On Mother’s Day when I was growing up, my mom always wanted to go for a hike or outing to celebrate. She loves to be outside, and I’m so glad she shared that gift with us. So on my first Mother’s Day, I’m super psyched that I get to pick a place where we all get to go on a little hike to celebrate, both our family and how wonderful it is that spring is finally here. In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a list of some of my favorite places to go on Mount Desert Island (and thanks to the lovely Aislinn Sarnacki who extensively covers great places to hike in Maine in her blog).
If you have a wheelchair or a stroller
I’d head to Jordan Pond Nature Trail, which is a 1-mile walk on a compact dirt surface with views of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles. According to Maine Trail Finder:
The Jordan Pond area is an excellent place to appreciate Acadia’s glacially carved landscape. As glaciers moved through the area thousands of years ago, they created “U” shaped valleys, and long finger lakes and ridge lines which run north and south.
My runner-up recommendation is any of the carriage trails along Eagle Lake. We did this walk with a few friends last year when Lissie was about a month old in the “mall” stroller (not the jogging stroller) — and it was fine. As far as I could tell, we could either walk 6 miles around Eagle Lake or turn around and head back to the car earlier, which is what we ended up doing.
If you have young children or an older parent
The Wonderland Trail is an easy hike with a wide path, on the southern tip of the island, past Southwest Harbor.
The ultimate family adventure, Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park is an easy hike through a whimsical habitat of granite and twisted pitch pines. The trail ends at the perfect playground — beaches covered with sand and seashells, seaweed gardens and tidal pools.
It’s lollipop-style loop that’s about a mile long, and is wide enough to accommodate a large stroller or a few adults walking side-by-side.
My runner-up recommendation is the top of Cadillac Mountain, which is where I take any out-of-state visitor. We went there with my father-in-law and his wife two days before I delivered. I remember driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain when my family took a vacation here when I was 10 and thought “Maine is the best place in the world.”
If you’re a momma of fur babies
One of my favorite places to hike in Bar Harbor is on Bar Island. It’s a great place to take a dog, as it’s a moderate ascension and there are lots of places to frolic and play on the beach.
To get there, you need to time your trip with the tides, as the land-bridge to the island is only accessible during low tide. Don’t get caught in the tides!
If you have older kids with a lot of energy
Try Beech Mountain. There are several variations up to 2.4 miles long. For my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party last spring, we did this hike and it was so much fun. The fire lookout at the top is the best.
Now, I did this hike 8 months pregnant, and it was tough. But I am a tough chick. 😉
If you are an adventurous mom
Beehive. I love this hike.
The top is one of the best views on the island, but it involves some crazy vertical climbing on rods hammered into the granite. WEAR GOOD SHOES. Aislinn has a description of the hike and how awesome (and challenging it is) at her blog, here.
And those are my favorite hikes at Acadia! I can’t wait to go there this weekend and start putting our annual pass to use. Aislinn has written about a ton of hikes on Mount Desert Island and all over the state. Check out her awesome map for more ideas —
And if you have a favorite Mother’s Day hike or tradition, share it in the comments. 🙂