So you’ve booked a weekend away in Acadia National Park but aren’t sure what to do? We’ll point you in the right direction!
But first, let’s review the essentials to bring along with you when hitting the trails.
- Map: Remember, your smart phone may not have reception at every trailhead. So print out a map of the area and know the important junctions on the trail.
- Water: The amount depends on the climate where you are hiking, but a good rule of thumb is 1 liter (32 ounces) for every two hours of activity.
- Snacks: Always bring a snack, just in case your hike goes longer than planned. Trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit. Keep it nutritious.
- Sun Protection: Apply a layer of sunscreen on your skin before heading out for a hike, even if it’s a cloudy day. Consider wearing a hat or sunglasses to minimize exposure to the sun. You can also wear SPF protective clothing as well.
- Headlamp: Whether for an overnight or day hike, bringing along a headlamp is an essential safety must have. These are small, lightweight devices that fit easily into any bag. You never know when you might need it, and if you do, you’ll be happy to have one.
- Rain gear: Ultralight rain jackets pack down small and can easily fit into your bag. Rain storms can pop out of nowhere and it’s best to be dry when out in nature.
- First aid kit: Your first aid kit doesn’t need to be big. But make sure you have the basics: bandaids, alcohol wipes, waterproof matches, moleskin, burn treatment, and duct tape.
Here are our top 4 hikes to do in Acadia National Park:
- Well, Conde Naste said this was one of the top hikes in the US and we have to agree! The views are stunning, the hike is short, and it’s a technically difficult hike which makes the views at the end even more rewarding. You can’t miss the Beehive Loop trail when in Acadia National Park. It’s a 1.5 mile loop trail with approximately 500 feet of elevation gain. Rated as hard, with some vertical climbs with metal rungs for support, you’ll be glad you took on this challenge when you get to the top!
- Hike around Johnson Pond. The mirror-like lake is absolutely stunning. Plus, it’s flat! There are different ways to hike around the pond, but this trail is around 3 miles with only 82 feet of elevation gain, making it an easy to moderate hike. You might encounter bicyclists, dogs, or fall foliage when you pass through here. It would also make a nice spot to pack in a picnic! Just remember to pack out all your trash and leave no trace!
- While you are in that section of the park, be sure to add on the Bubble to the Johnson Pond loop if you have the time. Another technical climb with amazing views. Another hiking trail you definitely won’t want to miss. This is a short 1.5 mile mile loop that packs a challenging 500 foot elevation gain to make it a moderate trail. On a clear day, the views are incredible! You can hear the waves while you are hiking, which is just the icing on the cake!
- The highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard, Cadillac Mountain is a great spot to see the sunrise. Be sure to hike in or drive up early as it’s also a VERY popular sunrise spot! We recommend bringing your blanket/sleeping bag and a hot beverage to enjoy as you watch the sun come up. At 1500 feet of altitude, this 8 mile hike packs a 2,300 foot elevation gain and a waterfall, making it a moderately difficult trail. Depending on the time of day, you could even swim in the swimming hole at the bottom of the waterfall!
If you are looking for a solo trip to Acadia National Park, check out our upcoming trips! And if you are staying longer than a weekend, we have a comprehensive guide on what else you should see in Maine during your trip.
Interested in exploring other national parks, check out these articles:
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