to hike to, we found the "caves" on Giant Slide trail, look north of this hairpin turn. Screenshot_20240416_103933_Gaia GPS.jpg
 
The only caution, which you will find in the hiking guide books, is that the Precipice Trail and the Beehive Trail are closed for long stretches during the summer to protect the breeding areas of falcons.

And a second warning: I'm told, though I haven't seen this myself, that the Beehive, when it is open, may have too many climbers for the taste of those who enjoy some solitude on their hikes.
 
The only caution, which you will find in the hiking guide books, is that the Precipice Trail and the Beehive Trail are closed for long stretches during the summer to protect the breeding areas of falcons.

And a second warning: I'm told, though I haven't seen this myself, that the Beehive, when it is open, may have too many climbers for the taste of those who enjoy some solitude on their hikes.
I'm not aware of the Beehive being closed. It's always been open when I've been there, regardless of the season.
 
I'm not aware of the Beehive being closed. It's always been open when I've been there, regardless of the season.
You're right. Beehive is not closed for Falcons - Jordan Cliff is. Back to the original; question - the answer is going to be dependent on your definition of "day". Most of the obvious hikes and the ones described here, can be done in a few hours. So if you want longer you need to string things together. Is a car spot an option? Can you go point to point? One of the nice things about the summer is that you can take advantage of the shuttle bus system (but of course that means dealing with crowds - something this anti social group seems to have a phobia about - waiting to hear the "I can't bring my dog" cry. You actually can on a leash.).

The geography tends to feature lot of ridges running N-S - Champlain, Dorr, Cadillac, Pematic, Penobscot/Sargent. End to end on those is fun. Also realize there are many abandoned trails and several are easily followed. Get an old map or one of the several books describing the abandoned places.
 
Effective March 1, areas including Jordan Cliffs Trail, Precipice Trail, and Valley Cove Trail will be closed to protect peregrine falcons
 
I figure I will be back so probably will hit a variety. No car spot but could ebike spot.
 
You're right. Beehive is not closed for Falcons - Jordan Cliff is. Back to the original; question - the answer is going to be dependent on your definition of "day". Most of the obvious hikes and the ones described here, can be done in a few hours. So if you want longer you need to string things together. Is a car spot an option? Can you go point to point? One of the nice things about the summer is that you can take advantage of the shuttle bus system (but of course that means dealing with crowds - something this anti social group seems to have a phobia about - waiting to hear the "I can't bring my dog" cry. You actually can on a leash.).

The geography tends to feature lot of ridges running N-S - Champlain, Dorr, Cadillac, Pematic, Penobscot/Sargent. End to end on those is fun. Also realize there are many abandoned trails and several are easily followed. Get an old map or one of the several books describing the abandoned places.
Please scroll down regarding pets. There are exceptions. Especially note ladder trails like Precipice and Beehive. https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvi... be leashed and,pets to ranger-led activities. By the way. I love crowds. Especially when Bobby and Phil are there. 😜
 
I concur with jrcinnh with bike use; with the way much of the park is presented by short trails to many interesting things, biking the carriage roads to trailheads is a great way to explore. I used to spend a lot of time on my bike on the carriage paths with daypack strapped to bike rack, chain bike to tree, grab pack and go. Nice way to jump out of the park to a lunch destination and then back in.
More non-bike:
Big fan of Asticou Terrace Trail and Thuja Gardens, trail craftsmanship and stonework being the draw, may even have a few early spring blooms. One year we wanted to try something different, and the boy was very tiny, so we did an out and back on the Harbor Brook Trail. The attraction being alongside stream/wetlands and much bog bridging. Different feel as you are just outside of the NPS boundary and it just feels like a local trail.
 
I'm not aware of the Beehive being closed. It's always been open when I've been there, regardless of the season.
Here is a link to present closures. Beehive not on the list. The list also shows closures not only on trails but roads and carriage roads. As of this notice carriage trails were limited to pedestrians and bikes not allowed due to Spring Thaw. https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
 
There are two reasons I have never gone to Acadia. One, it's got way to many people for me, I don't care how pretty it is. Two, the hikes are too short, there is nothing substantial there, if you have children it would make a nice trip, because your probably used to being with thousands of people on all your vacations anyway.
 
There are two reasons I have never gone to Acadia. One, it's got way to many people for me, I don't care how pretty it is. Two, the hikes are too short, there is nothing substantial there, if you have children it would make a nice trip, because your probably used to being with thousands of people on all your vacations anyway.
There are probably a few spots that aren't quite as populated, such as the parts that are off of Mt. Desert Island.

And there are ways to loop/connect a few of the trails to make a bit longer hikes.
Remember one (but not the exact trails - think it was from the Beehive side, then down towards the Tarns then back up to Cadillac and winding up at Sieur de Monts) that took a good part of a day.

That was with a Scout group, and at the end it worked out to about 1mi/hr., and this was a group that had regularly hiked and backpacked the AT and even some in the Catskills/Adirondacks, and would have averages closer to 2MPH most times, just the increased difficulty of a couple sections that are so "straight" up and/or down :)
 
There are two reasons I have never gone to Acadia. One, it's got way to many people for me, I don't care how pretty it is. Two, the hikes are too short, there is nothing substantial there, if you have children it would make a nice trip, because your probably used to being with thousands of people on all your vacations anyway.
I've found it to be quite peaceful before Memorial Day and after fall foliage (particularly when Park Loop Road closes for the season). I find it easy to put together long, substantial hikes that have length and cumulative vertical comparable to standard moderate to long 4K hikes. Outside of tourist season, Acadia is probably my favorite place to hike in New England.
 
I love the trails around Parkman, Sargeant and Bald Mountains - great views, some fun rock scrambles here and there, and they tend to be less crowded. You could also put together some longer loops combining Dorr and Cadillac.

If you're on Facebook, you can check out the Acadia NP hiking page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/acadianationalpark

"Kevin Young" and "Todd Nicholas" have some posts about longer/more challenging hikes. If you decide to ask for recs there, I strongly suggest providing info on the kind of mileage you're looking for and the kinds of hikes you usually do to spare you 20 suggestions for Ship Harbor and 10 more for Day mountain.
 
Maybe too late, but this is a favorite of mine. First, MapAdventures Acadia is a must have. Since this time of year the Bubble Pond parking lot is still open, doing a loop, hitting the peaks around Jordan Pond is an awesome hike. I always go clockwise. This is just one version. You can add 3 more peaks to this loop. Route.JPG
 
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