PDA

View Full Version : A Week in Acadia August '08



mtruman
08-28-2008, 12:31 AM
Here we go with another long trip report. Tried to keep this one shorter than our STP week report but it is hard to cram in a short description of a packed 6 days...

We had another fantastic week in Acadia this year. Stayed at the Mount Desert Campground which is at the head of Somes Sound (the fiord that runs up the center of MDI) right on the water. There are about 30 waterfront sites with tent platforms – some actually handing out over the water on the rocks. If you are looking for a place to camp on MDI it doesn’t get any better than this. Very short drive to most of the trailheads for hiking and the carriage roads for biking and you can drop the kayaks in from your campsite to paddle the harbor and the sound or keep it tied up to the 350’ long float/dock that gives access at all tides. Awesome place!! More info and pics here: http://www.mountdesertcampground.com/pics.html (http://www.mountdesertcampground.com/pics.html).

We were once again blessed with amazing weather. It rained a little the day after we arrived and after that we had 5 straight days of clear blue skies and 70 degree temps with nice cool nights. We got in at least one hike each day along with either a bike ride on the carriage roads, a paddle or both!

We planned to get some new hikes in this year and hit a few of the mountains that we hadn’t gotten to in the last couple of trips but we wound up doing many of our past favorites again (and weren’t sorry that we did – I could hike these trails many, many more times and not get tired of them). The best part about hiking in Acadia is that you have nearly continuous views almost everywhere you go. You can start at the base of a mountain, hike for 15 minutes in the trees and emerge onto the first ledges which just continue to the top. It’s like hiking above treeline in the Whites all the time except that the ocean and lakes are constantly in view on the horizon (or at your feet) and you are way less exposed if the weather turns (at least in that you can get down to shelter much quicker). Here’s a quick overview of each of the hikes and "other activities".

The complete online photo album is here: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42/AcadiaAugust08

Penobscot Narrows Observatory
On the way up to Acadia we stopped at the new Penobscot Narrows Observatory (part of the new bridge to Bucksport). One of only 3 bridges like this in the world. Very cool! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Narrows_Bridge

Observatory at top of first tower
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLWrlJj0NUI/AAAAAAAAEVw/bpM5_YttJ8U/s800/080818-125512.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLWrk99gW9I/AAAAAAAAEVo/AFSdLlie5C8/s800/080818-131530.jpg

Views from the top - Bucksport and the mountains beyond
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLWrlTjsnTI/AAAAAAAAEV4/UGmr5Wspq90/s800/080818-133704.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLWrsMds3GI/AAAAAAAAEWY/MI6Ux_RFaLQ/s800/080818-134234.jpg


Cadillac Sunrise

Being only 20 minutes from Cadillac summit makes it hard to resist going to see the sun rise in the first place in the US. Getting there about 45-60 minutes before sunrise (about 4:30 this day) gives the best views. Sky is most beautiful before the sun comes up. Amazing colors this day when the sun went back into the low clouds right above the horizon 10 minutes after it came up. The pictures definitely do not do it justice - you have to be there.

Sky catching fire an 45 minutes before sunrise
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvdwsbvZI/AAAAAAAAEi4/T-GHFK6NU3M/s800/080823-045926.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvenLYffI/AAAAAAAAEjg/nYtID19nkqw/s800/080823-052036.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvfKSAd-I/AAAAAAAAEj4/qftIXUgYO3U/s800/080823-053926-1.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvfcey04I/AAAAAAAAEkI/nRzmVguGuIM/s800/080823-054202-1.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvfkCu2NI/AAAAAAAAEkg/Tyq2eHVnTv4/s800/080823-054522-1.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvgEMSyII/AAAAAAAAEkw/H4i65b3NluU/s800/080823-054858-1.jpg


Somes Harbor

The paddling in Somes Harbor is beautiful and it literally takes 5 minutes to get the kayaks in from the campsite. The harbor is protected and very smooth most of the time while Somes Sound has a nearly constant stiff breeze that keeps the water pretty rough and the paddling more interesting than we prefer in our open cockpit boats. If you hit the 60-90 minutes on either side of high tide you can paddle under the bridge across the road to a beautiful tidal inlet (which we managed to hit the timing for this year.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLYTb3APz6I/AAAAAAAAFB4/TlW32Sj5cI8/s800/070812-081020.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvZqLSBJI/AAAAAAAAEgM/GkcoEYrus3Q/s800/080821-183636.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvOJD-RiI/AAAAAAAAEZU/IFv5hmo0Mog/s800/080819-163720.jpg

