Precipice Trail

#2 of 126 trails in Acadia National Park

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

The Precipice Trail is a difficult and very steep out and back (or loop) 1.8 mile RT trail using iron rungs and ladders on exposed cliffs providing spectacular views of Acadia National Park.

Share your experience to help other people learn more about this trail:

Write ReviewUpload PhotosUpload Tracks

Bill Watson (29973)

529 Completed175 Reviews

Hiking (climbing) on an overcast day in mid-August, the Precipice Trail was moderately busy as one of the first open days of the season. What was surprising after all the hype (forget it if you get vertigo), the strategically placed iron rungs, ladders and handholds make it less dangerous than Katahdin's Knife Edge between Pamola and Chimney peaks. We climbed up and then traveled the North Champlain trail to the Orange and Black trail on the way down, making it a great loop trail. As you are climbing, leave any hiking poles behind - they'll just get in the way. Some really cool climbing opportunities, some really exposed cliffs and a great sense of accomplishment when you reach the top. Take your time and enjoy stopping for pictures. One of the best views is the parking lot below... it gets smaller and smaller. Great workout and huge rewards for your effort... highly recommend it!

Zach Newhard (39)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful exposed views the entire climb. Very rewarding summit with ridgeline hiking at the peak. Definitely worth an early morning trip before crowds. Descend on Orange and Black Trail for parking lot.

Jess s (664)

12 Completed2 Reviews

This is by far the best trail on east coast if you like a strenuous climb, and not afraid of high. Most part of "hiking' is really a non-technical climbing with some help of handrails and ladders bolted in to the rocks. At beginning part of the trail, it is a rock scrambling with a steep vertical climb. Challenging, but very rewarding. This is a must climb trail everytime I visit the region. If you like the trail, it is closed in summer months for Falcon nesting, and opens in mid August. At peak, take north ridge trail and connect to black and orange trail, it will take you back to the lower part of precipice. The black and organ trail is also very interesting hike. Lots stairs to help you up/down the path. The whole loop is a good workout. But it is worth the effort!

Jamie Atkins (745)

26 Completed27 Reviews

Very strenuous hike. Almost more of a climb. The first obstacle is a good test of whether the trail is for you or not. You can skirt around it, but they don't get much easier. We went on a wet, cold, October afternoon. We made it about 3/4 to the top, but the fading daylight and wet, slippery rocks became too much for us. There are many places with a cable, handrail, or chain. There are also many sloping rock faces with dangerous exposed rock faces that, when wet, become a little concerning. We saw a few hikers with knee pads, not a bad idea! Great views, great adventure, great trail.

Serenity Coyne (500)

21 Completed5 Reviews

By far the best "hike" on Mt Desert Island. Not for the faint of heart. Extremely strenuous hike to the vertical ladders bolted into the rock. This trail goes straight up the rock cliff. It is closed for Peregrine Falcons in summer.

I've done this trail both in winter and fall. I did descend via the North Ridge to the black and orange trail to the lower Precipice trail. The views of the ocean are just breath taking.

A must do when in the region!!!

Jose Bubel (362)

79 Completed5 Reviews

A+ all the way. I went after a heavy rain and slippery it was. between the water and leaves made it more exciting. Highly recommended. Hiked back on North ridge Trail to the Orange and Black Path which cuts back over to the Precipice Trail. Very rewarding.

Marc Maheu (451)

10 Completed12 Reviews

I did this a little differently than everyone else that has written a review. I did the lower half of the Precipice trail and instead of doing the upper half, I took the longer Champlain North Ridge trail. This change added some distance but, Unfortunately cuts out se of the climbing aspects of the climb. The leaves were changing, the weather beautiful and the few people I met on the trail were very friendly- looking forward to getting back to Bar Harbor next summer and doing this one again.

Gail A. (791)

This is my favorite. You get a GREAT workout during the climb (note that it's a climb, not a hike), then you are rewarded with gorgeous views of the ocean. Doesn't get any better than this!

Ashley Bleimes (255)

21 Completed4 Reviews

We hit this trail early and it wasn't very crowded at all. Officially a non-technical climb, the trail is short but very, very sweet.

Heather Carr (510)

11 Completed2 Reviews

An amazing "hike". I'd categorize it as more of a climb. Very scary at times, but worth it.