Share:

Great Head Loop

Acadia National Park

Downeast + Acadia, Maine

Start Exploring
Great Head Loop

Share:

Advertisement
  • Fantastic views from the west edge of Sand Beach.- Great Head Loop
  • You might be able to find some ocean life in the shallow tide pools along Sand Beach. - Great Head Loop
  • Head east across Sand Beach to the Great Head Trailhead.- Great Head Loop
  • The stream crossing might have you getting your feet wet prior to reaching the trailhead, depending on the conditions.- Great Head Loop
  • There are some initial mild rock faces that are easily manageable and will bring out the mountaineer in you!- Great Head Loop
  • Some of the initial rocky sections require a bit of scrambling and can be a bit more difficult in wet conditions.- Great Head Loop
  • The wooded areas you descend through are surprisingly dense and beautiful, even more so in the morning fog.- Great Head Loop
  • There are no shortages of scenic viewpoints looking out over the Atlantic.- Great Head Loop
  • There are no shortages of scenic viewpoints looking out over the Atlantic.- Great Head Loop
  • Views from the Great Head Loop in Acadia National Park.- Great Head Loop
  • A look down at some of the flatter areas that can be accessible by scaling the cliff sides.- Great Head Loop
  • With some careful route planning and scrambling, you can navigate through the cliffs.- Great Head Loop
  • There are many spots to climb down cliffs closer to the crashing waves. Be extremely careful and keep children away from the ledges.- Great Head Loop
  • There are many spots to climb down cliffs closer to the crashing waves. Be extremely careful and keep children away from the ledges.- Great Head Loop
  • There are many spots to climb down cliffs closer to the crashing waves. Be extremely careful and keep children away from the ledges.- Great Head Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short loop hike. Great 360-views. Low congestion.
Cons: 
Requires stream crossings and wet feet. Sand Beach parking lot fills early.
Advertisement
Region:
Downeast + Acadia, ME
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
National Park Pass
Total Distance: 
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
0 ft (0 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
151 ft (46 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back/Loop
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Breezy overnight.
53°F
35°

Tue

Breezy and partly cloudy in the morning.
62°F
51°

Wed

Breezy and partly cloudy starting in the afternoon.
61°F
55°

Thu

Clear throughout the day.
60°F
51°

Fri

Clear throughout the day.
60°F
48°

Sat

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
61°F
53°

Sun

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
61°F
57°
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

The Great Head Loop hike is a short family friendly scenic hike in Acadia National Park. Take the one-way Park Loop Road to the Sand Beach parking lot. You will start by taking the stairs down to the beach where you’ll be greeted by waves crashing on the rocky coast to your right and a short stretch of beach intersection with a forest to your left.

After hiking the length of the beach to the east, you’ll have to cross a small shallow stream that flows from a small pond out into the ocean. You may be able to cross during low tide by hopping across exposed rocks, but the water rises easily during the short hike, so you may be forced to remove your boots and cross barefoot on the way back. Expect to get your feet wet, depending on the conditions.

The trail climbs up smooth and steady rock faces and gives you the feeling that you are climbing straight up a mountain face. There are multiple scenic viewpoints overlooking the rocky shores, and you’ll have many opportunities during low tide to scramble down closer to the crashing waves.

After reach the clear summit, take a break and enjoy the ocean views before continuing down the steady wooded backside of the loop back to the Sand Beach. Consider combining this with the unique and exhilarating Beehive Trail across the street from the Sand Beach parking lot. You’ll be treated to amazing views of the entire Great Head Loop Trail you just completed.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(18 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
3 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
Submission by
Sponsored Contributor
71 Adventures Explored
20 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info