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 Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16 
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 Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Spring weather and trail conditions can make deciding where to hike difficult sometimes. Thursday however was not one of those times. With the forecast calling for 80 to 100 mph wind gusts on the higher summits up north with clouds and spitting rain, it was a no-brainer to look elsewhere, and where better to look then Acadia?! Ground conditions are 99.9% snow and ice free at the moment and the forecast called for 50s with sun and clouds and a relatively tame wind of 25 gusting to 40, so Peter picked me up at 5:30 and we headed up the coast as the sun came up.

Yes it's 235 miles from my doorstep, but it went by fast.
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... 8)
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The main goal for the day was to work on Peters Acadia list, so our first stop was the lowliest of peaks on the list of 26. It sits at the mouth of Sommes Sound on the southern part of Mount Desert Island. The trail up is very short (1/2 mile) and well-maintained, with a lot of ledge and wooden steps as its climbs a couple hundred feet through a nice pine forest to the semi open summit. Nice views of the sound, Cranberry Islands and ocean beyond from the top, and views of neighboring Valley View Peak can be had from ledges just off the trail. Great little hike to warm up on, of for kids, or just because it's there really, and you can make a nice trip down to Valley Cove and back, but with the perigrine Falcons closing down the cove area to any exploration we decided to save time and just go back the way we came. In no time at all we were back at the car and headed for hike number two after this great little start to the day.

First of many trail signs for the day
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Blue skies to start the day!
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The un-official Valley View Peak nearby
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Flying Mountain. Acadia's lowest official mountain...
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...once known as Fernald Hill
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VFTT
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Huguenot Head was next on the list, another fairly short (1.6 mi rt) hike. As nicely as the flying mountain trail was maintained the Beachcroft Trail up this one might just be the best maintained and most meticulously constructed trail in the whole park. It ascends the steep, crumbling side of the mountain but it was constructed in the rocks like a switchbacking sidewalk, so it climbs almost effortlessly with great footing and clifftop views most of the way. Even the lower section in the trees use the large slabs of stone to essentially make a sidewalk out of the trail. After crossing the top of the highest cliffs we started the "rock-whack" to the actual summit, since the trail does not actually go to it. Very simple to get to the tip top which is a large open ledge with decent views. From there we re-connected with the trail and headed down the way we came, until the last rocky outcrop, at which point we took an abandoned trail (Beaver Pond Trail I believe) to the park loop road for no real reason at all and then whacked back to the main road and the car.

Start of the meticulously constructed Beachcroft path
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Bonus views without leaves
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Views opening up and then constant to the top
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If there's a better constructed trail out there I haven't found it
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Thegibba coming around the bend
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Birds-eye view of the roadway below
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VFTT of the Porcupine Islands
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Wind and Waves on the Tarn
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Abandoned but easy enough to follow trail
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So after properly warming up and a quick lunch (anyone ever had seven layer dip Combos?? They are pretty amazing) we started out on the big hike for the day. Peter needed Day Mountain for his list, which may well be the most boring peak in Acadia, but he also needed Pemetic, which is one of the best, so our route took us up and over Day Mountain and added on some redlining to keep it fresh. The hike up Day, umm, lets skip to the next step, we hiked up The Triad, which we did a couple years ago, and found it to be no less steep when properly warmed up than it was as the first steps of the day. By the time we hit the summit it was overcast and we wasted little time taking in the limited views before heading down. The backside of the Triad trail had some of the nicest woods I have seen on the island. Nice old growth spruce and cedar forest to wander through, and we joked we would never get done with the hike if we stopped to take a picture of every tree in the forest!

Not much of interest on this trail, but the Champlain Monument is near the start
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Only real viewpoint along the way. Really quite lousy for Acadia
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Cranberry Islands from the top
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Pemetic and The Triad waiting ahead
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Peter enjoying a seasonally closed park loop road from a carriage road bridge
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Hiking up the steep Triad Trail
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Woods don't get much more enjoyable than coastal Maine spruce forests for me
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Cedar mixed in for good measure
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More lightly used than many other trails I think
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The next junction took us to the Pemetic East Cliff Trail, which as you might expect climbed steeply up the east side of the mountain on lots of rock and ledges, but nowhere near as difficult as the iron rung trails on in the park. A little slick, but we gained the Pemetic South Ridge trail easy enough and then had the pleasure of following an open, ledgy ridge for half a mile to the summit. The winds occasionally gusted enough to knock us off balance, but for the most part we could enjoy the walk once we put on the windbreakers. Half a mile of non-stop views and we arrived at the summit, lingering only long enough to take a couple pics before heading down the Pemetic North Ridge Trail. We saw the first snow/ice of the day but it was minimal, and we made our way down the steep, rocky trail a bit slower than we would have liked because of the wet spring footing, but it was a nice trail so no harm done.

