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Beginner’s Guide for hiking with Kids in Acadia National Park

Hikes for kids in Acadia National Park

We are really lucky to live in close proximity to Acadia National Park – there are many hikes for kids. My love for hiking flourished by spending summer and fall days in the park and I have been working to foster that same love of the outdoors for my son.  While he started out as a reluctant hiker, he has come a long way in the past few years as his legs grew longer and endurance made longer hikes possible.

The key to picking the perfect hikes for kids is in just the right distance and interesting features along the way.  The hikes listed below are some of my favorites for kids of varying ages.  On this list, you are bound to find something for your hiking crew, regardless of age and ability. Enjoy this summary of hikes for kids.

Great Head Trail

1.7 Miles Roundtrip– This hike is great for children who have less endurance and are somewhat reluctant to climb.  This loop off of Sand Beach takes you along granite cliffs where there are sea roses and gorgeous views of the Atlantic and then into the woods and then back into the grassy dunes by the beach.  While this hike is relatively easy because there is no elevation gain, use caution as you walk along the cliffs.

Gorham Mountain

 2.6 Miles Roundtrip- This is the perfect hike for beginners.  It’s gradual ascent and gorgeous views make it the perfect hike with nice rewards.  You can make this hike a loop by starting at Sand Beach and then looping back on the Ocean Path which takes you past Thunder Hole and back to Sand Beach, two of Acadia National Park’s key attractions.  Kids will love the big rewards of a picnic lunch and swim at the end of this loop.

Beehive and the Bowl

1.4 Miles Roundtrip- Another hike that starts out at Sand Beach and features choose your own adventure style options which makes the hike even more interesting for your little friends.  You can make this one easy for those who are afraid of heights by taking the Bowl Trail to connect to the Beehive trail and summit and then down to the Bowl.  The Bowl is a glacial tarn in between Champlain and the Beehive and is a fun feature for kids to check out the fish and leeches that live in the tarn.  If you have more adventurous kids in your group, head up the Beehive’s steep cliffs and ladders and then down to the Bowl.  Head back to Sand Beach for sand and surf afterwards!

Beech Mountain

1.5 Miles Roundtrip- On the quieter side of the island, this hike because is relatively easy and short and features a fire tower at the top and views of Long Pond.  Check out Acadia National Park’s calendar for when the tower has its open house so you can climb all the way up to the top.  For an added bonus, head up the Beech Cliffs trail for nice ledges and views of Echo Lake, this spur is .8 miles roundtrip.


1.4 Miles Roundtrip- Another quiet side hike for kids, this is one of my favorite hikes in the park.  It is flat and short.  Walk along the gentle granite and gravel to a quiet beach.  Here you can beachcomb, bird watch and enjoy the tide as it comes and goes.  This is a great place for picnics and finding driftwood. Have you hiked any of these trails with kids? Do you have any recommendations for hikes for kids? We’d love to hear about it!  If you’d like to read more about adventuring with kids, check out this post about camping with kids. Want to read more about hikes for kids? Check out our friend Aislinn’s book – it’s great! Wishing you blue skies and seas! Willow & Dresden – @hikerlad207 Top 5 Hikes for Kids in Acadia National Park