Ocean Drive > Gorham Mountain Trail > Bowl Trail > Ocean Drive

View from Gorham Mountain Summit


It was our first morning in Acadia in September of 2011. We had planed a vacation with our friends with whom we vacation ed the year before. We expected a burst of foliage for the long weekend, but were a bit disappointed to find it completely green when we awoke. We could not complain, however, as the temperature was headed towards an unseasonable 80 degrees. First on our list was Gorham Mountain as we thought it would be a good warm up for the weekend and would have lovely views.

Walk Along Ocean Drive

The walk to the trail head is a mostly flat walk along a sidewalk. This sidewalk goes along Ocean Drive which is also called Park Loop Road. This can be accessed from many of the parking lots and you can enjoy a beautiful stroll of continuous coastal vistas. We took this walk as far as the trail head which was across the street at a parking lot south of Sand Beach at Monument Cove. You may want to note that the road is one way here. We crossed and continued our 2.5 mile trip over Gorham Mountain Trail back to Sandy Beach. The 2.5 miles started at Sandy Neck parking lot and ends there.

View of the coastline alng the park loop road Looking down the cliff to the shore The marker at the begining of the trail


Gorham Mountain Trail

The only wildlife we saw on the entire trip was in the parking lot before we hit the trail head. We found a tiny black snake with a bright yellow band around its neck. Upon further research, I found the snake to be named the obvious: Ringneck Snake. They live in the north and in Canada and can be found on the edge of a forest. This was the first time we had ever seen one and have visited Acadia many times. The ringneck snakes are only a few inches long, so perhaps we have passed them many times and overlooked them.

The first and only wildlife we saw on our trip: a tiny snake Typical Acadia cairn marking the trail A little ground foliage The real summit has a signpost


The hike up to the elevation of 525 feet was not a huge challenge. It was pleasant and rocky in that typical Acadia fashion that we love. There was a little foliage along the ground cover on this day, but normally in the fall in September you would see the colors on fire at the park. Little did we know that before we left our vacation, the colors would be at their peak.

Something worth noting is the false summit and the true summit. We thought we were at the top and many hikers were lounging around like it was the summit. It looked like a summit. It was missing two things: the highest point of the mountain, and the marker pointing out that it is the highest point of the mountain. We continued on for a very brief amount of time to hit the true summit were few people were lounging around.

The Hike Back to the Car

Rather than hike back the trail we came up, we continued on the ridge line trail to the north and dropped right no the Bowl Trail back to Sandy Beach Parking lot. The trail down was not very difficult and just a little slow going over the rocks which is our favorite part. Along the way we could look up at the long line of hikers on the very exposed Precipice Trail above and wonder if we should some day try that trail as well.

Boulders on the path down the Bowl Trail Our first fall foliage A trickle of cold water runs across the trail


We parked at the Sandy Beach Parking lot and walked along the sidewalk that follows the coast until we got to the parking at Monument Cove.