Winter Recreation

Acadia’s carriage roads offer the perfect setting for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Ski tracks are laid down by Acadia Winter Trail Association volunteers on sections of the carriage roads when snowfall exceeds six inches—nearly 32 miles (51 km) are designated for grooming when conditions and time permit.

Visitors may also cross-country ski on unplowed park roads, but beware that snowmobiles are permitted to use most of these unplowed park roads.

Skiing on hiking trails is not recommended because of the uneven and steep nature of trails, ice falls blocking the path, and trail routes obscured by snow.

Ski equipment and rentals are available in local communities. You can learn more about Winter Recreation opportunities and closures on the Acadia National Park website.

Winter Safety Tips on Trails & Carriage Roads

  • Hike with a friend. If you hike alone, let someone know your itinerary and your expected return time. Cell phones do not have signal in all areas of the park.
  • Daylight hours are short, and the sun sets quickly. Begin early in the day, allow extra time, and be prepared with a headlamp and extra batteries.
  • Deep snow may obscure trail blazes or markers. Up-to-date maps, a compass, and knowledge of how to use them are essential. Do not rely solely on a GPS.
  • Dress in layers and always bring along extra clothing. While you are exercising, add or remove layers to stay comfortable and minimize sweating. In Acadia, weather can switch from snow, to ice, to rain and back to sunshine in a very short time. A waterproof outer layer is essential. Wear a wool or poly-base layer next to your skin instead of moisture-retaining cotton. Hypothermia can occur in temperatures well above freezing and become serious if you get wet and chilled.
  • Eat and drink frequently. Dehydration hastens the onset of hypothermia. Do not underestimate the amount of food that you will need. Snowshoeing for example, burns about 600 calories an hour.
  • Turn around or find another route if ice conditions make travel unsafe. Strap on ice cleats or traction aids for boots are recommended.
  • Stay alert for the signs of hypothermia or frostbite. Wind chills on open peaks and ridges can quickly become life-threatening. Know the symptoms and how to counter or treat them before you set out.
  • If you are not experienced in winter activities, consider initial outings in areas that you are familiar with or consult someone who is experienced and familiar with the area and local conditions.
  • On groomed ski trails please follow the user guidelines to avoid damaging tracks or causing conflicts.