This is probably one of my favorite hikes of all time! Our family traveled to Acadia National Park in Maine on our Northeast Road Trip in the summer. Although we were only there for 2 short days and the weather was foggy, the Ocean Path Trail was one of the most spectacular sights I’ve ever seen. There are many things to do in Acadia National Park and hiking Ocean Trail is one of them. Visiting Acadia National Park is one of the best things to do in Maine with kids. Check out my other post if you would like a general overview of some of the best hikes in Acadia for families. Here is my review on hiking the Ocean Path Trail – one of the best hikes in Acadia National Park.
To get to the Ocean Path Trail, you need to go through the Acadia National Park entrance (which requires a $30 fee). Take the Park Loop Road and park at the Sand Beach lot. There are many parking spots along the side of the road too, but they are usually full. Another option is to park at the Visitors Center and take the free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus. Many people prefer taking the shuttle because parking can be a nightmare in the middle of the day in Acadia National Park. We opted to drive and got lucky with a spot along the side of the road at 3 pm.
Once we parked, the Ocean Path trail was pretty easy to find, as it is a groomed pathway along Park Loop Road. There are numerous “side adventures” you can take off the main path. This was our favorite part because you were able to explore and climb these beautiful granite rock formations and then see the Atlantic Ocean.
We ventured and scrambled onto a few different viewpoints along the Ocean Path Trail. The kids loved the scrambling part! We made sure there was one adult at the front and one at the end, to help a child in case they struggled or just to give a helping hand. My son was 9 and my daughter was 7. They absolutely had a blast with this hike! While my husband and I wanted to sit and take in the views, all they wanted to do was climb!
The entire Ocean Path Trail is 2 miles to the end (Otter Cliff), and then 2 miles back to your car. We took about 2-3 hours walking, exploring and soaking in the views. If you plan to visit Ocean Path Trail, you can walk as far as you like and then turn back whenever you have had enough. It is considered an easy trail as you are just following Park Loop Road along, yet off the main
To date, this has been the only trail the kids did not complain on. They are usually whiners and always want to take breaks and sit. However, the hiking the Ocean Path Trail with kids was a hit! The children were pretty sad to be leaving Acadia National Park for the day, but it was time for dinner and the visibility was getting worse by the minute.
Ocean Path Acadia with Little Ones or Elderly
Technically you can bring a stroller on this hike as the main section on Park Loop Road is paved. However, a stroller is not possible on many of the “side adventures” due to the rock scrambling, stairs or descent/ascent. I would be hesitant to take a toddler on this hike. There are many areas where the ground is unstable as you are walking down to the vistas and eyes/hands must be kept on them at all times (it is a long way down if someone falls). The same would go for elderly or those with mobility issues… they can surely walk the paved section as it is quite flat, yet some of the side adventures may be too rocky and unstable. However, for school-age children, this is a must-do hike when visiting Acadia National Park.
Acadia National Park Hiking Trails
To me, the best hikes in Acadia National Park are ones with views, and that is all you get when you hike Acadia. Click here to check out our Bubble Rock hike, another family favorite trail in Acadia National Park. For a unique hike to an island in downtown Bar Harbor, click here for our review of the Bar Island Trail. You can also click to read about our next road trip stop in Portland, Maine.
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