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 Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Location: Exeter, NH
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 Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
Last spring we were snowed on in Shenandoah. I can get that without driving 500 miles, so this year we took our annual spring weekend away and headed back to Acadia. Friday afternoon we left the kids with the grandparents and headed up the coast, arriving in Bar Harbor at dusk. After checking in I convinced her to go on a night hike. Convinced might be the wrong word, as she puts it, it was just easier to say yes than listen to me beg! :D So after checking in we changed and walked out of the hotel and through town to Bridge Street where the Bar Island Trail begins.

The lights of Bar Harbor and Bar Island (the biggest one) at dusk as we arrive in town
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The 3 mile route from the Bar Harbor Grand to the summit of Bar Island and back
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The trailhead
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The first "trail" was Main Street :D
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West Street and Bridge Street brought us to the Bar Island Path
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I had checked the tides before we left home and had this in the back of my mind since low tide was at 10:45 that night, giving us the perfect 3 hour window to take the trail across the sandbar to the lookout ledges at the top of the island. I thought it would be nice to sit up there and look back at the island. My wife however had never been for a night hike before and was just a little scared of the pitch black island, even though the lights of town were always in sight across the bay and we've done this hike a few times in the past. It sure did quicken her pace though, and in no time we had made it the 3/4 of a mile across the sand bar and to the top of the island. There was no moon out and there were some high clouds, so it was really dark but starry night pictures weren't so great because of the clouds. I took a few anyhow and some of the lights in town before we headed back the way we came. 3 miles round trip from the hotel with a couple hundred feet of easy climbing. A nice walk through a quiet town to an even quieter deserted island. Just a little hike to start off the weekend, but a different take on a familiar one, so I thought I'd throw up a little report.

Headed across the sand bar at low tide. The long exposure with the lights from town make it look much brighter out than it was
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My wife was too nervous to stop and take many pics on the way up but the lights of town were always visible through the sticks
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The 173 foot high summit under high clouds and stars. 9th highest Atlantic Ocean island high point in the US
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The bright lights of downtown Bar Harbor
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Looking at the stars over Mt. Desert Island
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The sandbar we crossed on in the bottom corner
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Looking back as we re-cross the sandbar
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The skies clearing up, which led to a brilliantly cloudless next day
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A dirty lens, but you can see the island across the bay from town as we head back to base camp
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Tue May 03, 2016 8:59 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
Wow! What a great idea! Beautiful!


Tue May 03, 2016 9:41 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: Lakes Region, NH
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
Cool and i dont blame her for being nervous, i would to. I love how deserted it is there, i bet the licals have a love hate thing with tourists. Now isnt that farvbetter than silly ol va!


Wed May 04, 2016 2:14 am
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
hiking lady wrote:
I love how deserted it is there, i bet the locals have a love hate thing with tourists.


Yeah. They hate the traffic, love the money. 8)

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Wed May 04, 2016 7:18 am
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Peak Bagger
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
That's so romantic, really!!


Terry


Wed May 04, 2016 9:18 am
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
Far FAR better than Virginia, at least in my book.

I'm glad someone other than me thought it was romantic. Could you pass the word onto my wife?! :D She was pretty much scared stiff the whole time. Said it was the scariest hike she'd ever been on. But then the next day said that about the Beehive too. Hopefully her comfort zone is growing so we can do more night hiking in the future.


Wed May 04, 2016 9:33 am
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
There's something a bit intimidating about the chance of being "stuck" on a island because of the tide. I get why she was scared. A lot of night hiking seems scary. Sunrise hikes are a little better, since you know the light will be around eventually. Night hikes, if something goes wrong, means many hours in the dark. I say this as one of the cautious hikers out there. Less chance of ending up stuck on a trail, being a cautious.

It's good though that she has someone experienced with her! That should help some.

It's a neat island and would be fun to explore more in depth. There's some history and places further in that you can explore. I think there's suppose to be a neat rock ledge that was used for theatrical performances and dances back in the day. There was a farm there at some point.

Gorham is a great "night hike" for a sunrise. It's a beautiful spot to see Sand Beach below, not crowded like Cadillac and the trail has a gentle rise to its summit.

We'll be in Shenandoah at the end of May for our vacation instead of Acadia this time. :D Will let you know how it is down there.


Wed May 04, 2016 10:32 am
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
Pirr wrote:
There's something a bit intimidating about the chance of being "stuck" on a island because of the tide. I get why she was scared. A lot of night hiking seems scary. Sunrise hikes are a little better, since you know the light will be around eventually. Night hikes, if something goes wrong, means many hours in the dark. I say this as one of the cautious hikers out there. Less chance of ending up stuck on a trail, being a cautious.

It's good though that she has someone experienced with her! That should help some.

It's a neat island and would be fun to explore more in depth. There's some history and places further in that you can explore. I think there's suppose to be a neat rock ledge that was used for theatrical performances and dances back in the day. There was a farm there at some point.

Gorham is a great "night hike" for a sunrise. It's a beautiful spot to see Sand Beach below, not crowded like Cadillac and the trail has a gentle rise to its summit.

We'll be in Shenandoah at the end of May for our vacation instead of Acadia this time. :D Will let you know how it is down there.


I hope your Shenandoah trip goes smoother than this! :(
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8438

The island has some neat history. I've only seen the summit views and the remains of the old home at the first spur trail that some guy from PBS owned at one point. The sign says keep out/private but it is now part of the park and free to check out. Must have been a heck of a view at one point. I've thought about going over on a nice day as the tide comes in and stranding myself there for 8 hours to explore. One of these days...

And Gorham makes a great full moon hike too. Most of it is so wide open you don't even need a headlamp if you let your eyes adjust.


Wed May 04, 2016 11:28 am
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
I wouldn't have had problems with it being at night, it does sound romantic in your situation (NOT in mine, considering it's my daughter I hike with). I've done night hikes both planned and unplanned. My problem would have been this, "Honey, are you SURE you have the tide timings right?" Non-romantic version of this was years ago when we went to Good Harbor in Gloucester and that little island had Prema's name written all over it. Did not want to get stranded!


Wed May 04, 2016 8:01 pm
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 Re: Bar Island Night Hike - 4/29/16
The clouds almost look like an aurora in some of those photos. This is a really cool idea, I'll have to keep it in mind next time we head up. Just have to make sure you time those tide just right :D Awesome pics, you really have a knack for these night time photos.


Wed May 04, 2016 8:40 pm
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