Acadia National Park - Precipice Loop

Rising over 1,000 feet in 0.9 miles, this climb requires physical and mental strength. It is a rugged, non-technical climb with open cliff faces and iron rungs. It is not recommended for small children, people with a fear of heights, or in wet weather.
Trail Activity
3.10 miles, Network
Bar Harbor
Not Permitted



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 Precipice Trail begins with a traverse of rugged talus slope. A wooden bridge and occasional iron handrail allow climbers to traverse narrow, exposed ledges. At the junction with the Orange and Black Path, the Precipice Trail continues to the left. Several series of long iron rungs and ladders lead up the open, vertical cliff face. Upon reaching the summit of Champlain Mountain, climbers are rewarded with impressive views.

Descending the Precipice is dangerous and not advised. Return on the Champlain North Ridge Trail. This is a moderately steep descent on open granite. At the next junction, in 0.6 miles, turn right onto the Orange and Black Path (turning left will take you onto the Champlain North Ridge Trail and to a small alternate parking area on the Park Loop Road). There are several steep sections, so care is advised. At the base of a stone staircase, the Orange and Black Path splits. A right traverses the steep slope of Champlain's East Face and intersects with the Precipice. For an easier return to the parking lot, turn left and continue down to the Park Loop Road. A right on the loop road leads back to the parking lot. Watch for traffic.

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

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

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Leave What You Find
Leave the trail work to the pros: they will add or remove blazes, cairns (stone trail markers), structures, and trail improvements as deemed necessary.
Hide All

Trailhead Information

Starting from ME Route 3, turn off at the Hulls Cove Entrance to the park and the beginning of the Park Loop Road. Follow the Park Loop Road 2.8 miles before turning left onto the one way section toward Sand Beach. The trail begins at the Precipice parking lot, approximately 1.5 miles past Sieur de Monts Spring.

During the busy summer months, leave your car at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and take the Island Explorer Bus.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
j.r. libby
July 04, 2017
Nice trail but unless you're experienced in climbing, walking along very narrow cliffs, and climbing ladder rungs, you should avoid this trail. A number of people have fallen off the narrow cliffs and been killed.
These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine!
Hang Tight!
Nearby services are loading
No Results
No Services Found

Trail Alerts

Annual Peregrine Closure
March 15 – August 15

These cliffs and surrounding areas are used by Peregrine Falcons, a state-listed endangered species, for nesting and rearing young fledglings. Peregrine falcons are very sensitive to disturbance near the nest site. To protect the peregrine chicks, certain areas are closed when the peregrines are nesting, generally from March 15 to August 15. Check your hiking route to make sure that the trails you wish to use are open. Acadia closures are listed here.


Add Trail Log

Please wait…
Join In on the Fun!
Log in or create an account below to unlock all the great features of Maine trail finder: keep track of trails you want to do, preserve memories of trails you’ve done, earn badges, and more!
Your log in attempt was not successful. Please try again.
    Lost your password? Reset your password
    Don't yet have an account?
    There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.
      * Indicates required field
      Already have an account? Login here
      Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account.
      There was an issue with your submission. Please try again.

        Success! A new password has been emailed to you.

        Log in now

        Please wait…