A few minor scrambles on the PEC trail
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Headed up the Pemetic South Ridge trail
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Lots of small potholes along the way
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Jordan Pond area across the notch
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South & North Bubble
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Pemetic summit
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VFTT
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A windblown Jordan Pond
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Headed down Pemetic North Ridge
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Bubble Pond and Cadillac's west face
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Going down
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Bubble Pond
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Our plan was to hike up Cadillac on the West Face Trail and head back towards the car from there, but a short way up the trail we came to a series of wet ledges, one of which was soaked and looked too steep to safely descend if we had to turn around for some reason, so, we reluctantly turned back there, deciding to save it for a drier day. The most direct routes back to the car involved using the some of the park carriage roads which were closed for mud season, so we decided what the hell, lets add on a few miles of redlining and make it a longer hike! We bushwhacked (read hiked alongside 10 feet into the woods) for a bit to get to the Eagle Lake trail without violating any federal orders. The Eagle Lake trail to the start of the Bubbles Trail up Conners Nubble was about a mile and a half of boulder hopping along the edge of the lake. A lot rougher than we were expecting, but pretty flat, so we arrived at the Bubbles Trail and headed up the short stretch to the summit of Conners Nubble for the great views this little peak/outcrop provides easily enough.

Most challenging trail in Acadia that has no iron rungs to help out
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Cedar wave
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Headed up the Cadillac West Face trail we ran into some problems
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So we went back down before we got in over our heads
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Plan B also had obstacles to overcome
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Conners Nubble and North Bubble across Eagle Lake
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The Eagle Lake Trail is not as smooth as one might think
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Overlooking thegibba and Eagle Lake
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For the effort and modest elevation Conners Nubble has an impressive view
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Finally headed back to the car we climbed the Bubbles Trail, which pretty quickly became one of my favorites in the park. I think Peter had about had it with me and my brilliant idea of needing some longer "conditioning" hikes for summer and left me in the dust while I took some pictures from the clifftops along the way. The trail however had all the ledgey goodness you'd expect in Acadia and then some. Shame it wasn't on a warm, sunny day but it was still enjoyable to gaze down on the whitecaps making their way across Eagle Lake below the backdrop of Cadillac Mountain. The summit offered up some great views of Jordan Pond flanked by Pemetic on the left and Penobscot on the right. The winds however were howling to the point we couldn't even hear each other talk, so we hurried on down the other side. We came about 1/4 mile from the summit of South Bubble, but the sun was setting and we decided to save it and it's great views for a nicer day and headed down and around it instead.

Lightly used trail on the north side of the Bubbles
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Looking back at Conners Nubble and Eagle Lake
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Gibba wandering along the ledges
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Great spot for a view of Cadillac and Pemetic
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Last of our 6 summits for the day
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Nice VFTT, even in lackluster weather
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South Bubble and Jordan Pond
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Once down we followed the flat Jordan Pond Path along the lake before joining the Park Road for the Walk Of Shame, as Peter had no desire to re-climb the Triad. We figured the seasonally closed park loop road would work just as well to get us back in the dark, and we took it to the Wildwood Stable area before joining the Day Mountain carriage road and trails to get back to the car. We were there by 8:30 but since they close up town early in the off season up coffee was hard to come by and by the time we found an open Dunks in Brewer we ended up with a late return home, but Ben Franklin had a saying about such things... :wink:

Jordan Pond Path was an easy exit
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View back at the Bubbles from the Path
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Twilight Bubbles
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A few miles of walking on the closed park loop road and carriage roads was not the best way to finish a hike, but no worse than the Lincoln Woods trail
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Our wanderings for the day. The big loop was 12.8 miles with 3000 feet of elevation
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The two little add-ons brought the total to about 15.4 miles with 3750 feet gained. Not too shabby for a day wandering an island in Maine
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Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:44 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Spring weather and trail conditions can make deciding where to hike difficult sometimes. Thursday however was not one of those times. With the forecast calling for 80 to 100 mph wind gusts on the higher summits up north with clouds and spitting rain, it was a no-brainer to look elsewhere, and where better to look then Acadia?!


Isn't this like the 3rd time you've used the weather in the Whites as an excuse to do the ridiculous day trip to Acadia? :roll:
Tell the truth, this is your problem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLAlceZ2qo :lol:

I too love Acadia, but never force myself to do a day trip there. :wink: Having said all that, I am jealous as I'm itching to get there. Planning to head there for the first time a couple mid-week days in June. Cherry-Picked of coarse. I too love the Beachcroft Trail. The stone work on that trail blows me away. Much have taken 100's of hours.

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Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:44 am
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
I think I may have dropped a few marbles myself somewhere up there. Woke up at 4 am and got home at 2am. They really need to make sure there are plenty of dunks open later up there. They roll up the sidewalks at 8pm this time of year.


Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:50 am
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
JustJoe wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
Spring weather and trail conditions can make deciding where to hike difficult sometimes. Thursday however was not one of those times. With the forecast calling for 80 to 100 mph wind gusts on the higher summits up north with clouds and spitting rain, it was a no-brainer to look elsewhere, and where better to look then Acadia?!


