My new favorite trail on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park… this is the Great Head Trail which meanders gently along a easy path through shaded forest onto a rugged headland that offers magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Newport Cove. We explored this wonderful trail late one Saturday afternoon in spring, and although we didn’t even get started until around 4:30pm, we were able to spend plenty of time exploring the area and complete the hike before the sun went down.
This trail is relatively easy, with some amazing maintenance work having been carried out fairly recently by either the NPS or the Friends of Acadia. I remember taking this trail a few years ago when it was quite wet, probably because it doubled up as the shortest route from high ground to low ground for any rainwater that the area received. However, the maintenance work has raised and reinforced the trail, making it an absolute joy to walk on. There are some gentle undulations early along the 2.2 mile hike, and peeking through the trees you catch glimpses of the rocky Atlantic shoreline. As you start to climb to the ultimate level of 145 feet, there is some moderate scampering over boulders involved, though nothing too strenuous, making this a trail suitable for all of the family. The ocean views are incredible, and chances are you might even have the place all to yourself.