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Cross-Country Skiing in Acadia

Aimee Beal Church, Friends of Acadia Communications and Outreach Coordinator

By Aimee Beal Church, Friends of Acadia Communications and Outreach Coordinator  |

Thanks to an enthusiastic crew of volunteer groomers, and with the support of the Elizabeth R. Bright endowment, winter visitors to Acadia can enjoy some of the most scenic cross-country skiing around (dare we say anywhere?) on the park’s historic carriage roads. An agreement with the park allows groomers to maintain cross-country ski routes if new snow exceeds six inches and the road bed is frozen.

This information will help you pick a good route for your adventure. While groomers generally follow the routes illustrated on the map below, some areas within the routes listed may not be groomed. The information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge; conditions may change between the time the routes are groomed and the information is posted. You can help us keep this information current—skiing in Acadia has always been a community effort and we hope everyone will contribute! If you are out skiing and notice that conditions are different from what is listed on our website, please post to our Facebook page or contact us at 207-288-3340 or In addition, Acadia National Park posts grooming status updates to their Twitter feed @AcadiaNPS.

If you’ve never skied the carriage roads before, or if you are new to cross-country skiing, here are some tips. (Number refer to carriage road intersections, indicated in triangles on the map below.)

The flattest sections are the connector between Eagle Lake and Witch Hole Pond (6 – 4) and the west side of Eagle Lake (6 – 8). A little more hilly but still wonderful are the Witch Hole Pond Loop and Upper Hadlock Loop. I recommend doing Upper Hadlock in a clockwise direction if you’re doing it for the first time; it features a steep uphill approaching 13 – 21, but is otherwise mostly downhill. Paradise Hill (1 – 3) has great views, and will add another hill to the Witch Hole Loop. From Parkman Mountain parking to Aunt Betty Pond (13 – 11) is a long, gentle hill—but keep in mind that you’ll have a long gentle uphill on the way back! The Amphitheater has great views and takes you over a couple of Acadia’s historic carriage road bridges; the north part (20 – 21) is easier than the south part (20 – 22 – 21). Two last words of wisdom: avoid going down the Seven Bridges road (10 – 11) if you’re not comfortable turning at high speed, and Upper Around Mountain (12 – 10) is the least likely to be groomed and most likely to have bare patches and drifts.

Keep in mind that the Acadia Winter Trails Association is a volunteer committee; grooming is done at times that are both convenient and safe for our volunteers. For the first time this winter, we have regular trainings planned for our new groomers—so there’s a better chance that someone will be available to hit the trails when new snow falls. Get out there and enjoy!

PS: Are you loving the record-breaking snow on Acadia’s carriage roads this winter? Do you want to celebrate the good work the volunteer groomers do to make skiing in Acadia enjoyable for all? If so, please make a donation to support their efforts and help secure needed equipment upgrades, for more efficient grooming…which leads to better skiing for all! You can make an online donation now to help support the Acadia Winter Trails Association. Include “AWTA Equipment Fund” in the comment line. Or pick up a donation envelope at the trailhead the next time you’re out for a ski.


8 Responses to “Cross-Country Skiing in Acadia”

  1. Theresa Bertz

    Wonderful information! Thank you. I was wondering if there are suggestions for where to stay if we would like to come to Acadia to cross country ski. Are most of the inns and restaurants closed for the winter?
    Thank you so much.
    Theresa Bertz

  2. Vivian Phillips

    Does anybody know which Carriage Roads are prepared for cross country ski this Sunday 25 morning?

    • Aimee Beal Church

      Hi Vivian: I’m sorry that you didn’t get a timely reply; we’re a small organization and don’t have staff to update the website on weekends. If you don’t see current conditions on our website, I recommend also checking where we post updates with the hashtag #SkiAcadia and also ask other skiers to post about conditions they’ve observed. You don’t even have to have a facebook account to read posts, although you do have to join in order to post yourself.

      With today’s blizzard we’re going to have some great skiing coming up. Groomers won’t go out until the storm passes–looks like sometime Wednesday–and will only be packing the snow at first; setting tracks later in the week as conditions allow. More snow coming Friday! So stay tuned…

  3. deb soifer

    Are the carriage roads skiable after yesterday’s snow? Will any grooming be done before tomorrow (Sunday)? Can’t wait!!

  4. Dave Ackerson

    Thank you AWTA for doing this. I’ve wanted to ski the carriage roads since I biked them in the 80s. I’m here with record snow and really looking forward to tomorrow. I’m slightly confused by your words about Upper Hadlock where it says “it features a steep uphill approaching 13 – 21” Should that be 13 -12? I’m planning on skiing there and the amphitheatre since I really love the bridges. Thanks again, the check’s in the mail.


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