New Years Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $19.99
Get Started

Great Head Trail (Short Option)

MODERATE 316 reviews
#8 of 186 trails in

Great Head Trail (Short Option) 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: 301 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

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.

2 months ago

Great name for a great trail.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

This is a pretty easy trail aside from the rocky parts. There is a reroute from the Sand Beach parking lot that takes you out to the parking area on the Schoodic Road. Great views toward the ocean and then back toward Sand Beach and the Beehive.

hiking
3 months ago

Another great trail in Acadia! Accurate difficulty level with beautiful ocean views!

hiking
4 months ago

For best display of crashing

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

A scramble and uneven paths once to the circuit. Great views.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views from this short trail, it follows the cliffs around so you get amazing shots of the ocean. A bit of traffic on this but worth it.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

The views over the cliffs were amazing. The trail was very hard to follow in the beginning until we noticed some blue markings (bread crumbs) to lead the way. This hike requires a lot of climbing and I suggest hiking down prior to sundown.

Nice trail but not enough by the ocean.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Due to rain very muddy, but also not crowded at all. Saw seals and harbor porpoises!

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

This trail is amazing. I would consider most of the trail easy except for the very beginning and also the very end. The beginning is misleading because you are climbing up rocks for quite a bit. Once you get to a higher vantage point you then make your way around the top where it is mostly a flatter walk. The views are absolutely amazing! I saw many families with young kids doing this hike without a problem. Definitely worth completing while in Acadia!

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
off trail
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

My family’s favorite trail of Acadia! This trail is beautiful and provides on my opinion some of the best views in the whole park. We were told it is a less trafficked trail but apparently the secrets out. However, I still highly recommend it. Not too hard, I took my 9 and 13 yo kids and they killed it. MUST DO IN ACADIA!!

hiking
scramble
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

My favorite! No moderate - it was Hard in some places!

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail. Lots of rocks. A little more challenging, but a lot of fun.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

We did this with a toddler in our backpack and my father and his dog. It has an interesting scramble to start but if you follow the blue markers it was great! Once we were at the top this hike had so many stunning views of the ocean. If I only had a couple days to hike in Acadia this is one I would do!

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

I LOVE THIS HIKE!!!! we brought our whole family out for this trail and there some beautiful views. if you enjoy climbing on rocks and boulders, there are plenty to keep yourself busy. i climbed around for around an hour and a half on oceanside boulders and it was incredible! a ton of fun, i would highly recommend. if you want an adventure, i would also highly recommend climbing on the rocks!!

hiking
7 months ago

Loved this hike. A few bugs. Fairly wet in spots. Amazing views of the ocean and the mountains. Highly recommend.

Load More