Debate was heated for every hike on our panel’s list save one—this one. “Any trail in Acadia National Park beats all other coastal trails in New England,” says Mike Fox. “But let the tourists have Cadillac Mountain. Head to the West Ledge Trail instead.” This short and steep out-and-back winds up 1,071-foot Bernard Mountain for 3.2 miles, starting at Western Mountain Road. You’ll traverse exposed ledges overlooking the Gulf of Maine, Seal Cove Pond, and the seaside towns of Bernard and Bass Harbor. Go left on the South Face Trail at 1.1 miles, and in another half-mile reach the summit. Follow the overlook sign to a log bench and your own ocean-view property.
Driving From Somersville, take ME 102 7.6 miles south to Seal Cove Rd. Turn left and go .5 mile to W. Mountain Rd. Turn left and go 1.3 miles to the trailhead, making a left, then a right at the two forks on the way.
Contact (207) 288-3338, nps.gov/acad