Acadia National Park - Beech Mountain South Ridge Loop

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This hike traverses a forested valley before ascending Beech Mountain, where there is a fire tower and views of Long Pond, the western side of Mount Desert Island, the ocean and outlying islands.
Trail Activity
2.10 miles, Loop
Southwest Harbor
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge



This is a busy trail system, especially on weekends between 9AM-4PM. Consider visiting outside of peak periods. Use Maine Trail Finder to identify other nearby trails. If the parking lot is full when you arrive, please choose another trail. 

The Valley Trail begins on the south end of the parking area and is an easy walk through a mixed forest. The hike continues straight past the Canada Cliff Trail junction. The next section of trail is often referred to as the "Grotto" because of the steep cliff face rising to the right and the large boulders the trail weaves around. After leaving the "Grotto," the hike is fairly level with a more open forest. At the next junction continue right on the Beech Mountain South Ridge Trail. Stone steps lead to a view south. Further up the ridge there are views of Acadia's mountains to the east. The summit of Beech Mountain, at 839 feet, offers panoramic views. Here there is an old fire tower which is closed. There are two ways to return to the parking area. The most scenic is to take the Beech Mountain Loop to the left. It provides views to the west overlooking Long Pond as it descends to the parking lot. The Beech Mountain Loop Trail also continues straight from the summit, but could be considered less scenic.

Other Information

The original Beech Mountain fire lookout was in use from 1941 to the mid-1950s. It was a wooden building constructed by men from the Civilian Conservation Corps camps on Mount Desert Island. When it started to deteriorate, a new steel tower was flown in and erected at the top by 1962. This is the tower that remains today. It was manned during the day sporadically, but usually only during high fire danger times. The last time a park ranger manned the tower was in 1976.

Geocaching is prohibited within Acadia National Park; however, the park does sponsor an EarthCache Program for those seeking a virtual treasure hunt!

Trail Manager

Visit Acadia National Park online for more information or contact:

National Park Service, Acadia National Park
PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone: (207) 288-3338

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Minimize Campfire Impacts
Follow the Maine Forest Service fire regulations and check the current fire danger level before you go camping.

Trailhead Information

Starting from ME Route 102, continue south through Somesville. Turn right at the blinking yellow light following signs to Beech Mountain. Turn left on Beech Hill Road. The road ends at the trail head parking area.

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