Precipice Trail at Acadia National Park is not your average hiking trail. If you are looking to do something a bit more adventurous (and you’re not afraid of heights), this would be one of the National Parks trails to put on your list. Precipice Trail has a nearly 1,000 foot vertical climb in less than a mile which entails bouldering, using rungs & ladders and making your way across narrow exposed ledges with steep drop-offs. You know you are getting yourself into something a bit more strenuous than a regular hike when the sign at the Precipice Trail reads:
Caution. The Precipice is maintained as a non-technical climbing route, not a hiking trail. Attempt this route only if you are physically fit, wearing proper footwear, and have experience in climbing near exposed cliffs and heights. Allow three hours for a round-trip climb. Avoid this route during inclement weather or darkness. Stay on the trail and do not throw or dislodge rocks onto hikers below. Persons have received serious injuries and others have died on this mountainside!
You will see how true this is with the video below (it will get your heart beat up just watching)
As the video and warning sign make clear, you definitely want to check the weather forecast before attempting to climb Precipice Trail. It’s also pretty obvious that you need proper footwear as non sturdy hiking shoes would not only make the climb uncomfortable, it would also make it quite dangerous. This is also a hike that looks to be much safer with a partner than alone.
Precipice Trail is definitely on my “to do” list when I manage to get to Acadia National Park. Be sure to check whether or not Precipice Trail is open because it does close temporarily during peregrine falcon nesting season from March 15 – August 15 (Precipice Trail may be opened earlier if the peregrine falcons are not nesting on the cliff, as determined by the park wildlife biologist). While the trail looks like a challenge, the reward is a beautiful view (photo courtesy of scudsone)
and a climbing story that you will surely enjoy telling to your friends and family.