Autumn Wandering In Acadia - 10/23/16
I've been trying for the last few weeks to get up to Acadia for some foliage hiking. Well, it didn't work out, but yesterday I had a chance to shoot up the coast for the day and see what was left of it while working on some redlining. I left at 5 am with raindrops falling, but with the promise of sun from the weathermen, and 3h 29m later (a new personal best time
) I was entering Acadia National Park. The whole way there the leaf drop was almost 100% and what hadn't fallen was brown and being blown off by the steady 20 mph winds. Mount Desert Island however was still clinging to some faded colors, so while well past prime there was still some nice golds with red and orange sprinkled in. I parked at the closed for the season North Ridge bus stop where the Kebo Brook Trail starts and headed out.
Raindrops as the Maine Turnpike picks my pocket
Some rusty colors still hanging on 3 hours later
The trail pretty much hugged the underside of the park road for a while, with some decent color in the woods and a mosaic of colorful leaves carpeting the forest floor. Nothing much to see but needed the first half mile for the red line so I warmed up as I made my way to the Gorge Path. I then took that briefly to the Hemlock Trail, another red line on the map, which led me to the Hemlock Road. Continuing on to the Sieur De Monts area where I quickly wandered the maze of trails quickly in the Wild Gardens, most likely looking like a crazy person to the tourists examining the different plants and habitat displays.
The sun trying to poke through as I hit the trails
Gorge Path crosses under this bridge
Surprisingly few hemlocks on the Hemlock Trail
The Hemlock Road had more
Wall to wall carpeting
Spike was out enjoying the brisk autumn air in the safety of the park
Jesup Path's boardwalk
The Wild Gardens of Acadia. Yes I wandered each and every trail section. It was actually both informative and educational
Everything is labeled clearly
From there it was off to the Tarn where I took Kurt Diederich's Climb up. Kurt must have loved steps, because this one is full of them, but minimal views. Lots of steps though. Oh, did I mention the stone steps yet?? It climbs steeply on masterful stonework and in half a mile intersects the Schiff Path. I decided against making a loop over the summit of Dorr Mountain. Dorr Mountain has a lot of trails on it's cliffy east face and I had mapped out a route ahead of time to finish up the missing links in just two more hikes so I started down on the Schiff and Homans Paths (more red ink) which turned out to be some of the best trails of the day. Again more stone steps and stonework like all the trails on the east face of this mountain, but plentiful views and some really interesting sections climbing down through cracks in the rock, under boulders and around steep drops on man made plateaus. Nice views of Bar Harbor, the Porcupine Islands and a birds eye view of Great Meadow among other things. Foliage was golden in most of the viewing area and blueberry bushes added some bright red, so not bad for past peak at all. Now, having hiked 3 of the 4 trails up the east face of Dorr I feel fairly certain I know what Emery Path will have for me when I get there. Steps!!
Up up and away!
...and yet more steps
The Schiff Path provided some views
Route 3 winding along
Great Meadow, Porcupine Islands and a cruise ship in port
Descending Schiff Path
A surprisingly neat trail with impressive stonework
Views were frequent too
Pretty quickly I was back at the bottom and finished up my mapped out route by grabbing a few straggling pieces of the Great Meadow Loop and Kebo Brook Trail for the red ink. The sun started to come out as I neared the car and it looked like the weathermen might be right for once. I hopped in my car, grabbed a sub for lunch (a bonus of hiking in Acadia. If you choose to do a series of small hikes you can grab meals in between and carry less snacks and water than on one big day hike!
) before driving to the west side of the island for hike #2.
Dare to be different
Hemlock Road, without a hemlock in sight
Stocking up for winter
Crossing Kebo Brook
Blue sky arriving for the afternoon??