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Pets allowed
No
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Pros

Short loop hike. Great 360-views. Low congestion.

Cons

Requires stream crossings and wet feet. Sand Beach parking lot fills early.

Net Elevation Gain

151.00 ft (46.02 m)

Address

Ocean Path
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
United States

Features

Rock climbing
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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