Looking to stay active in your free time this summer while the weather is still warm, but don’t want to travel long distances? Stay local and enjoy the great outdoors by hiking in our very own Acadia National Park. Hiking and mountain biking are among the most popular activities in the park, and we gathered information about some of the best trails to hike or bike from some of the locals and park workers to get the best bang for your buck. So grab a map, and follow along with some of these less crowded trail options.
1.Western Mountain Loop (5.6 m): Start at the Long Pond Pump Station at the South end of Long Pond. Go up the Perpendicular Trail (hard but amazing feat of engineering!) to the Mansell Mount summit. Drop down into Great Notch and go North on the Great Notch trail to the intersection with the Long Pond Trail. This is a great runnable trail that descends to Long Pond and then runs along it. This trail has some swimming opportunities along the way if it interests you! Take the Long Pond Trail back to your car.
2. Cedar Swamp Mt (3.7mi): Starting at Brown Mt Gatehouse, take the carriage roads to the Sargent South Ridge Trail. Follow this to the top of Cedar Swamp Mt. This trail is very runnable up with a mix of great lookouts and windy forest sections. This trail offers a downhill slope on the way back to your car for a great cool down.
3. Penobscot/Sargent Mt (4.6mi): Starting at Jordan Pond House, take the Spring Trail to the Penobscot South Ridge Trail to the summit of Penobscot Mt. After taking in some amazing panoramic views, continue on to Sargent Pond (which offers great swimming) to the Sargent South Ridge Trail and onward to the Sargent Mt summit. The best part is heading back the way you came as you descend open granite all the way back to Jordan Pond with ocean views the whole way.
4. Pemetic Mt (4.7mi): starting at Bubble Rock Parking Area, take the Northwest Pemetic Trail straight up to Pemetic summit. When you have the choice, make sure you check out the “ravine”. Pemetic is our favorite mountain in the Park and so is the descent following the South Ridge trail all the way down to Jordan Pond. When you reach the pond, follow the Jordan Pond Path to the Jordan Pond Carry and back to your car.
5. Dorr Mt (3.5mi): Starting at Sieur de Monts, take the Hemlock Rd to the Hemlock Trail to the Gorge Trail. This trail is beautiful, shaded and always cooler on a hot day. Follow the Gorge Trail up to the saddle between Cadillac Mt and Dorr Mt. Take a left to climb straight up Dorr. Tag the summit, enjoy the views and return back to your car via the Schiff Path to Emery Path, a great runnable descent.
These are some of the best options for running and/or biking, but there are always longer routes to take if you are looking to make an entire day of hiking. While you’re in the park, don’t forget to stop to take in the views and sounds of Thunder Hole and Jordan Pond, while enjoying the popovers from the Jordan Pond House Restaurant.