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Acadia National Park - Valley Peak Loop

A steep hike leading to spectacular views of Somes Sound and the ocean. It includes a rugged section along Valley Cove between the ocean and a sheer cliff. This section may be closed in the summer due to nesting falcons. Check status before hiking.
Trail Activity
3.20 miles, Loop
Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor
Dirt/Forest Floor, 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. 

A steep ascent through the woods leads to Valley Peak and spectacular views of Somes Sound and Flying Mountain. At the summit junction, the hike continues to the right on the Valley Peak Trail as it traverses the forested edge of the peak offering only occasional views of Somes Sound until it opens up and there are impressive views from the the cliff overlooking Valley Cove. After this scenic area, the hike begins a steep, rugged descent though the forest. There is an open granite section on this descent that is not recommended in wet weather. At the next intersection, the hike turns right following the Valley Cove Trail. This trail soon parallels the ocean. In Valley Cove, it traverses the base of a steep cliff and is a rugged hike. At the southern end of the cove, a junction marks the Valley Cove fire road to the right and the return route to the parking lot.

Other Information

Somes Sound is frequently called a Fjord. Recently it was reclassified as a Fjard because its slopes are not as steep nor the entrance as deep as a Fjord.

British warships used Valley Cove for shelter and to replenish their drinking water supplies at Man O' War Brook Waterfall. The waterfall can be reached from the intersection of the Valley Peak Trail and the Valley Cove Trail, by continuing straight on the Acadia Mountain Trail. Just a short distance down the trail there is a marker for the waterfall on the right. Warning: This side trail is not maintained and may be hazardous. Trail access is to the side of the waterfall. The waterfall is seasonal and small.

For a longer hike, at the Valley Cove Trail and Valley Cove fire road junction, continue to the left on the Flying Mountain Trail to reach the summit of Flying Mountain. The Flying Mountain Trail continues down the south side of the mountain and terminates at the parking lot for this hike. The Flying Mountain Trail is 0.9 miles.

Due to the difficult terrain of sections of this trail, it may not be suitable for dogs.

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

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Trail Tips

Leave What You Find
Avoid the introduction or transport of non-native species. Use local firewood from within 50 miles and clean, drain, and dry water equipment when moving between water bodies.
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Trailhead Information

After reaching Mount Desert Island on ME Route 3, follow ME 102 right toward the towns of Somesville and Southwest Harbor. Go about 10 miles and just before reaching Southwest Harbor, turn left on Fernald Point Road. Continue on this road 0.8 miles to an Acadia National Park parking area on the left. Walk around the locked gate on the Valley Cove Fire Road. The Valley Peak Trailhead is a short distance down the road on the left.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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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.


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