A nice, easy 1.2 mile trail for all the family. Located on the quieter side of Mount Desert Island and Acadia NP, this trail meanders briefly through some forest but soon opens up offering spectacular ocean views of Great Gott and Placentia Islands out in the Atlantic. It is a beautiful and relatively easy loop that provides opportunities to experience both ocean and forest views, and although you likely won’t have this walk all to yourself, it sure beats the crowded trails on the more popular eastern side of Mount Desert Island.
To get here, follow Route 102 to Southwest Harbor, and after admiring the view of a working New England harbor, take a left onto 102A toward Manset and Seawall. About a mile past the entrance to the Seawall campground and picnic area you will find a small parking lot on your left that is capable of holding maybe 8-10 cars. The trailhead is well marked, and it doesn’t take long to see why this little trail fast becomes a favorite for many people. Don’t forget the very picturesque neighboring Wonderland Trail, also on the left about half a mile before you reach the Ship Harbor Trail. On the day we hiked this trail, we had blue skies, warm temperatures and an amazing ocean breeze that combined for a very enjoyable late afternoon walk. This is what I would call classic Acadia, and if you are looking for a way to beat the heat – and the crowds in the summer – this little trail is just the ticket.