Sunny, clear days can be difficult to come by in Acadia, but if the forecast looks promising, treat yourself with this Compass & Key itinerary exploring the Park Loop Road.
Start your day early with sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain, followed by a visit to the Sieur du Monts Spring Nature Center and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. As you continue along the Park Loop Road, Compass & Key recommends choosing between two hikes, one skirting the shoreline cliffs and the other ascending a modest mountain with exceptional views. End your morning with lunch at the historic Jordan Pond Teahouse.
If you're visiting in the busy summer season and would rather someone else battle the traffic, opt for Route #4 of the Island Explorer shuttle bus to get you to key access points around the Park Loop Road. While the bus does not take you to the top of Cadillac Mountain, you can hike the 4.1-mile out and back North Ridge trail to reach the summit. Jump off at the Sieur de Monts stop for the Nature Center, the Sand Beach bus stop for the Ocean's Path Trail, and the Wildwood Stables bus stop for the Day Mountain Trail.
Itinerary Time: 1/2-day to Full Day, depending on how many hikes you include
Choose a Hike
Ocean's Path Trail
Distance: 4.2 miles
Time: 3-4 hours
Starting Point: Sand Beach parking area
Day Mountain Trail
Distance: 2.7 miles
Time: 2-3 hours
Starting Point: Day Mountain carriage road
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To save these three hikes and our other recommended hikes in Acadia National Park, visit our curated list on AllTrails, where you can learn about other trails in the park and create your own lists to reference through their mobile app.