Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mountains of Acadia

Atop Beech Mountain

Our last day in Acadia National Park was one of contrasts. We walked across tidal pools and climbed two of the smaller mountains in the park.

We started in the morning for the western part of Mount Desert Island driving to the bustling town of Southwest Harbor. Southwest Harbor is a nice town. I thought it much nicer than Bar Harbor since the throngs of tourists are absent. Yes we were there but we are not much of a throng though the boys attempt to be sometimes. There is a very good bakery, a nice grocery store and the library is wonderful.

From there we drove along route 102A to the natural seawall and explored the tidal pools. They were filled mostly with snails and kelp. Driving on we stopped at the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse one of the most picturesque lighthouses in Maine. The highlight for the boys was climbing the huge rocks and watching a lobsterman pulling up his traps, emptying them and sending back to the depths.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

A Lobsterman Checking His Traps

Next stop was Echo Lake where we had lunch. After lunch we climbed Beech Mountain. The trail from Echo Lake is called Canadian Cliffs. It is a ladder trail which means that there are ladders fastened to the cliff face to help your ascent. Once at the top we took the Beech Cliffs loop for some great views. Coming down the ladders was the hardest part of the trail.

Joe and Ned Ascend a Ladder

The Canadian Cliffs Trail

Atop Beech Mountain

A Camouflaged Grasshopper Cannot Escape Joe

After this climb we were ready for, another climb. This time we went back to the eastern part of the island to tackle the Beehive. Not as challenging as the Precipice trail which climbs 1058 ft Champlain Mountain to the north the Behive at 520 ft is a great hike. The Behive is a ladder trail up the southern face. There are no ladders on this trail but iron rungs pounded into the granite cliff face to use as handholds and footholds. The boys loved it and I had to call to them to slow down.
We came down a trial that goes around the back of the Beehive by a hidden pond called the Bowl. The trail was laden with blueberries (note the "was") and the pond had beaver lodges and many frogs.

At the Start of the Beehive Trail

Our Goal the Beehive

Up the Side of the Beehive

Taking a Rest on One of the Ladder Sections

Don't Look Down!

The View From the Top

Blueberries on the Trail

After a late dinner we went to Sand Beach to partake in Stars Over Sand Beach though we left before it was over since it was late and we had to break camp in the morning to catch our ferry in St John.

Acadia National Park is as beautiful and glorious as remember it from 20 years ago when I last visited. Bar Harbor and the park was much more crowded though we were there at the height of the season. There were many things we didn't see or do like biking on the carriage trails but that only means we will have to come back and spend more time. One thing is for certain I am not going to wait another 20 years to return and Mary is coming with me.

1 comment:

mary.skiver said...

Wow, these pictures are amazing! Of course that's because you did some amazing things that day. I am glad that I was NOT there on the ladder climbs- that looks like it was hard work. But I would have liked the blueberries!