Acadia National Park - Ship Harbor Trail

An easy trail over varied terrain to a rocky shoreline.
Trail Activity
Accessible Adventure Walking Snowshoeing
1.30 miles, Network
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. 

Ship Harbor Trail forms a figure-8 loop. Bearing right at each junction leads along the shore of a narrow, picturesque cove. After passing along a rocky headland (watch carefully for blue blazes on the rocks), the trail turns right and continues through a thick spruce woods. A right at each intersection leads back to the parking lot.

The first 0.1 mile section of trail that connects to the figure-8 loop, and then another quarter mile of the trail to the left at the juction, have a surface of hard-packed gravel, suitable for strollers, wheelchairs, and those with mobility challenges. This 0.3-mile accessible section leads to the junction at the center of the figure-8, where there is a view of the inner harbor and mudflats. There is a informational sign at this location describing the flora and fauna of the mudflats environment.

Other Information

Why the area is called Ship Harbor is not certain. It might have been possible, at one time, for small ships to seek shelter in the cove. This trail is popular among birders. Along the coast you may see: common loons, common eiders, great blue herons, black guillemots, ospreys and eagles. The inland forest provides shelter for warblers, kinglets, and other songbirds.

At low tide, the rocky headland has numerous tidepools. When exploring the tidepools keep these safety tips in mind.

  • Never turn your back to the water.
  • Explore as the tide is going out.
  • Be gentle with tidepool creatures.

Dogs are allowed on the trail on a six foot leash.

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

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Use common sense. If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.
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Trailhead Information

Starting from Southwest Harbor, continue on ME Route 102 through downtown. Just past the town, turn left on ME-102A. In 3.6 miles the Ship Harbor parking lot is on the left.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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