Monday, August 5, 2013

Hiking in Acadia National Park, Maine

The weather looked okay, so we decided to take a longish hike to four peaks in Acadia National Park – the hike proved to be fun, entertaining, and wet! 

There is no official name for this hike, it was more a conglomerate of intersecting trails that took us to four peaks in the park.  The hike started along one the carriage roads in Acadia. What is a carriage road? Well, in the golden age, the Rockefellers and others in the same socio-economic status enjoyed this area and created roads that were the width of carriages (the ‘ole horse and carriage). These days, the roads are used for miles upon miles of biking, hiking, walking, horse, etc… trails and their quite lovely.

We finally found the trail marker for the first leg of our hike (to Parkman Mountain, elev.  941’ via Bald Peak, elev. 974’).
The hike was not one of those where ya just follow a tail – there were markers (blue rectangles) on trees and granite, 
 


as well as cairns.
   


The hike was a bit of a scramble – there were a lot of giant steps and maneuvering around large boulders, walking along granite and traversing rock piles. 
 



In Acadia NP, dogs are actually allowed on the trails, so it was cool to bring Zoey along on the hike. In fact, since she pretends she’s a husky when we hike with her (pulls a lot), sometimes we’d have to let go of her leash since she’s pull us down the rock slides. Invariably, she always found the easier route up or down, than Brad, who always went first. Suzanne leaned to follow Zoey!
  



We did have nice views – this is of Somes Sound, the only fjord in the lower-48. As you can see, we didn’t enjoy clear blue skies.
 


At some times the hike was long granite rocks, other times in a forest. Question – do you think Brad is just standing there enjoying the view?  Or is Brad watering the forest?
   


Here’s another view of Somes Sound~
   




And some more views along the trail~
   
 




 
As we arrived at each destination, there was a marker with the various route options one could take.

A family picture at Bald Peak~

 


It was a short 0.3 miles to Parkman Mountain, but it was one of the steepest descents over granite so it took a bit of time.
   


Like we said before, there were many interconnected trails in this area. We continued along towards Gilmore Peak (elev. 1036’). Here’s another crossroad post with various peaks and trails –
   
and this was posted below – seriously – try to read it,











like hikers won’t be bothered by the fact that the maps we follow (and yes, we had purchased a trail map and referred to it a lot on this hike) have different names than the trails themselves! Seriously! 










It was a quick stop at Gilmore Peak where we enjoyed some peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
 

and we continued along to our final peak destination – Sargent Mountain (elev. 1,373’) where we heard there were beautiful 360-degree views. 
However, when we got there, the rain was crashing down on us, the wind was blowing hard, and all of our 360-degree views looked like this:

 




It is not the first time in 20-years together of hiking that we’ve hit some rain (even hail), but it was the first time we hit such a downpour, wind and cold in an area where there was no place to seek shelter – we were on an open-faced granite dome and to continue our hike, had to walk about half-a-mile. We even donned our $1 emergency rain gear – also about 20-years old!






We continued our journey (and the skies cleared) along Sargent South Ridge and allowed Zoeyto be  completely off-leash since she was tired (she’s a runner) and there was nothing to distract her and cause her to run (squirrels, rabbits, small animals that are fun to chase). She definitely enjoyed her freedom! And it was much easier to hike without her pulling us along the way, especially on wet rocks.

 
 



We joined the Hadlock Trail, walked along a stream,
 


passed by two cool bridges and a waterfall once we arrived back to the Carriage Road, and about five hours later, dry again except for our boots & socks, arrived to the truck with a wet and tired dog.
   


All-in-all, a great and fun hike – a definitely when in the area (if a moderate to strenuous hike is in your plans) and one we’d do again when back in Acadia National Park.

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