Tidal inlet under the bridge at high tide
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvc1n7HNI/AAAAAAAAEiM/__NuGB8Vwm8/s800/080822-161754.jpg

Typical sunset on the cove from the campsite
http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvshf51kI/AAAAAAAAEsI/QzTzCCGTfJI/s800/080824-195114.jpg


Carriage Roads

There is no place better to ride bikes than the 50 miles of carriage roads in Acadia. Perfectly maintained and reasonable grades (even going up a couple of the mountains). The views everywhere are incredible whether in the woods or along the lake and pond shores (including the path high above Jordan Pond). We did 3 trips this year. 5.5 mile loop from Eagle Lake carriage road lot around Witch Hole Pond, 6.5 mile loop from the same lot around Aunt Betty Pond and the western shore of Eagle Lake and our favorite ride - a 12 mile loop from Jordan Pond House around Day Mountain, along Bubble Pond to the south shore of Eagle Lake and then down along the western shore of Jordan Pond. Spectacular views on this whole route and great places to stop on the shores of the ponds for snacks and lunch.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvbusH3oI/AAAAAAAAEhc/aegEMS0UcuM/s800/080822-123840.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvgTt2FDI/AAAAAAAAEk4/b4vIJnTAc6w/s800/080823-105352.jpg

(continued with hikes in next post...)

mtruman
08-28-2008, 12:32 AM
Part 2 - Acadia Hikes

Champlain Mountain

The Precipice Trail goes up Champlain east face but that's not happening with my acrophobia. Starting from Sieur de Mont Spring and going up the Beechcroft trail to the summit. Took the Bear Brook trail south from the summit for about a mile to a set of ledges looking down over the Beehive and the Bowl. Beautiful spot. Back up across the summit then down the Bear Brook trail to the loop road with a short walk along the road back to the car for about 5 total miles.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvPVzPisI/AAAAAAAAEaE/1g1T5dJU7bE/s800/080820-115948.jpg

Lots of nice steep ledge walking
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvQSJEp9I/AAAAAAAAEas/s0BEWSXAeuY/s800/080820-123256.jpg

Frenchman's Bay and the Porcupines from Champlain summit
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvQ_aOhfI/AAAAAAAAEbE/lFHsM50z4A0/s800/080820-125310.jpg

A little advertising for Seek the Peak
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvS3NLPhI/AAAAAAAAEcQ/TU_L504dV2Y/s800/080820-140556.jpg

Penobscot Mountain

This was my favorite of all the Acadia hikes (before did the complete Bubbles loop this year). Over half the route is walking over the open ledges up and down the ridges. It is best when combined with Sargent Mountain (up Penobscot, through the col to Sargent and down the Sargent East Face trail). We skipped Sargent this time because my daughter had a sore foot from cutting it on the rocks swimming the day before. Route is from Jordan Pond House up the Spring Trail and Penobscot Trail to the summit. Down the Deer Brook trail to the north shore of Jordan Pond and then along the western shore of Jordan Pond back to the start. 4 miles and 3 hours with lots of delays to soak up the views along the way. Sargent adds another mile.

Long open ridge walk after the Spring Trail
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvhY3Xv-I/AAAAAAAAElY/XgMSYvcVtt0/s800/080823-112920.jpg

Mountains reaching to the sea
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvh3pDmWI/AAAAAAAAElw/NRmXjJIEj9E/s800/080823-113854.jpg

Beautiful tarn at the summit
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvijfjjdI/AAAAAAAAEmQ/1RJGxqITQVA/s800/080823-120504.jpg

Jamie claims the summit
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvi0JBqsI/AAAAAAAAEmY/rOmdcYVEPl0/s800/080823-120646.jpg

Returning on Jordan Pond trail
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvlQtnD0I/AAAAAAAAEns/yKyFweDG208/s800/080823-134204.jpg


The Bubbles

We've done the South Bubble several times in the past and this is one of the parks most popular hikes (meaning lots of traffic). This time we took the long way starting at the Bubble Rock parking area and going south on the Jordan Pond Carry Trail to the South Bubble trail then up the South Bubble (great steep climb with a bit of fun scrambling) and over to the North Bubble then down the open ridge to the carriage road below Eagle Lake (most beautiful part of the hike). From here the trail loops up and over Connor's Nubble - a beautiful open ledge overlooking Eagle Lake - and down to the shore of the lake. From here the Jordan Carry Trail follows the shore of the lake with lots of climbing over the jumble of boulders along the shore and then back through the woods to the parking area. 5 miles and 3.5 hours at a leisurely pace. This has now replaced Penobscot as my favorite Acadia hike.

