Best Hikes in Acadia National Park for Kids

My family visited Maine on our Northeast road trip last summer and explored 11 states in 11 days. One of our favorite places was Acadia National Park in the northeastern corner of Maine. Although we were only there for two days, we enjoyed hiking Acadia with kids and found plenty of things to do in Acadia National Park. I researched what to do in Acadia National Park and found that it is one of the best national parks for kids. It is filled with many kid-friendly hiking trails and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Acadia is definitely considered one of the best national park vacations. Here are my recommendations for the best hikes in Acadia National park for kids.

Acadia Family 2

Check out: United States National Parks Checklist

Acadia Travel

First of all, if you are planning a multi-day hiking trip, you should really consider printing or purchasing an Acadia National Park trail map. Acadia trail maps will be important in cases where reception is poor and you aren’t totally sure about one of the Acadia trails.

My Favorite Easy Hikes in Acadia National Park

1. Ocean Path Trail

This has been one of our family’s favorite hikes to date. Of all the Acadia National Park hiking trails, this one combines sweeping ocean views, rock scrambling, and a gentle path with little incline. To me, Ocean Path is one of the best Acadia hikes because each side adventure you take from the main road leads you to a new ocean view scene. It is one of the best family friendly hikes in Acadia National Park because there is often some rock scrambling either down to the water or up to a viewpoint. My 9 and 7 year olds were very careful, yet enjoyed the climbing around the granite rocks. To read more specifics on this hike such as trail length, where to park and more pictures, click on my post: Ocean Path Trail with Kids.

Acadia Kids

2. Bubble Rock Trail

We also enjoyed the hike up to Bubble Rock Overlook – one of the best hikes in Acadia. There are two ways to reach Bubble Rock (South Bubble Trail and North Bubble Trail). Both hiking routes are about 2 miles round trip and although there is a bit of an incline on the way up to the summit, it is one of the easy hikes in Acadia National Park where you are rewarded with some spectacular views. The hike begins in the forest and as you ascend, the landscape changes dramatically. This is definitely one of the best trails in Acadia National Park. To read more about the Bubble Rock Trail difficulty, parking and see more pictures, click on my post – Hiking Bubble Rock Trail with Kids.

bubble rock kids

3. Bar Island

This hike is different from the rest of the Acadia National Park trails because it starts off at the edge of downtown Bar Harbor Maine. Bar Island is considered part of Acadia National Park, yet the only way to get there is to walk across a sandbar during low tide. Most of the Acadia National Park maps have tide charts so that you can time your visit properly. Be careful timing this, as you can get stuck on Bar Island if you are not attentive. This short hike was one of our favorite things to do in Bar Harbor Maine and it was quite unique as well. To read more about the Bar Island sandbar on low tide, click on my post – Hiking Bar Island Trail.

Bar island crossing

Other Popular Acadia Hikes

There are many opinions as to which are the best hikes in Acadia. To me, the 5 best hikes in Acadia National Park are: Ocean Path, Bubble Rock, Beehive, Jordan Pond, and Bar Island. If you are planning on visiting Acadia National Park, these hikes below are some great options:

What to do in Acadia National Park Beside Hike?

There are plenty of things to do in Acadia National Park. If you are visiting for a long weekend, you may be interested in this 3 day itinerary. Here are some options of what you can do that does not involve hiking.

Other Great Hiking Trails in Maine

If you are traveling to other towns in Maine and love to hike, check out some of these suggestions:

Where to Stay Near Acadia National Park

I recommend staying in the nearby town of Bar Harbor Maine. Although Acadia National Park encompasses most of Mount Desert Island, there are not too many “cities” nearby. Bar Harbor’s proximity to Acadia National Park activities is the most convenient. We stayed at the Wonder View Inn (clean/simple accommodations, just off downtown and budget friendly). To check the rates of other places to stay click below:

Among the best places to stay in Acadia National Park are AirBnB rentals (click here for $40 off your first stay). Acadia National Park campgrounds are another option – check the NPS site for more details on obtaining a spot. Camping near Acadia National Park is also another option – check out this camping guide.

Best time to visit Acadia National Park

This is a matter of personal preference, although the most popular time to visit Acadia is surely the summer. Fall is also quite popular due to the change of color in the trees and is considered the best time to visit Acadia due to the summer crowds being gone. Spring can be rainy in Acadia, therefore if you plan to go, be sure to bring waterproof gear.

What to Pack on a National Parks Trip?

If you’re looking for ideas on what to pack on a national park trip, check out some packing lists and gear recommendations to get you started.

Overall, hiking Acadia National Park with kids should be high on your adventure list if you enjoy the outdoors. It is one of the best US national parks for families since there are many easy hikes. Although Acadia National Park is remote, the drive and the scenery are definitely worth it when visiting the Northeast. If you are driving up from Portland Maine to Acadia National Park, check out my post: Road Trip Portland Maine to Bar Harbor.

Other Great National Parks to Visit

There are 61 US National Parks, and while we have only visited a few, check out our reviews of why they should be on your radar of national parks to visit.

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Best hikes in acadia for families cover

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10 thoughts on “Best Hikes in Acadia National Park for Kids”

  1. These trails all look perfect for families – pinning this for this summer! Thanks for sharing – and off to check out a lot of other Maine stuff you have! We did Portland 2 summers back and LOVED it

  2. We spent 2 nights in Acadia a couple years ago but spent so much time chasing lighthouses to the north, we didn’t get to explore as much of the park as I’d like. Want to go back.

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