Thunder Hole

#9 in Best Things To Do in Acadia National Park
Thunder Hole picture1 of 3
Thunder Hole2 of 3
A. J. Whitney/Getty Images

Key Info

Park Loop Road

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.8

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

A raucous natural phenomenon, this semi-submerged cave booms an hour or two before high tide. Waves fill the cave in such a way that the slapping is as loud as a thunderstorm – hence the name – and water can spray as far as 40 feet, so wear a poncho if you want to stay dry.
To catch the big boom, there's an element of luck, as well as timing. Recent travelers said the best time to visit is when the tides are changing. Visitors also warned that it can be difficult for those with mobility issues to enjoy since the rocks can be uneven. However, those who can't make the descent can still see and hear the waves. If you venture outside of the viewing platform (which includes a railing and level steps), walk carefully; the rocks will likely be wet and slippery. When you're not admiring the spectacular show, take a moment to take in the views: you'll spot Schoodic Peninsula in the distance, Sand Beach to left and Otter Cliff to the east.
Thunder Hole is on Park Loop Road, just south of Sand Beach. This is one of the park's more famous attractions, and it can get crowded, especially in the summer. If you don't want to drive, you can hop on the Island Explorer shuttle (take Route No. 3), or you can hike. Starting at the Sand Beach parking, there's a nearly 2-mile-long trail called Ocean Path that hugs the coastline, bringing you south toward Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff.

A raucous natural phenomenon, this semi-submerged cave booms an hour or two before high tide. Waves fill the cave in such a way that the slapping is as loud as a thunderstorm – hence the name – and water can spray as far as 40 feet, so wear a poncho if you want to stay dry.

To catch the big boom, there's an element of luck, as well as timing. Recent travelers said the best time to visit is when the tides are changing. Visitors also warned that it can be difficult for those with mobility issues to enjoy since the rocks can be uneven. However, those who can't make the descent can still see and hear the waves. If you venture outside of the viewing platform (which includes a railing and level steps), walk carefully; the rocks will likely be wet and slippery. When you're not admiring the spectacular show, take a moment to take in the views: you'll spot Schoodic Peninsula in the distance, Sand Beach to left and Otter Cliff to the east.

Thunder Hole is on Park Loop Road, just south of Sand Beach. This is one of the park's more famous attractions, and it can get crowded, especially in the summer. If you don't want to drive, you can hop on the Island Explorer shuttle (take Route No. 3), or you can hike. Starting at the Sand Beach parking, there's a nearly 2-mile-long trail called Ocean Path that hugs the coastline, bringing you south toward Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff.

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