Located at the east of Acadia and on the mainland a short drive away, but far from the crowds of Bar Harbor, sits the Donnell Pond Public Lands, which offer numerous hiking, camping, fishing, and boating opportuntiies. An adventure of particular note for all skill levels is Schoodic Beach. There exists a loop trail measuring approximately 2.9 miles that climbs up Black Mountain and skirts the Black Mountain Cliffs, where there are overlooks and scenic vistas of Acadia National Park over Frenchman's Bay, and descends down toward Donnell Pond and Schoodic Beach.
Starting from the trailhead, the path heads toward Black Mountain with a gradual climb up for about the first mile. It then steeply rises and bends to the left to follow along the crest of the Black Mountain Cliffs. At about 1.2 miles from the trailhead, the trail meets a junction; continue straight along the path and cliffs to start the 1.3 mile descent toward Donnell Pond and Schoodic Beach. The path to the right yields several more adventures starting with the Black Mountain summit as well as the ability to continue past the summit and acces Redman's Beach (where there is additional lakeside camping) and the Caribou Loop. Descending down from the cliffs, Schoodic Beach awaits with crystal clear and cool waters where you can swim, fish and relax.
Schoodic Beach plays host to five individual and two group campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Campfire permits must be acquired ahead of time. The beach supports an easy and accessible day-use area frequented by picnickers and hikers alike; this area tends to be the most crowded of the public lands, but there is plenty of room even on a crowded day. Fishing is allowed in Donnell Pond with a valid state license. On occasion, motor boats will beach themselves as well; boat access is on the north end of the pond.
At the west end of the beach, the trail continues with another fork in the path. Turn left and head south for half a mile to return to the parking lot. This last half mile is an easy grade on a slightly wider path that meanders in a valley between Schoodic Mountain and Black Mountain. Back at the beach, taking the path straight leads to Schoodic Mountain summit, which provides additional views of Acadia National Park and the surrounding region.