Dog-Friendly Hikes: Acadia National Park
May 28, 2019
Acadia National Park might be my favorite summer spot and what do you know...it is also very dog friendly! Dogs are allowed on over 120 miles of park trails, in 3 campgrounds (Blackwoods, Seawall + Schoodic) and on the free shuttle. Plus areas surrounding the park have a variety of dog-friendly establishments and an epic off-leash dog park for freely frolicking in the balsam-scented sea air!
Since summer season is upon us, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite dog-friendly hikes in this popular Maine park. To help you judge whether your dog is up for Acadia, Ollie, my Boston terrier, had no problem with any of the trails I'm mentioning. But please use your best judgement when taking your dog out on the trail.
Please note: Leashes are required and you must pick up after your pooch.
Great Head Trail - Length: 1.7 mile loop - The views from this short but sweet trail are so lovely. We like to start and end this trail via Sand Beach. On the far eastern side of the beach is the trail head and the beautiful cliffs you're headed up. Note: in the summer months dogs are not allowed on the beach so use the other trail entrance instead - listed in the link above. The loop takes you out and around the point, over pink granite outcroppings and through pine forests, giving you stunning views of The Beehive, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs and the gorgeous rocky coastline. Wear sneakers/hiking shoes and bring a water bottle.
Cadillac Mountain North Ridge - Length: 4 mile out and back - Ahhh…Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the eastern coastline. Get ready to feel the burn on this trail! It is well worth it though – pine forests, pink granite and the feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top. The360 degree views of Mount Desert Island don't hurt either. Sturdy hiking boots are a good idea and bring plenty of water, you and your dog will need it. OR you can always drive to the summit ;)
Schoodic Point + Pennisula - Length: as little or as long as you'd like - On the far eastern side of the park is the Schoodic Peninsula. If you're looking for a quiet spot to romp around the rocky coastline, peer into tidal pools or watch the surf, this is where you must go. There's a new campground on the peninsula that is dog-friendly and it is easy to get around by car, bike or foot. And best of all, you'll have the place to yourself.
With another 110+ miles to explore, if these trails don't suit your fancy, you are bound to find one that does! Remember to always bring a map, water, first aid kit and snacks whenever you head out on the trail. Pack out what you bring in, stay on the marked trail and have fantastic time exploring this beautiful part of the country!
Not sure about traveling with your pet - jump to my tips for pet-friendly travel.