Hiking and Climbing

Blazed trails crisscross DownEast Acadia offering hikers unlimited ways to hike and climb.
Hike the rugged outcroppings on the Cutler Coast.
Hike the rugged outcroppings on the Cutler Coast.

DownEast Acadia has hundreds of miles of coastal and inland trails for visitors to discover. Bring water, plan for the weather, and hike together. Hike the bold coastal ledges in Cutler and Lubec or the islands of The Great Wass Archipelago. Those who seek a steep climb will want to take on Pigeon Hill, Blue Hill, and Tunk Mountain. Newer to the region’s offerings, Cobscook Shore boasts walking, picnicking, hiking, biking, and camping.

Remember: All of the region’s trails are unique and vulnerable to human impacts. Please Leave No Trace: Stay on the path and walk single-file to avoid damaging trailside plants and causing erosion. Tread carefully on summits: Stay on rock surfaces to avoid the tiny alpine plants. Be mindful of human waste. And carry out all your trash. Carry and use a trail map.

Views of MDI from Schoodic Peninsula at Sunset.
Views of MDI from Schoodic Peninsula at Sunset.

hiking the schoodic peninsula

The Schoodic Peninsula portion of Acadia National Park offers fantastic hiking, whether strolling along the rocky coast or stretching your legs on our slopes. Hiking trails range from less than a mile to 3.2 miles and from easy to moderate. Trails traverse birding habitats, highbush blueberries, pine forests, and rocky slopes. You can walk Park Road and Ranger Road. Hike the Sundew Trail on the park’s Schoodic Education and Research Center campus.

Marvel at varied forests of pine, birch, spruce, northern white cedar, cherry, alder, mountain ash, and maples; a shoreline of exposed and weathered red granite that varies from 10 to 100 feet in width; a mix of bogs, wetlands, and marshes. Explore tidepools or spot wildlife like moose, deer, squirrels, and hares, as well as 96 species of migrating and breeding birds.

Nine miles of hiking trails highlight stunning coastal views, including a cove frequented by seals and an unimpeded view of the Atlantic Ocean. Try Alder Trail, an easy and short hike, for a trip amidst a premier birding habitat. Follow Lower Harbor Trail along the coastline and through pine forests, with the possibility of viewing seabirds. For more strenuous exercise, the Anvil and East trails offer up rocky, steep sections requiring some scrambling. Top off your wanderlust with a hike along Buck Cove Mountain Trail, where highbush blueberries mean easy pickings

DownEast Lakes Land Trust Hiking Trails

Downeast Lakes Land Trust maintains seven hiking trails in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest with public access to hundreds of thousands of acres around Grand Lake Stream. All hiking trails are intended for foot traffic only, and there is one for every ability. Here are just a few favorites:

Pocumcus Lake Trail

This trail provides options for short or moderate loop hikes to the quiet, undeveloped shoreline of Pocumcus Lake. The shorter loop is a hike of 1.3 miles round trip, while those who hike the entire trail will cover 3.6 miles. The trail traverses a wide range of forest habitats. The trailhead is located on the north side of the Fourth Lake Road, about 7.5 miles west of Grand Lake Stream.

Wabassus Mountain Trail

A one-mile climb to the summit, the Wabassus Mountain Trail follows a small cascading seasonal brook and passes through older mixed and hardwood forests. On the summit, you’ll find a hardwood forest and views of the surrounding lakes. The trailhead is on the Wabassus Mountain Road, with access from the north via the Fourth Lake Road or the south via the Little River Road and Third Lake Ridge Road.

Dawn Marie Beach Path

DLLT’s shortest trail at ¼ mile, this pleasant path leads you to the beautiful undeveloped beach on Wabassus Lake. You’re likely to see and hear loons and eagles and may find moose tracks on the beach. It’s an excellent spot for a family picnic or to cool off during your hike. Even here, a completely undeveloped sand beach is a rare commodity. Take the Fourth Lake Road west from Grand Lake Stream for 3.6 miles, and turn left on the Wabassus Mountain Road. Pass a side road on your right, and then look for the trailhead sign on your right.

(Trail descriptions courtesy of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust.)

Hiking inland forest trails
Hiking on inland forest trails.
Grand Lake Stream area
Aeriel view across Grand Lake Stream.
Autumn Hike in Acadia
Autumn hike in Acadia National Park ©JerryMonkman

hiking in acadia national Park

Acadia’s many miles of trails provide a wealth of hikers opportunities to explore the park’s beauty. Trails rated to be moderate will often have sections of uneven ground, rough footing, and steep grades, especially a mountain ascent. Be prepared and take a light day pack of essentials.

Strikeout on the Ocean Path (2.1 miles one-way) as it hugs the shoreline. It passes several of the park’s most famous sites, including Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs. Enjoy a leisurely walk and grand views on the Cadillac Summit Path (0.3-mile loop). Venture off on the Jordan Pond Nature Trail (1-mile loop)for a lovely walk along the lakeshore that takes in the fabulous view of The Bubbles and Penobscot and Pemetic mountains. The Wonderland Trail (0.7 miles one-way) is home to fragrant evergreen woods and pretty cobble beaches.

More than 50 miles of wide, graded, and finely-graveled Carriage Roads crisscross the eastern side of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. They are open to walkers, bicyclists, and equestrians for many miles and hours of recreational fun.

Planning Tools

To help you plan your trip we provide  information on drive time and distances to and around the region. Plus info on other commercial transportation options.

Once you arrive in DownEast Acadia, you will want to access local sources of visitor information, state laws, recreation rules, and road conditions.

To help you pack or plan your day, check out the current weather in the region or learn about year-round averages of temperature and precipitation.

Maine Office of Tourism, VisitMaine.com

Paid for by Maine Office of Tourism with support from our member organizations. | ©2023, DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism  | Design and Development: Thalo Blue Destination Marketing

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