By Robert Earle Howells

Sargent Mountain Loop

When to Go: May to October

Round-Trip: 5.5 Miles

Level: Moderate Day Hike

One of the charms of Acadia is the way subtle human “improvements” work with the park’s thick spruce-fir forests, rugged mountains, and steep cliffs to make it all accessible—and just a bit thrilling. Such is the case with this undesignated trail loop that rises from the park’s most civilized venue, Jordan Pond House (elevation 200 feet), to the wild summit of Sargent Mountain (1,373 feet). En route you skirt Jordan Cliffs and East Cliffs by way of constructed steps and fortuitously placed iron rungs, making the hike possible, though far from easy. The reward is a three-coastline view of Mount Desert Island and an inland vista that extends to distant Baxter Peak and Katahdin.

Insider Tip: Cool off with a brisk plunge into Sargent Pond on your way down from the mountain.

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