Ocean Path Trail: Thunder Hole and Monument Cove

EASY 458 reviews
#7 of 183 trails in

Ocean Path Trail: Thunder Hole and Monument Cove is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 374 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Starting at the south end of the upper Sand Beach Parking lot, the easy 2.2 mile mostly flat one-way Ocean Path trail parallels the loop road all the way to Otter Point. The path offers scenic views and numerous access points to outcroppings above the rocky shore, including major attractions like Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff. Great trail to stroll or to deviate and explore the best Acadia has to offer. Get to the area early before any tour buses or late around sunset and you can have the shoreline mostly all to yourself. Some more on exploring along the path: Half-way between Sand Beach and Otter Cliff is Thunder Hole. Waves and tides dictate whether you hear the sound like thunder or whether you'll hear a whisper of waves crashing below. Granite stairs and railings lead to the viewing area. Half way between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs on the right side of the Park Loop Road, is the small parking area for the Gorham Mountain Trail, which offers spectacular panoramic views of the eastern coastline. From this vantage point (another 2 mi. RT deviation to the summit), you can see from Sand Beach to the north and all the way south to Otter Cliff. At the southern end of the path is Otter Cliff. Just before Otter Cliff is Monument Cove. Look for the short side trail on the left as there are some great photo ops from this vantage point, especially when the first light of the morning turns the cliffs a golden color. Rock climbers and rappellers frequent the Otter Cliff. This is a great hike - take as little or as much time as you like to explore!

hiking
21 days ago

Gorgeous views.

Not good for strollers. Good views go at high tide for thunder sounds. Overall, enjoyable easy going hike

hiking
1 month ago

Just beautiful- every vista is more spectacular than the last. Stunning rain or shine.

hiking
1 month ago

Cool!

Will fill out later

hiking
1 month ago

Not a terribly challenging trail, but one with some great views of the coastline and spots to sit and enjoy the beauty of the water hitting the rocks. You could make it a bit more interesting, like I did, and walk the trail on the side with the rocks. This trail is good for those who want to get some miles in with little to no challenge and limited incline.

hiking
2 months ago

A good "starter" hike. Path follows road but there are some quiet forest periods. Several off shoot paths with cliffs and views. Not a thrilling hike but pretty. I wouldn't say it's an "easy" hike for older folk because of all the steps up and down but if you're in somewhat decent shape you'll be fine.

hiking
2 months ago

More like a walk along the road than the coastline. Many viewpoints along the way and every hot destination point is easily accessible via car and parking lot... although Acadia is a popping place with parking can be a nightmare.

hiking
2 months ago

A good portion of this walk is alongside traffic, which isn’t too enjoyable. But eventually the path moves away from the road a little bit. Has several places where you can walk off the trail and onto the rocks to enjoy the coastal scenery. Trail population can be heavy around the Sand Beach and Thunder Hole areas, but it thins out the further you go up the trail. It isn’t the “must-do” that I’ve seen a few online guides say it is, but it can make for a nice evening walk or jog.

hiking
2 months ago

Took us about 1 hr 45 minute. Nice walk with plenty of side trails that are picturesque. Not too challenging, beautiful costal views & birds

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful but crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Way. Too. Crowded. Small footpath that follows the road, closely. Congestion and vechile noise took away from the sound of the waves.

hiking
2 months ago

It was so incredibly crowded. On top of that the path is narrow, which makes passing people almost impossible. The views at the points of interest were beautiful, but you can get similar coastline views on some of the other less populated hikes. If you're limited on time, you can crank this out in about an hour or so. If you have more time and can handle a moderate hike, I would recommend looking into some of the other hikes. .

Otter Point to Sandy Beach. Lots and of people and cars but gorgeous views. Bussed back.

hiking
3 months ago

Love this trail. Walk it every time I am in the area.

Visited during high tide, post hurricane Dorian. Rangers were keeping people from getting too close to the Thunder Hole.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail. Most runs along the main car loop but lots of interesting stops to climb the rocks and overlook the ocean and cliffs.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful sites for an easy trek. Only some uneven ground makes it a bit treacherous for those unsteady on their feet. Very well maintained.

recorded Gorham Mountain

hiking
3 months ago

Much of trail is scrambling over rocks and stone faces, but well worth the effort for views.

hiking
3 months ago

This is an easy path right along the Oceanside. The path is alongside of the road and access is super easy. This does get a bit crowded, so the earlier the better

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome views the whole way. Just be prepared for lots of people on the path. You can get out at various points to look at things, but be prepared to climb on rocks that could be wet or dangerous. It’s a must do hike though for Acadia

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views. Easy walk. Quite enjoyable.

walking
3 months ago

I was a little disappointed that it is a gravel SIDEWALK along the very busy and hectic park loop road. But it gives access to several beautiful overlooks along the way. The lower, less crowded section, was perhaps my favorite -- the area between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliffs. This section of the Ocean Path actually veers away from being a sidewalk along loop drive and into a forest setting along the cliffs. (You're still close to the road, although can't always see it.) This area is absolutely beautiful!!! Far less crowded. Seems most visitors only walk between Ocean Beach & Thunder Hole. They miss the best section of trail in my opinion.

hiking
3 months ago

super busy, but worth the walk. go out on the rocks; we sat in a cool area to watch the waves crash in on the rocks and it felt relatively separate from the hustle and bustle of people.

hiking
3 months ago

The views from the trail were gorgeous but as many have mentioned, there is a ton of foot traffic! It is properly rated as easy as most of it is a coastal walk. We enjoyed the smaller paths out to the rocks for some more challenges and extreme views.

hiking
4 months ago

pretty walk, but crowded with tourists. if you want a real hike, find another trail

hiking
4 months ago

Fun easy hike. Nice views. Worst part is crossing over the beach and getting sand in my shoes.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this in July, was busy in parts. Relatively easy, going out onto rocks makes it a bit more challenging. Great views

Very intense trail lots of “rock climbing” areas where you are going straight up with a little railing to get up.

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