Posted on May 28, 2022 and last updated on May 28, 2022

Schooner Head Path, Acadia National Park


  • Preserve Size: part of Acadia National Park
  • Trail Mileage: ~2 miles one way
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: Woods, wetlands

For a trail that hews closely to a road (Schooner Head Road), Schooner Head Path is pretty nice. For one, it is wheelchair accessible (although parts do get a bit narrow). It’s packed gravel and flat. Depending on where you start, at Jackson Lab’s driveway, off Schooner Head Road, or at its technical start near Dorr Point, it’s roughly 2 to 2.5 miles one way.

For most of the way, you walk through a deciduous forest, until you get to the intersection of the Precipice Trail. At that point, the landscape changes as you pass a wetland. Continue on the path and, after passing another marshy area, you’ll make a bend inland at the only point the trail strays a bit from the road.

Not for long, though! After a short time in the woods, the path crosses Schooner Head Road before ending at the Schooner Head overlook and parking lot. From the lot, you can do a short and steep walk down to the sea along a fairly decayed path of old pavement. The path first comes out on a bluff overlooking the sea before continuing to the raggedy rocky shore.

One fun thing to do as you walk along Schooner Path is to explore an unmarked trail that makes a small oceanside detour. You’ll see it across the road, if you’re walking north-to-south, at roughly 0.7 miles from Jackson Lab’s driveway. A small pullout big enough for one car marks the start of the trail. It is mostly easy, except for a little scramble to an amazing cliffside view of the rock Thrumcap, smothered by sea birds! The trail also brings you to remnants of an old property and to a cobble beach. The path loops through the woods before re-emerging onto Schooner Head Road, where, again, you’ll see stones from another old foundation.

Schooner Head Path is connected to Compass Harbor Trail. You’ll see the gravel path across the road from the trail’s start near Jackson Lab’s driveway off Schooner Head Road. (This little stretch between Compass Harbor and Schooner Head Road is, I believe, technically still Schooner Head Path.)

Directions: The best place to pick up the Schooner Head Path is to pick it up close to the Jackson Laboratory driveway that comes out onto Schooner Head Road. There’s a big shoulder for several cars. Or, you can park at Schooner Head overlook and walk north along the trail.

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