Isn't this like the 3rd time you've used the weather in the Whites as an excuse to do the ridiculous day trip to Acadia? :roll:
Tell the truth, this is your problem.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLAlceZ2qo :lol:

I too love Acadia, but never force myself to do a day trip there. :wink: Having said all that, I am jealous as I'm itching to get there. Planning to head there for the first time a couple mid-week days in June. Cherry-Picked of coarse. I too love the Beachcroft Trail. The stone work on that trail blows me away. Much have taken 100's of hours.


Funny! But if you really want to talk about that lets discuss the guy Kathy passed going up Hale for at a minimum his 61st time. :roll:

The Whites have the worst weather in the world, so it's a convenient excuse. :wink: But yes it probably is at least the third time, and won't be the last! :D Truth be told (and Peter can attest to this) I think I'm turning into a fair weather hiker of sorts in my old age. The weather dictates where I hike more often than not. There's usually a plan A if it's nice all over, but if it's crappy there and sunny 200 miles away, well, I go 200 miles away. I've gone as far as 5 hours to the Adirondacks a couple times too for day trips and it doesn't bother me a bit, well, provided we remember the sun sets later now so maybe we don't want to stick around for it on a day hike unless it's in winter.

As for Acadia, I have never forced myself to go either. Granted at least one nights stay is preferable, but I don't mind driving 3-4 hours for a good 16 miles of hiking wherever it may be. Peter and I actually came up with a formula Thursday that as long as the miles hiked is equal to or greater than the hours spent in the car its a worthwhile trip to us (Miles Hiked > Hours Driven :wink: ) It's the same 3:30 drive for me to get there as the NH north country if I were to hike the NH200 or whatever lists people like up there but I like it much better here obviously, especially when quite in the off seasons. We have been twice this year working on Peter's list, I've got plans for at least 4 more trips in the next few months. Variety of scenery, virtually no black fly season, great sized hike for an hour or a day, great camping, fun town... All that plus this is Acadia's 100th birthday year, so I'd like to go as much as possible and celebrate. I'll probably do the same for the Whites in 2018. OK, yeah, maybe I've actually lost my marbles now!


Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:14 am
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Views opening up and then constant to the top
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If there's a better constructed trail out there I haven't found it
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Thegibba coming around the bend
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I want to go there

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Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:12 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Kathy wrote:
I want to go there


Good news...you can! :D It's only in the next state over. Actually, if you don't have plans for your April vacation week, the park (and all National Parks) have free admission from the 16th - 24th for National Parks Week. If that isn't good enough there's a 66% off shoulder season rate until May first so campsites are only $10 bucks! C'mon. You know you want to... :wink:


Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:56 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Kathy wrote:
I want to go there


Good news...you can! :D It's only in the next state over. Actually, if you don't have plans for your April vacation week, the park (and all National Parks) have free admission from the 16th - 24th for National Parks Week. If that isn't good enough there's a 66% off shoulder season rate until May first so campsites are only $10 bucks! C'mon. You know you want to... :wink:

Alright. Let's talk. I do have tentative plans for April vaca - a Bonds overnight. But I could possibly be swayed.

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Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:21 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Kathy wrote:
Let's talk. I do have tentative plans for April vaca - a Bonds overnight. But I could possibly be swayed.


Be swayed! :twisted:


Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:25 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
I love those fir areas with that nice soft looking brown path! We have not been to Acadia since 2002. Looks like we're due!


Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:04 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Beckie and Prema wrote:
I love those fir areas with that nice soft looking brown path! We have not been to Acadia since 2002. Looks like we're due!


Lets get the group site and make a Hike-NH pilgrimage to Acadia. Yahoo!! :D

Kathy wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
Kathy wrote:
I want to go there


Good news...you can! :D It's only in the next state over. Actually, if you don't have plans for your April vacation week, the park (and all National Parks) have free admission from the 16th - 24th for National Parks Week. If that isn't good enough there's a 66% off shoulder season rate until May first so campsites are only $10 bucks! C'mon. You know you want to... :wink:

Alright. Let's talk. I do have tentative plans for April vaca - a Bonds overnight. But I could possibly be swayed.


Well, if the weather cooperates you could get both in. Just saying. But we can talk. Out here in the great wide open or in a PM. Whatever works. If you have questions about Acadia I know plenty of us forumites have been enough that one way or another any question you can come up with can be answered.


Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:08 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Congrats :beer: I'll be up there in August for our annual Blackwoods stay. You guys are very ambitious...


Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:26 pm
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 Re: Early Spring Stroll In Acadia - 3/31/16
Shirehiker wrote:
Congrats :beer: I'll be up there in August for our annual Blackwoods stay. You guys are very ambitious...


Sometimes maybe a bit too ambitious. But, it is admittedly a long ride for a day trip, so you have to make it worth it. MH > HD :D Camping in Blackwoods is definitely the way to go if given a choice. I'll be there for at least a week in July. Hopefully a couple long weekends, maybe a random night or two...or three...


Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:39 pm
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