Free Things To Do in Acadia National Park
- #8View all PhotosfreePrecipice Trail#8 in Acadia National ParkHiking, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDHiking, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
The Precipice Trail is one of the most rewarding hikes in the park, as long as you have the guts to attempt it. The challenging, 2-mile round-trip path has visitors scrambling up the side of Champlain Mountain by iron rungs and ladders fixed to exposed cliffs, all for a scenic summit and unparalleled view of Sand Beach.
Unfortunately, the trail isn't one size fits all. Recent travelers warned that the trail isn't well-suited for visitors who are afraid of heights. If you're on the fence about whether you're up for the challenge, reviewers suggest you first try tackling the Beehive Trail – a strenuous but shorter trail on the park's east side. And to avoid being stuck behind fellow hikers, start your climb early.
- #10View all PhotosfreeOtter Cliff#10 in Acadia National ParkSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
Another classic stop along the Park Loop Road, Otter Cliff is a giant 110-foot-high granite precipice with one of the most breathtaking ocean views on the East Coast. Be careful not to fall off the ledge as you burst through the spruce trees that cap the precipice. In the summer, you'll see adventurous rock climbers scrambling up the granite and whale pods spouting off the shore. In the fall, giant flocks of ducks gather here in the waves before migrating south for the winter.
Recent visitors said a stop here is a must for the views alone, but they also point out that Otter Cliff is much less crowded than some of the park's other top spots like Sand Beach. Travelers said the lack of crowds made their visit especially peaceful. Otter Cliff is accessible via Park Loop Road year-round and is located less than a mile south of Thunder Hole. If you're already at Sand Beach, you can take the Ocean Path all the way to Otter Cliff (and pass Thunder Hole along the way). You can also get here via the free Island Explorer shuttle (Route No. 3, Sand Beach/Blackwoods, stops here). If you decide to drive, you'll find a parking area across the road from the cliff. From there, you'll see granite steps leading to the cliffside.
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