Acadia National Park & Bar Harbor

Ocean Path in Acadia National Park

There is an unsurpassed scenic Ocean Path walking trail that begins at the far end of the upper parking lot at Sand Beach, and then meanders in a southerly direction along the eastern shore of Mount Desert Island for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) until it arrives at Otter Cliff and Otter Point (4 miles or 6.4 km round-trip). There are numerous excellent spots to stop and take in the fantastic sights around you so take advantage of it.

Ocean Path next to the Park Loop Road in AcadiaAbout half-way between Sand Beach and Otter Cliff, is the famous Thunder Hole. If the waves and the tide are just right, you just might get to hear the signature sound that is like thunder while still some distance away. As you arrive, you might notice the aroma of the salt air mixed with the smells from the many wild rose bushes that greet you at the entrance. Granite stairs with railings take you down to the viewing area. Below the surface of the water at the end of the inlet is a concave space. When the water pulls back, air gets into the little cave but then is trapped when the next wave comes crashing in. As the air is forced out, it creates a deep and loud “clap” like sound.

Ocean Path in Acadia National ParkNext, less than half way between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff on the right side of the Park Loop Road, is a small parking area for visitors to the Gorham Mountain Hiking Trail. This is another special place that not many people even know about. The hike is well worth it, especially for the spectacular panoramic views of the eastern coastline of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine. From this vantage point, you can see from Sand Beach to the north all the way south to Otter Cliff.

If you would like to experience a leisurely stroll in a spectacular setting, it does not get any better than this. For other hiking paths click hiking trails.

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 Parking GPS: Latitude 44.330198; Longitude -68.183998
  • Thunder Hole Parking GPS: Latitude 44.321011; Longitude -68.189330
  • Otter Cliff Parking Area GPS: Latitude 44.310803; Longitude -68.189828
  • Hulls Cove Visitor Center GPS: Latitude 44.409286; Longitude -68.247501

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