Friday, August 23, 2013

Bar Island and Cadillac Mtn

Every trip to Bar Harbor we checked the tides, pick a time, and cross the sand bar to Bar Island.  Every time there's always a little question about whether or not we'll get down from the top of the island to the sand bar, before the tide comes back in.

Well, this year, we missed it!  From the scenic overlook at the top of the island, we looked back at the sand bar and saw it was getting very small.  We ran down the trail and come out of the woods to see that dreaded site - the sand bar was (mostly) covered by the tide!  Since the water was only about a foot deep, it certainly wasn't a serious problem, and it made for the most memorable Bar Island trip ever!

Later in the day, we planned a hike up Cadillac's North Ridge Trail, followed by a pick-up at the top.  This is only about a 2-mile hike up, and I was looking forward to it since I hadn't hiked Cadillac in years.  Alas, it was not to be (for me).  I was tying my boots at the house when Owen bumped into an 8-foot-tall, 100-pound, wood-framed antique mirror.  Turns out it wasn't secured to the wall, and it tipped over.  Owen was at the bottom and wasn't hit at all, but the wooden frame landed right on top of my head!  I had a dent and a lump, and decided not to hike and risk more swelling.  Kristan and Sean ended up hiking Cadillac, and afterwards I ended up in the emergency room to get it all checked out (just a flesh wound!).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Acadia Mtn and Echo Lake

We decided to sample some of the west-side attractions, so we hiked Acadia Mtn today. It was a short climb with OK views of Somes Sound. I recall better views from St. Saveur Mtn. Trails weren't "perfect" like most others we hiked this week, but that made it a little more interesting.

The best part of the outing was discovering the trail down to Echo Lake after the hike. It's a short walk from the parking lot down to the lake, but there isn't a beach, just a "cliff". Still, the kids loved it, jumping right in. It's really a beautiful lake, and we all want to go back next year and spend more time swimming and relaxing there. 

The worst part of the outing was lunch, usually my favorite part!  Again, we wanted to try some west-side attractions, so we ate at the Cafe Dry Dock in Southwest Harbor. From the hostess to the waitress, the service was careless and slow. The food was mediocre too. I rarely have bad things to say about restaurants, but we won't be returning here. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Asticou Terraces, Thuya Garden, and Eliot Mtn

This was really hard to find. Eliot Mtn isn't even on some maps!

Best parking was along Rt. 3, east of the junction with 198 and the Asticou Inn. We parked at the Asticou Azalea Garden, a very zen Japanese-like garden with parking on 198, just north of the Rt. 3 jct. 

It was nice walking thru there, but it was a bit long of a walk along Rt. 3 from there to our real first destination, the Asticou Terraces. I liked the groomed terrace trail very much, again very Japanese-like in the trails, terraces, and little structures on the paths. 

We flew thru the Thuya Garden, but it did seem very nice. Continued thru to the real path up Eliot Mtn.  It was a nice simple hike. Not much for trail markers and it was heavily wooded, so no idea how far to the summit was at any point. Not much for views either, due to the trees and the low mtn height, but it was a nice hike, esp. with the start (or end) in the Asticou Terraces. 


Went up the steep Beehive trail today. Wasn't sure the kids would like it, but Sean and Owen loved it. Ethan was not thrilled about it, but did it to stay with everyone else. 

Went over to the Bowl afterwards, which is actually our first time ever going there. A nice pond, but nothing special other than just being a remote alpine pond. 

Walked down the Bowl Trail, which was still a little steep but pretty easy. 

This was a great hike, although it's tough with the parking and crowds at Sand Beach. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Champlain Mtn

Hiked the Beachcroft trail up the west side of Champlain. Parked along Rt. 3 south, on the right, just past the Sierre du Monts park entrance. Walk a tiny bit south and cross Rt. 3 to find the trailhead. 

The first half is all stairs and then some flat rock along the cliff edge. It feels like you're reaching the top after 30-45 minutes, but it's a false peak! (Actually, it's called Hugenot Head.)  You have to go down a notch and then up to the real peak. 

It's a great hike, but it's twice as long as it looks at first!  At the top, views of Dorr and the harbor are great.