Classic view of the Bubbles over Jordan Pond
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvbUFoVxI/AAAAAAAAEhU/G2INacEH9P8/s800/080822-103804.jpg

Jamie claims the first tough scramble
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvUL74LOI/AAAAAAAAEdI/IdzY60FiMlU/s800/080821-105458.jpg

Looking over Jordan Pond from North Bubble
http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvWBKP9OI/AAAAAAAAEeA/SkZR1nOiTOA/s800/080821-115758.jpg

First views to Eagle Lake from North Bubble
http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvWxAguPI/AAAAAAAAEeg/v3DoCB--JUc/s800/080821-121152.jpg

Eagle Lake with Connors Nubble in view (to left of lake)
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvXK68ogI/AAAAAAAAEeo/DocSfTSm-is/s800/080821-121958.jpg

I didn't know that there were any swimming animals that knew how to windsurf...
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvbZ3jh_I/AAAAAAAAEhM/mBH7ZkeJIiM/s800/080822-103748.jpg


Bar Island

You can hike out across the sand bar to Bar Island right off Bar Harbor for about 90 minutes on each side of low tide. Nice trail to the high spot on the island with views back to Bar Harbor. Total hike is 2 miles and about and hour or so. Just don't stay too long and get stuck - it's a long time between low tides...

http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvZ0V4eiI/AAAAAAAAEgc/I9SJ2HG0Auo/s800/080822-073834.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvarOzPaI/AAAAAAAAEg8/YG3mVR7iyVM/s800/080822-080722.jpg


The Beehive and the Bowl

By far our favorite short hike in Acadia. Pushes my acrophobia to the limit with the narrow ledges and iron rungs/ladders to aid the scrambles up the face. This was my 4th time and it's starting to get a bit easier. Views from the top and on the way up are incredible. We always take the trail over the back of the Beehive down to the Bowl (beautiful mountain lake), along the shore and then back down the Bowl trail. Best to do this one early in the day while it is still possible to get parking at Sand Beach. Total hike is 2 miles and takes about 2.5 hours when you linger on the summit ledges and stop at the Bowl to harass the frogs :rolleyes:

The route up the Beehive - straight up
http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvqiodeEI/AAAAAAAAEqw/b1q3znYjFfI/s800/080824-122820.jpg

Assistance from iron rungs and hand rails make the scrambling more reasonable
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvmk14buI/AAAAAAAAEoc/PNe7ztRuq-4/s800/080824-110218.jpg

Jamie at her favorite leaning spot taking in the view to Sand Beach
http://lh4.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvoOhyAFI/AAAAAAAAEpE/DOX7GAKOA1o/s800/080824-110854.jpg

Champlain, Dorr and Cadillac from Beehive summit
http://lh3.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvoo7ThfI/AAAAAAAAEpc/1xLKcMAXMv4/s800/080824-112120.jpg

The Bowl is reached after crossing the Beehive
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvplLiCAI/AAAAAAAAEqE/Rd1ZC5gCGWs/s800/080824-115654.jpg

One of the local residents of the Bowl
http://lh5.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvp9UUKEI/AAAAAAAAEqM/ufMS_dKAN9o/s800/080824-115824.jpg

Lunch on Otter Cliffs with a view back to Sand Beach and the Beehive
http://lh6.ggpht.com/mtruman42/SLXvrL348qI/AAAAAAAAErA/phuZaHy-PTw/s800/080824-131212.jpg

Brad
08-28-2008, 11:03 AM
Wonderful pictures and a great trip.

donnellyvj
08-30-2008, 03:35 PM
Sweet pics. I like all the potassium feldspar.

spyboy
08-30-2008, 05:53 PM
Great shots! Looks like you had great weather.

Have you tried the Dorr Mountain trail? It has stone steps carved into it all over the place.

I've never hiked there, but I've wanted to, and after seeing your photos, I really need to plan a fall trip over there.

Kirk

KD Talbot
08-30-2008, 07:04 PM
We've been going to Acadia every few years for quite some time now. After seeing your pics and report we may be changing our October camping destination to make a return trip to Acadia.

