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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.

Length4.5 miElevation gain374 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningBeachForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleFee
Description
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Getting There

Acadia National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $30 per vehicle or $25 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $15 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $55. 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!

Ample parking and restroom facilities at Sand Beach, Thunder Hole or Otter Cliff/Fabbri Parking areas. Bus stops at all three areas, although during peak periods you can park in the right hand lane of the one way scenic road and access the Ocean Path Trail at any point along the way from Sand Beach to Otter Point.

Acadia National Park P.O. Box 177 Bar Harbor, ME 04609-0177 207-288-3338

Getting to Acadia: From Boston take I-95 north to Augusta, Maine, then Route 3 east to Ellsworth, and on to Mount Desert Island. For an alternate route, continue on I-95 north to Bangor, Maine, then take Route 1A east to Ellsworth. In Ellsworth, take Route 3 to Mount Desert Island. Getting to the trailhead: Trailhead is on the east side of Mt. Desert Island. From Hulls Cove Visitor Center take the park road to the one-way loop to park at the Sand Beach Parking area. Trailhead at the end of the upper entrance to the parking area heading south along the road. You can also start from the south end at Otter Point, or access the trail most anywhere along the loop road between Sand Beach and Otter Point.

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Reviews (660)
Photos (1019)
Recordings (465)
Completed (2439)
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Andrew Kinsey
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Hiking

This should not be labeled as “a trail”. This is walking path along a road with paths to overlooks of the ocean. You can drive to any place along this “ trail”. Very disappointing this is part of “all trails”.

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Tiffany Mellon
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HikingGreat!

Absolutely beautiful views the entire way! There are little areas you can head off the path to get closer to the waves so you can get the perfect picture.

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Daymon Wooten
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views

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Viv Mendoza
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We stopped a lot to admire all the beautiful views. Kids will love the scrambling at

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Justice Erickson
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Hiking

Go during the early mornings! The sun right over the ocean as you are walking down is beautiful!!

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Peter Ostrander
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Walking

I am not an experienced hiker, so this was a great trail that both got some exercise in along with some great views.

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Sarah Mc
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Hiking

Beautiful!

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Derek Jett
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Hiking

Fun to see surfing and sandy beach. And I loved hearing the surf pound at thunder hole. A ringing bell on a bouy out at sea warning boats about rocks was a nice ambient touch. Trail is easy and flat (too close to road) but still fun just to see ocean and huge rock formations

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Sarah Lui
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HikingGreat!
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Michael Bechtholdt
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Hiking

Waters edge trail. Easy hike lower crowds today because of forecasted rain.

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Kaitlin Baker
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Hiking

Easy, beautiful views!

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Dara Zaturoski
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful view! You can walk the path or climb the rocks.

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Don Ledesma
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Hiking

Easy stroll to thunder hole. Did not go to ocean point. If you go in the afternoon, you could find parking further into the road, essentially in front of thunder hole.

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Tyler Ferrara
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Hiking
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Chris Brodie
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Hiking

great trail. way too crowded.

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Les Kennedy
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Jarrod Williams
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Hiking

Boring. There's a dozen other hikes that are more entertaining and more scenic. Also better spots for playing on the rocks and looking at tide pools. Not to mention, Ocean Path is crowded. Maybe stop, park and go look at Thunder Hole (which is equally disappointing unless the weather is bad) but definitely don't spend your time walking the Ocean Path.

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Georgi Silvia
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Hiking

Beautiful morning hike! Very easy trail unless you want to climb out on the rocks. Enjoyed sunrise at Otter Point and then hit the trail.

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Matt Murray
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Hiking
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Katie Glasser
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Hiking
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Kae Tessier
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Hiking
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Mark Vittori
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HikingGreat!

Hiked it 9/27/20. Extremely crowded but beautiful hike and views. Highly recommend. 5 stars if it weren’t for number of people. Easy terrain via trail.

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Justyna M
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful hike. Amazing views!

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Connor Yamada
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Hiking
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Gail W
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Hiking
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Nadine Vicenzi
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Hiking

Definitely beautiful lookout points all along the trail. very easy terrain but suggest hiking shoes as 4 of us wore sneakers and had sore feet from walking all day. crowded and several unmasked people.

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Jonathan Woo
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HikingGreat!

Great views

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Akiko Ikegami
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Hiking

love this hike! heavily trafficked, but lots of places to explore.

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Lance Stephens
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HikingGreat!
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Josh Jackson
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Hiking

Easy walk, great views, a little crowded.

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