Ship Harbor Trail, part of Acadia National Park, is an easy dog friendly hike in Southwest Harbor, Maine. This 1.3 miles figure-eight loop located on the "quiet side" of Acadia, skirts the rocky coastline and winds its way through forest. The first loop is an easy hike on a gravel surface, perfect for paws not accustomed to hiking or those simply looking for a scenic walk. If you continue to bear right at the four-way intersection, the trail then takes a second loop over rocky ledges and uneven terrain with tree roots and narrow wetlands bridges. Both trails loop back through dense forest. On the day we visited we chose to bear right making it one big loop. Ship Harbor Trail tends to be less crowded than more popular hiking destinations at Acadia National Park, while still offering quintessential views of the Maine coastline. It is also a great place for birdwatching and tide pooling, but as always please be respectful of the wildlife who call this area home.
Dogs are allowed on-leash. Please be respectful of the delicate flora and fauna by staying on the trail. There is a small designated parking area, and roadside parking is also an option. To extend your visit, Wonderland Trail is located just down the road, and offers a very easy hike for dogs who want to explore the Maine coast. Also nearby is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, which is worth a quick visit to snap a photo or two of your dog by this scenic landmark.
Please Note: Acadia National Park passes are needed to access Ship Harbor Trail from May through October, but are not available for sale at the parking area. To purchase a park pass please visit the National Park Service.