Acadia Mountain is an excellent 2.6 mile loop on the quieter Western side of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. It took me about 3 hours but there are options to shorten or extend your hike as you wish. Parking for the trail head is well marked on Route 102 driving into Southwest Harbor. Shortly after beginning the hike, you’ll turn left to follow the Acadia Mountain Trail (Left goes to Saint Sauveur Mountain) and you’ll encounter your first set of many granite steps.
The trail climbs to the 681′ peak pretty quickly, and although my heart was pumping hard, I was surprised to reach the summit so quickly after only 0.6 miles. The view of Somes Sound and the ocean beyond it is absolutely fantastic. You could turn around here, making it only a 1.2 mile hike there and back, or continue on the loop as I did. If you continue, you’ll be rewarded with that view of the water almost the entire way as you descend the mountain. There are a lot of boulders on this section of the trail that may be difficult for some to traverse. Clockwise direction is definitely the way to go so that you’re not scrambling up those boulders and so that you don’t have your back to those views!
At 1.3 miles is a sign for a viewpoint. This short trail takes you down to where the Man of War Brook meets the ocean. I was hoping that would be an actual waterfall but I was disappointing to find that it was just water trickling over the rocks into the ocean. It is August though, so maybe it would be more impressive in the Spring when there’s snow melt and more rain.
Shortly after this detour, at 1.5 miles, you reach a trail junction. A sharp left would take you on the Valley Cove Trail which was closed for repairs at the time due to unsafe conditions. If you go straight, you could make this a longer loop hike by climbing up Saint Sauveur Mountain, which I’ve heard also has beautiful views, but I decided to save that for another day and turn right to follow the traditional Acadia Mountain loop back to the trail head. This part of the hike was the only boring part, as it’s a dirt road surrounded by woods, but it’s flat & easy so you’ll be back to your car in no time.