Acadia National Park - Beech Mountain West Ridge to Valley Trail

A climb up steep ledges rewards hikers with a fire tower spectacular, with a more gentle descent down on switchbacks through the woods.
Trail Activity
Hiking Snowshoeing
2.50 miles, Loop
Southwest Harbor
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge
Permitted on leash



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 trail begins with a pleasant, mostly flat, stretch along the eastern shore of Long Pond. After 0.3 miles, the trail crosses a path to a cottage on the shore and by the end of a driveway; please respect the neighbors and stay on the trail. Soon after the trail crosses a brook then begins to ascend up the mountain. The rocky steps up through deciduous forest slowly evolve into partially treed ledges, with some views of Long Pond behind. Just under a mile from the trailhead there is a junction, the way to the right leading 0.1 miles to the summit.

There is a fire tower at the summit, on which hikers may ascend the metal steps to the first balcony. There are view of Somes Sound to the east, Southwest Harbor below, and out to the Cranberry Islands and open ocean to the south.

The loop continues from the summit on the South Ridge Trail. The trail, after a short steep descent from the summit, travels through the woods and over ledges until it begins to descend more steadily, utilizing switchbacks, through the woods. After 0.8 miles the South Ridge Trail meets up with the Valley Trail. To the right, the Valley Trail leads through the woods with a gentle descent 0.7 miles back to the parking lot at the south end of the Long Pond.

Other Information

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

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared to find your way home. Familiarize yourself with the area before you set out and bring your map and compass along.
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Trailhead Information

From ME-102 in Southwest Harbor, head west on Seal Cove Road, 5.7 miles south of the stoplight in Somesville, and 0.6 miles north of the village of Southwest Harbor. Go 0.6 miles on Seal Cove Road then take a right onto Long Pond Road. Go 1.2 miles to the end of the road, where there is limited parking at the south end of Long Pond. 

The trailhead for the west ridge of Beech Mountain on the right side of the parking lot by the pond.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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