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Ocean Path Trail: Thunder Hole and Monument Cove

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Acadia National Park

Ocean Path Trail: Thunder Hole and Monument Cove is a 4.5 mile heavily 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
2 hours ago

Super easy

3 days ago

lots of fun easy trial cool paths leading off to rocky cliffs

10 days ago

I did this walk in the early morning with a friend and it was gorgeous! Few people, stunning views and the sound of the surf was mesmerizing. Take the little side trails to make sure you don't miss anything. It is an easy walk but still requires proper footwear.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
15 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Wide open path, that follows alongside the road and the ocean. Great views, and easy walking the entire way.

walking
1 month ago

Very easy trail with plenty of places for photos. It is right next to the road, so it can be loud at times. Lots of people on this trail, but don't let that deter you. Thunder Hole is an amazing spot that truly humbles you to the power of the ocean.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful, and everyone loved frolicking on the giant boulders. One of our best memories of our Acadia trip.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked with our little kids and it went great!

scenic driving
flooded
4 months ago

Thunder Hole is awesome! The time you arrive there will determine how much you enjoy it. Arrive at least 30 min before high tide, or it won't be worthwhile. Trail leading there is "Meh" so driving there is an option. This is also one of the best places in all Acadia to sit and enjoy the wide open view of the Atlantic Ocean. Can walk a few hundred yards south of Thunder Hole and there are a ton of places for an isolated view with minimal crowd.

walking
6 months ago

Amazing ocean views throughout the trail. Crowded at points. Went twice to Thunder Hole, including once at a time that people said would be a good time to go, and didn't see any real thundering either time.

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous views.

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

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

Cool!

Will fill out later

hiking
8 months 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
8 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
9 months ago

Beautiful but crowded.

hiking
9 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
9 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
9 months ago

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

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