Posted on December 29, 2022 and last updated on March 22, 2023

Northeast Harbor Trails, Mount Desert Island


  • Preserve Size: Not sure
  • Trail Mileage: ~6.5 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Sights: forests

These are moody trails in mossy, cool, and shaded forest. The paths are narrow and wind around the surprisingly hilly area. I imagine the most common users of the trail system are those who live in some of the nearby homes, which you will get peaks of as you explore the area.

You will also get peaks of the labyrinth of pipes that make these homes livable! They are threaded overland through the forest.

The trails are easy to follow and well-signed. You can find a map here. Near the water vista, there is a short trail leg that emerges at a “vista” with a bench. On the day I visited, it was too foggy to see anything, unfortunately!

Expect some hills and stone stairs, and roots and rocks along the narrow paths. The flattest, easiest, and widest path is the Bridle Path.

Compared to the busy and popular park trails, this trail system offers solitude and quiet; you may even have it all to yourself. My two favorite trails are Cliff Trail and the Golf Course Trail. Cliff passes below sculptural rocks, a bit reminiscent of the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock! The Golf Course Trail includes a sturdy footbridge over a pretty waterfall. The trails connect to the national park and the trails up Norumbega Mountain and around Lower Hadlock Pond.

Directions: There are several places to park and even more places to access the trail system. According to the official map, you can park off Route 3 across from Asticou Gardens; in the public lot in Northeast Harbor off Route 198; or at the Golf Course club house. Additionally, you can leave a car at the lot for Brown Mountain off Route 3 and walk in via Hadlock Pond Road.


Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!