You are here

Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.50 mi (4.02 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.

In what can be a very crowded park, the hiking loop to visit a handful of the most famous rock bridges within Acadia National Park, Hadlock, Waterfall, and Hemlock bridges, can be a walk into both history and solitude.

The hike starts at the small parking area on the south side of Upper Hadlock Pond. It heads north 0.7 mile along mostly double-plank boardwalk before reaching Hadlock Bridge, an amazing bonus bridge along this scenic route. Following the Hadlock Brook Trail north for another 0.6 mile, hikers come to arguably the most scenic bridge in Acadia, Waterfall Bridge. Waterfall Bridge was designed by John D. Rockefeller to accentuate both the beauty and architecture of the bridge and surrounding landscape.

Visitors can clamber along the boulders in the stream to walk under or over the bridge, gaining interesting perspectives of the waterfall in the background. This waterfall is subject to the winter melt and recent storms. As such, this hike is best undertaken from mid-May to early June or anytime after a significant rainstorm.

Heading just a tenth of a mile west, hikers reach the next marvel, Hemlock Bridge. Spanning the Hadlock Brook, its mixture of permanence and soft lines is something to see. The trail then follows the stream back toward the south, rejoining the original trail at the north end of Upper Hadlock Pond.

The trail includes narrow boardwalks, numerous rock gardens, and a seemingly never-ending supply of shallow roots. While these obstacles can become tiresome even to the most seasoned hiker, the highlights of Hadlock, Waterfall, and Hemlock bridges clearly outweigh the effort required. Additionally, because this trailhead is off the Acadia Loop Road, the trail traffic is kept to a minimum.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Architecture. Nature. Quiet trails.

Cons

Bugs. Rugged trails.

Trailhead Elevation

150.00 ft (45.72 m)

Highest point

450.00 ft (137.16 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Historically significant
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.