Great Head Trail

MODERATE 170 reviews
#8 of 144 trails in

Great Head Trail is a 1.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
278 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

scramble

Moderate loop trail along Sea Cliffs on the east side of Acadia NP's Sand Beach to Great Head. Great Head Trail is moderate and loops around the perimeter of the small peninsula called Great Head located on the east side of Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. This is a great early morning hike, or afternoon for that matter, and one that the whole family can experience (with caution of course). Park in the lower Sand Beach parking area located on the left of the Park Loop Road. Take the granite steps to Sand Beach. Walk to the other side of the beach. Near the base of the rocky outcropping, look to your left for a great view of the Beehive (520 foot summit - another great hike). Close to this spot you will see a small sign leading to steps where you will begin your ascent. This starts as a leisurely climb leading to some beautiful pink granite cliffs. Follow the blue lines to be sure to stay on the best route up as it can be steep at times. Once on top, the hike is fairly easy. A sign leads your way to the right leading to Great Head where you will have wonderful views of the rocky coast, Otter Cliff, and the churning ocean below. There are ample spots for you to have a picnic, relax, or sit and reflect on the power of this place. Continue on the loop back through a section of white birch trees. Up ahead, there will be a path split. Take the left up the granite, following the markers, to return to Sand Beach. Watch for signs. There is one that you will not see the front of until you look back at it as you pass. If you continued straight, it would lead to the Schooner Head Road in Bar Harbor.

18 hours ago

This was a fun trail. Some steep rocky sections we were not expecting. We have a big dog and some of the steep sections were a little challenging for him.

10 days ago

Easy, short trail with great ocean views! I like to go to sand beach and start and end the loop there.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful easy hike. We did this MDW and it was hot so ending up at the beach was perfect! Great views.

29 days ago

we really enjoyed the hike, wonderful ocean views.

1 month ago

Short hike with amazing views. There’s several options to follow for a longer hike. Lots of fun stretches over rock with ocean views.

1 month ago

Great hike with some very nice views. Fun short hike for my 8, 11, 12 year olds as well as my wife and I. Take your camera for some very nice shots.

hiking
6 months ago

Love this trail! Not a very long hike but you get some really great views of sand beach and the beehive across the way.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views of the waves crashing against the cliffs as well as the sandy beach.

8 months ago

Good short trail with spectacular views. I didn't run across a lot of other hikers. Pay attention to the blue trail markers. It's easy to get turned around at the top.

8 months ago

Easy, short trail to get some good scenery in if only have a short amount of time.

8 months ago

Nice trail with great views.

8 months ago

Was a great hike with amazing views!!!

8 months ago

This is a really unique, beautiful trail! Short in distance, but definitely quite a few scrambles to keep things interesting! Look for loons and other seabirds diving for fish.

8 months ago

Awesome trail easy but you can make it a little more challenging by adventuring true the rocks .

9 months ago

Beautiful hike and a perfect warm-up for Beehive and Precipice. Saw a bald eagle fly overhead. Stunning.

9 months ago

GREAT hike...enough jagged rock to make it interesting....not to crowded...we are glad we picked it to hike

hiking
9 months ago

I haven't tried this trail with my own kids, but I hiked it quite often as a child myself. Beautiful views, a few cliff-edge picnic spots, but really crowded.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. Wonderful views.

10 months ago

Forest trails, rock scrambles, ocean views. What's not to like?

hiking
10 months ago

Good day trip with the kids. Beautiful views and a nice easy trail. It wasn't too crowded. Stretched it a bit because we wanted to do more.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with great views! Very easy hike

10 months ago

10 months ago

Amazing trail! Stunning views

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike to do with the family, with great views!

11 months ago

Absolutely unbelievable views of the Atlantic and of Sandy Beach. I saw an eagle fly overhead and climbed around pools of sea life during low tide. Love this!

hiking
11 months ago

The view at the top of Great Head is incredible. Our kids loved climbing all over the huge granite boulders along the coast. Go early to avoid the crowds at Sand Beach.

11 months ago

Did this trail with kids and they loved it!

11 months ago

beautiful hike! just challenging enough to keep it fun but not particularly difficult. dog enjoyed it too.

hiking
11 months ago

One of our favorite hikes in Acadia. Not overly complicated and the trail has some great spots to hop off and view the beautiful Maine coastline.

hiking
11 months ago

Very fun, but a little more difficult than "moderate" in my opinion. Very rocky, comes with amazing views.

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