This is the most challenging and well known hiking trail in Acadia National Park with an exposed and almost vertical 1,000 foot climb up the east face of Champlain Mountain. The trail is only recommended for physically fit and experienced hikers who have no fear of heights. The Precipice parking area is at the base of the Precipice cliff on the east side of Mount Desert Island about 1 mile north of the Schooner Head entrance fee station on the Park Loop Road (before arriving at the entrance station). We suggest that you do not hike this trail alone and that you verify weather conditions before the climb.
The Precipice hiking trail has many rungs and ladders along the trail's length and is approximately 1.6 miles/2.6 km round trip. It can be closed late spring through mid-August due to the returning and endangered peregrine falcons that nest here so check with the National Park Service on this. Often, during this time, (Monday through Friday) there will be a Park naturalist at the Precipice parking area leading discussions and allowing people to view the falcons through a telescope. Watch for this on your right as you travel south on the Park Loop Road.
In 2006, there were a series of earthquakes that caused many rockslides on Champlain Mountain. As a result, the Precipice and the East Face Champlain Trails had to be closed until necessary repairs to stone staircases, iron rungs and handrails, and tread sections could be completed. The Precipice was reopened on August 16, 2007 whereas the East Face Champlain Trail was not opened until the summer of 2008.
National Park Service
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone: (207) 288-3338
Park Headquarters GPS: Latitude 44.374423; Longitude -68.260078
Precipice Parking Area GPS: Latitude 44.349485; Longitude -68.187919
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