It is such a lovely place! Easy mountains to climb, with ocean views! As you mention, it is like being above tree-line where there is so much ledge to walk on and views in every direction.

Great shots, great TR! Thanks!

KDT

Rich
08-30-2008, 07:46 PM
Thanks for sharing Mark! Great trip! The beehive is fun indeed!

mtruman
08-30-2008, 08:00 PM
Great shots! Looks like you had great weather.

Have you tried the Dorr Mountain trail? It has stone steps carved into it all over the place.

I've never hiked there, but I've wanted to, and after seeing your photos, I really need to plan a fall trip over there.

Kirk

We did the Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail a few years ago. My daughter didn't like all the stone steps because her legs were a bit short for them at that point. When she got to the top and found all the beautiful views and tons of blueberries she forgot all about the steps. The trail builders in Acadia were incredible. Not only stone steps in many areas but lots of trails that are basically paved with huge stones as well. Makes for great hiking. Fall is a great time to be there too. We went in the middle of October for our anniversary a couple of years ago and it was fantastic.

KD Talbot
08-30-2008, 08:30 PM
Interesting stuff about the iron rungs in Acadia here:

http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24884

KDT

Jimmy Legs and Little d
08-30-2008, 10:04 PM
Great report and pictures. Acadia is a special place for us too. We've been there many times since the early 90's. The hiking is much different than the Whites; more views with less effort. You mentioned that you couldn't do the Precipice Trail over the rungs and ladders. Neither did I on our first trip, I had to wait for JL at the bottom. I eventually overcame the fear knowing we were going to hike the Knife's Edge in Baxter. One of the hikes we always enjoy is on Gorham Mountain and at the top "just sit on the rocks doin' nothing." Another is a loop over Pemetic and Penobscot Mountains stopping at Jordan Pond House for lunch including popovers.....Great breakfasts at 2CATS (best homemade sausage) and a strong cup of coffee.
Now we feel that we want to include Acadia in our fall trip along with the White Mountains. Thanks Mark.
Little d

TrishandAlex
08-31-2008, 05:17 AM
Wonderful pictures. Thank you for psoting them here.

We vacationed in Acadia last year. That was where Alex and Sage got their first taste of hiking. It was truly lovely. Your pictures bring back nice memories.

KathyC
08-31-2008, 10:18 AM
Acadia is so pretty, I went ther in the mid 90's with my family. Thanks for posting the pics...

mtruman
08-31-2008, 01:02 PM
Interesting stuff about the iron rungs in Acadia here:

http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24884

KDT

Really interesting info on the method of installing the rungs and railings. They are in quite a few locations in Acadia beside the Beehive and Precipice and you start to take them for granted (and happily so when you need their help on some of the steep scrambles). The quote in this link about people doing the Precipice without them make me shudder. I know that there are many tougher, more exposed climbs that people do without that sort of aid, but for someone with my degree of acrophobia it is pretty unimaginable. I'm really working on finding a way to get past it though because I really hate to not be able to get to some of those places. Would really like to be able to do Huntington's Ravine someday...


Great report and pictures. Acadia is a special place for us too. We've been there many times since the early 90's. The hiking is much different than the Whites; more views with less effort. You mentioned that you couldn't do the Precipice Trail over the rungs and ladders. Neither did I on our first trip, I had to wait for JL at the bottom. I eventually overcame the fear knowing we were going to hike the Knife's Edge in Baxter. One of the hikes we always enjoy is on Gorham Mountain and at the top "just sit on the rocks doin' nothing." Another is a loop over Pemetic and Penobscot Mountains stopping at Jordan Pond House for lunch including popovers.....Great breakfasts at 2CATS (best homemade sausage) and a strong cup of coffee.
Now we feel that we want to include Acadia in our fall trip along with the White Mountains. Thanks Mark.
Little d

Actually it's more the fear of not having the rungs and ladders on some of the exposed spots that gets to me. As long as I can hang on I'm OK. There's just one spot on the Beehive with what is really a pretty wide ledge where there's a long drop and nothing to hold that freaks me out. How much of that sort of thing is there on the Precipice? Also curious how you did on the Knife Edge since that's one of the other places that I'd really like to do someday.

