Sand Beach is a gorgeous little beach (290 yards long) nestled between mountains and rocky shores on the east side of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. Access is provided via the Park Loop Road just south of the entrance fee station in Bar Harbor, Maine. The beach is largely comprised of unique sand of shell fragments created by the pounding surf. The waterline can vary quite a bit because of the difference between high and low tide. The photo above shows this range by the wet area on the beach sand.
Be ready to tighten up if you venture into the water. The ocean temperature rarely exceeds 55 degrees in the summer. Children don't seem to mind much but there is a lot of spontaneous squealing when the water hits them! Adults, will do the same but its often followed by laughter and exhilaration. There is approximately one half a cup of salt per gallon of water. Changing rooms and restrooms are located next to the parking area. The Island Explorer Shuttle Bus stops here about every half hour during normal seasonal daytime hours.
There is a popular hiking trail that begins here then loops around the land called Great Head that juts out into the sea on the further side of Sand Beach. If you walk to the end of the beach you will see granite steps at the base of the cliffs. This trail, ranked moderate, is called the Great Head Trail and is well worth the hike. It meanders up the side of the granite with several spots that offer unique and spectacular views of Sand Beach with The Beehive in the background as shown in the photo to the right.
At the far end of the upper parking lot is the beginning of a beautiful Ocean Path that follows along the coast approximately 1.5 miles (about 3 miles roundtrip) all the way to Otter Cliff and Otter Point to the south. Part way in between is the famous Thunder Hole where, when the tide and waves are just right, you may be able to hear a sound like thunder as the waves crash into a small unerwater cave. If you would like a leisurely stroll in a spectacular rocky Maine coast setting, it does not get any better than this. The Park Loop Road follows in this same direction but it is one-way.
Weddings in Acadia National Park: Visit the weddings section for information about having a wedding ceremony within Acadia National Park or elsewhere on MDI or nearby villages and towns.
Sand Beach GPS for Parking: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998
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