Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
151.00 ft (46.02 m)
Trail type
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


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


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


Rock climbing
Bird watching
Big vistas


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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