I agree that Pemetic and Penobscot would make a great loop. We did Pemetic by itself last year and really enjoyed it. Missed getting to it (and Gorham which we also really like) this year. Last year I actually got up and did a couple of pre-dawn hikes before my family was up so I could get more in. Best one of those was Nurembega which has an awesome view into Somes Sound when the sun is coming up (and of course the Cadillac Sunrise). So many mountains, so little time...

forestgnome
08-31-2008, 07:19 PM
Fantastic pictures and desciptions!!! Thanks for all the effort to put that all together and share it with us. Makes want to go there!!!

Steve M
08-31-2008, 10:02 PM
Thanks Mark,

Your photo's are great. What a perfect week!

Brad
08-31-2008, 10:13 PM
We got to Stonington and Little Deer Island today - almost to Acadia but not quite. I can see I need to get to Acadia next summer.

mtruman
09-01-2008, 06:49 AM
We got to Stonington and Little Deer Island today - almost to Acadia but not quite. I can see I need to get to Acadia next summer.

Stonington and Deer Isle as a whole are just wonderful places too. One of the best places anywhere to paddle a kayak. We rented a cottage on Northwest Harbor there a couple of times and it was one of our favorite vacation spots in Maine.

dixiemax
09-01-2008, 09:02 AM
lovely photos!

TrishandAlex
09-01-2008, 09:51 AM
We got to Stonington and Little Deer Island today - almost to Acadia but not quite. I can see I need to get to Acadia next summer.

Last year we rented a house on Deer Island and stayed there 2 weeks. It was lovely. Drove to Acadia a few times, canoed, relaxed. 'Twas wonderful.

Brad
09-01-2008, 02:49 PM
Here are my pictures of Stonington. It is a great spot.

http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet/maine/summer/2008-08-31-stonington/

mtruman
09-02-2008, 09:41 AM
Here are my pictures of Stonington. It is a great spot.

http://public.fotki.com/bradbradstreet/maine/summer/2008-08-31-stonington/

Great shots Brad. Stonington is definitely the prototypical Maine fishing village and these really show that off. Makes me want to go back...

Jimmy Legs and Little d
09-02-2008, 03:11 PM
Mark,
In reponse to your questions about the rungs and ladders on the Precipice Trail; check out kingtut99. He's a fellow hiker who writes trip reports on VFFT. He did the Precipice Trail in early august and has some great pics of the rungs and ladders to give you an idea of what to expect. As far as the Knife's Edge; after hearing all kinds of stories from different people about the difficulty of the trail and in particular the 3 foot wide section, I just made up my mind to go and do it. And it's not as bad as people make it out to be. I think it's best to see it for yourself. Basically, you are going over all sizes of rocks and boulders. There is no straight drop off the trail. If you fell, it would be a gradual tumble down the mountain; not a straight drop off. The only hard part was over the Chimney on the trail and that was a matter of finding good handholds and hoisting yourself up and over. You mentioned that you would like to do Huntington Ravine someday; that's on our plan for our fall trip if we can luck out with a good day for it. I used to be apprehensive about that one too. Not now.
little "d"

mtruman
09-02-2008, 04:51 PM
Mark,
In reponse to your questions about the rungs and ladders on the Precipice Trail; check out kingtut99. He's a fellow hiker who writes trip reports on VFFT. He did the Precipice Trail in early august and has some great pics of the rungs and ladders to give you an idea of what to expect. As far as the Knife's Edge; after hearing all kinds of stories from different people about the difficulty of the trail and in particular the 3 foot wide section, I just made up my mind to go and do it. And it's not as bad as people make it out to be. I think it's best to see it for yourself. Basically, you are going over all sizes of rocks and boulders. There is no straight drop off the trail. If you fell, it would be a gradual tumble down the mountain; not a straight drop off. The only hard part was over the Chimney on the trail and that was a matter of finding good handholds and hoisting yourself up and over. You mentioned that you would like to do Huntington Ravine someday; that's on our plan for our fall trip if we can luck out with a good day for it. I used to be apprehensive about that one too. Not now.
little "d"

Thanks for the info. The photos from kingtut99 of the Precipice are fantastic! Here's the album link: http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/565304984GQLEOl Looks more reasonable than I had expected although there are still a couple of places that still appear pretty hairy.

Sounds like I'll need to make the same "leap of faith" (pun hopefully not intended) to get myself over the Knife Edge as you did. The stories and pictures still leave a lot to the imagination. Perhaps a little "remedial acrophobia therapy" first...

Look forward to seeing your Huntington's Ravine trip report later in the fall. Hope it works out.