Bar Harbor, ME

The Best Four Hikes in Acadia National Park (#1 has Death-Defying Views)


Maine's Bar Harbor has more going for it than just lobster and sea breeze. Just outside this little coastal town sits Acadia National Park, home to the natural beauty of Maine: beaches, mountains, lakes, and more. It's a perfect place to explore day hikes on the beautiful Maine coast.

Want to know the best hikes that really show off Maine's beauty? If you've only got a short while here, make sure you check out these top four hikes in Acadia National Park:
Early morning sunshine on the Bubbles - two mountains overlooking Acadia's famous Jordan Pond.Krishna Thota | Unsplash

1. The Beehive Trail

If there's one hike that symbolizes Acadia, it's the Beehive Trail. This iconic hike takes you straight up the face of the Beehive, a small mountain overlooking the park. This adventurous trail gives you stunning views from the moment you start at the base - with plenty of danger mixed in.

If you've got a fear of heights, the Beehive may not be for you. This trail goes straight up the cliff face, using iron rungs, ladders, and boulder steps to get you to the top. Here's the death-defying part: all of it is wide open to the clear mountain air. It means you get fantastic views from the very beginning... but you take your life in your hands to get them.

If you can brave the hike up, the views at the top are absolutely worth the climb. From Beehive, you can see all of Sand Beach and Frenchman's Bay, and the rest of Acadia spreads before you like a painter's canvas.

2. Cadillac Mountain

Maybe you've heard of Cadillac Mountain before - it's known as one of the first place the sun touches on the lower 48. It's another classic hike to do in Acadia, and it's one you shouldn't miss.

There are a few ways to get to the top. Many people drive up the backside of Cadillac to get there for sunrise, but to truly experience Cadillac, take the Cadillac Mountain Loop trail. This short and sweet little hike will get you to the top in no time at all. It may be an early morning start, but getting your blood pumping before the sunrise is an incredible start to the day.

If you're looking for a great place for sunset, the views from Cadillac Mountain won't disappoint either. The sun's rays gently sink down in the west, framing the mountains behind Cadillac in golden glow.

3. South Bubble Trail

So much of Acadia's beauty is how it blends both mountains and water into one experience. The South Bubble trail is a great way to step away from the sea - and overlook a beautiful mountain pond.

Nestled on the shoulder of one of Acadia's mountains is the famous Jordan Pond, an excellent place for a swim after a beautiful hike. For a brief but beautiful hike, take the South Bubble trail. It will take you up a short path to the top of the nearby "Bubbles" - two mountains that flank Jordan Pond on the north end.

For a fantastic view over Jordan Pond, the South Bubble is your best bet. And for a full day's experience, you can cool off in Jordan Pond on the way back.

4. Jordan Pond Path

For those who still want the beauty of Jordan Pond, without the strain of climbing up a mountain, the Jordan Pond Path is an excellent choice. This trail goes all the way around Jordan Pond, staying relatively flat the entire way.

Walking on the water's edge, you can see this mountain pond from all angles. Catch the reflection of the Bubbles on the south end, or find the perfect frame for Beehive Mountain on the north. It's a great way to soak in all the beauty of the place, without having to bust out the tough hiking gear.


From Portland to Bar Harbor, Maine has some incredible beauty to offer. Which of these four hikes caught your interest?

Are you brave enough for the Beehive? Or is the Jordan Pond Path more your speed?

Remember to pack your water, and enjoy the views. Happy Hiking!

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I am a travel writer and sustainable lifestyle blogger. As a world traveler, I love giving others tips on budget travel, new cultures, and how to see the planet in a sustainable, ethical way. I also write on being a digital nomad, hiking and outdoor activities, as well as living an adventurous lifestyle.

Santa Fe, NM

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