OverviewSargent Mountain is the second highest point in Acadia National Park behind the much more noted Cadillac Mountain (1528 feet). With broad, open ridges to the north and south, Sargent Mountain is much like its taller counterpart, but for one (very nice - depending on your prerogative) exception - no paved road to the top. The fact that one cannot drive to the summit leads to MUCH less traffic.
Fantastic views of Somes Sound, Cadillac Mountain with its broad ridges, the Bubbles, Eagle Lake, the Cranberry Islands, Fisherman's Bay, Northeast and Southwest Harbors abound.
Sargent Mountain definitely gets you away from the crowds. Still, with many attractive loop options that involve both carriage roads (see below) and hiking trails, don't plan to be solo (particularly in the busy summer season). Still even on the busiest of days, you can find solitude by starting early.
As a bonus, most of the loop options on the west side of the mountain pass close to "Waterfall Bridge." Of course Waterfall Bridge gets its name from a 40 foot nearby cascade. TIP: Hadlock Brook Trail crossed the brook right beneath the falls.
Getting ThereTo get to the top of Sargent Mountain, you must find your way to Mount Desert Island in Down East Maine.
Access to Mount Desert Island from Ellsworth is along Maine Route 3 and roughly 18 miles in distance. To get to the main visitors center at Acadia, continue on Route 3 towards Bar Harbor. The turn off is well marked (right turn) just before one enters the village of Bar Harbor. The visitor center has a 15 minute movie that runs every half hour with an overview of the park. The visitor center is also one of the locations to buy passed (also Mount Thompson Visitor Center and gatehouse on the Loop Road).
Just as you get onto Mount Desert Island, there will be a split in the road. Bear L to go to Bar Harbor on Route 3, bear R on Maine Route 102/198 towards Northeast/Southwest Harbors. This is where you need to decide of you want to hike Sargent Mountain from the east or from the west.
Sargent Mountain can be hiked from the east from trail heads around Jordan Pond. To access this area, take the park loop road towards Cadillac Mountain - continue past the turn off for the summit and stay on the two-way road (if you end up headed towards Sand Beach you are going the wrong way).
If it is the off season (the loop closed is closed in winter following the first snowfall) or you just want to hike from the west, there are several trail heads along Route 198 in the vicinity of Upper Hadlock Pond (roughly 4 miles from the Route 198/Route 102 split). Look for parking areas on both sides of the road.
The closest airport with commercial air service (from Boston) is Hancock County Airport - roughly 10 minutes north of Mount Desert Island on Route 3. The closest major airport is in Bangor, roughly 45 miles to the north.
Red TapeSargent Mountain is located within Acadia National Park. A 7 day pass for one (1) vehicle to enter Acadia National Park costs $20. There is no cost for entry for those on foot.
For those interested, there is a year long pass for entry into Acadia National Park for a slightly higher price.
An alternative to this fee is to ride into the park on the free bus service (called the Island Explorer) provided throughout Mount Desert Island. There is a comprehensive bus schedule found by exploring the Acadia National Park entry at the National Park Service Website.