Quick & Easy Day Hikes in Acadia National Park

Acadia NP is one of my favorite places in the world. No, seriously. What I love most about Acadia is the juxtaposition of ocean and mountains, jagged coastlines and lush forests. And because the bustling town of Bar Harbor is nestled next to the park entrance, it’s easy to squeeze in a great day hike and then grab a lobster roll or ice cream (or both!) afterwards.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, as there are PLENTY of great hikes of all different ability levels here in the park. But if it’s your first time coming to the park and/or you’re looking for some good introductory hikes, hopefully this list will come in handy:

Bar Island

Although Bar Island is technically part of Acadia NP, you can access this trail from downtown Bar Harbor. Walk down to the harbor, and you will quickly spot a small wooded island. During low tide, a sandbar emerges and you can easily walk across to Bar Island. It’s an out-and-back trail that is less than 2 miles, and is considered a good beginner’s trail. If you follow the trail to the highest lookout point, you will be rewarded with great views of Bar Harbor and Cadillac Mountain. **Note: Be aware of the tides so you don’t get stuck on the island! Check online or with the park rangers if you’re unsure about the best time to cross over and back.

Lupiens grow all over Bar Island
A hike to the island’s lookout rewards you with a great view of Bar Harbor & Cadillac Mountain

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond is one of our favorite places to stop during a trip to Acadia because of the great views you get of “The Bubbles,” and because a lot of other great trails branch off from Jordan Pond. If you want to link up other small peaks you can do so from here, but the loop trail around Jordan Pond is great on its own. The entire loop is about 3.5 miles, and afterwards you can grab a scone (definitely try the scones) or other treat from the Jordan Pond House and soak up the sun.

A great view of the Bubbles from the trailhead at the Jordan Pond House

Bass Harbor Head Light

I love lighthouses. Over the years I have dragged Chris to lighthouses all over the Northeast, and this one remains one of my all-time favorites. This trail is short, but be aware that there is a steep staircase to get down to the viewing point for the lighthouse in case you or others in your group have mobility restrictions. Follow the clear trails down the stairs and onto the rocks for the best view of the lighthouse. This is one of the most iconic images of Acadia, so hopefully you can catch your own great photos here!

My best attempt at an iconic Bass Head photo!
During our trip we were lucky to have the view all to ourselves

Have you ever been to Acadia NP? What are some of your favorite quick hikes? Share your ideas in the comments!

Also, don’t forget that you can connect with me on Instagram. Feel free to send me your questions or suggestions for future posts.

Happy Trails,


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