Acadia National Park, Maine: the perfect family hiking weekend getaway!

Written by Stéphanie Bardou

As lovers of hiking and all sorts of landscapes, my family and I are always looking for new spots to explore.

Since I have a new job and didn’t ask for holidays this summer, it was difficult for us to stay home, mostly because we are used to going on road trips.

So, we went on a weekend getaway to the Acadia National Park, which is located in Maine (as I work 1 weekend out of 2).

The Acadia National Park is located in the city of Bar Harbor, and it’s the perfect location for a weekend road trip near Quebec City.


This park has trails for every level of hiker: coastal trails, mountain trails and trails like via Ferrata for adventurous souls.

Our 2 kids were with us, so the trails like via Ferrata were not on the list, but we still had a wide choice of trails to choose from – here they are! ?

1- Ocean Path: from Sand Beach along the coastline and a straightforward hike up to Otter Point. Where you can see the Thunder Hole – impressive!

2- Cadillac North Ridge Trail: it offers you a great point of view. You can take your car, but it’s enjoyable to go on foot.

3- Saint Sauveur Mountain: it’s quite an easy trail, again with a great view. We took Valley Peak Trail to go back.

4- Beech Mountain: again, it’s a beautiful trail that took us to the other side of the park, we took Valley trail on the way back. You also get to walk aside the Long Pong lake halfway up, and it’s gorgeous.

In the end, don’t miss the Beech Cliff, a little climb to admire the beach below.

You can also go there from the beach, using a ladder, it’s gorgeous.

Then you have the Echo Lake Beach, really pretty. A good stop to rest and swim after a long walk.


5- 2 easy trails you can do at the end: Ship Harbor Trailhead, very beautiful with the coast and the Wonderland Trail. We found that the Wonderland trail wasn’t worth it.

6- We wanted to see the Bass Harbor Lighthouse, but too many cars were waiting in line to see it. Make sure to visit early morning.


7- Norumbega Mountain Trail, it’s hard at the beginning, but not impossible to hike if you use the Goat Trail (15 min climb). The rest of the trail is straightforward with beautiful points of view — a 2-hour pleasant trail.

8- Sargent Mountain: it was more technical. Lots of rock and climbing. The kids loved it.

We went through different points of view: Bald Peak, Parkman Mountain and finally Sargent Mountain. It’s a rocky trail so watch for your ankles. I twisted my ankle at 1,6 km from the end… It took us 3h25 to end this beautiful hike where you can admire every angle of Mount Desert.

9- We were disappointed we couldn’t hike the last trail because of my ankle. It’s on the list for our next visit.

My husband and the children went around Jordan Lake while I was reading. ?A very easy 1h15 hike on the lake shores.


Bar Harbor City is magnificent, and the main street is bustling. At low tide, Bar Island is accessible by foot. I like to enjoy a cup of coffee at Choco-Latte. You can also visit the Abbe Museum, dedicated to the history and culture of the Wabanaki Nations, a Native community in Maine. It’s a beautiful museum.

You also have many restaurants for lobster lovers.

Overall, Bar Harbor City is a great place for a weekend getaway near Quebec City where you can hike and enjoy the surroundings with your family.

This post was translated from French to English by:

Charlène Bessenay
I am Charlene. I was born in France but I live in Quebec City since 2007. I am a 32-year-old married mom of 2 (a boy and a girl), a part-time student (translation) and also a hockey mom 😉 I decided to go to university at 31 because I love foreign languages and I needed a new challenge. I love food and wine (I’m French you remember 😉 ), I have a very long travel bucket list and I practice Zumba and Yoga.

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