Wednesday, August 20, 2014

St. Saveur Mtn

Following up on a similar hike from last year, we headed our to Sommes Sound and Southwest Harbor. We started with lunch at "Jay Dub's", enjoying some pretty good hamburgers. 

Then, we drove back up the road to the parking lot for Acadia Mtn, St. Saveur Mtn, and Echo Lake. Instead of Acadia, this year we hiked St. Saveur. The trail is quite overgrown in places, but it's pretty easy and has lots of fun boulders to climb over. There is literally no view from the top, so take the Valley Peak Trail from the summit. It's a loop, so you can go either direction. This gives you some views of Sommes Sound, but I recall better views from Acadia Mtn last year. 

We finished with a dip in Echo Lake again, which was the real reason for coming over here. The cool-but-not-cold crystal-clear waters are amazing!  Next year, we should get the Park pass before visiting and park over at the official Echo Lake Beach (or take the bus), and also try hiking Beech Mtn. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

South Bubble and Penobscot Mtn

We took advantage of the free park shuttles again today, first getting dropped off at the South Bubble. We've done this hike a dozen times, although this time we basically ran down the mountain. That was fun, although it was largely driven by needing to catch the next bus!

Had some wonderful popovers at Jordan Pond House, and then headed up Penobscot. We split up for the ascent, with only Sean, Owen, and Jim taking the Jordan Cliffs, and Kristan and Ethan taking the South Ridge. The Cliffs were fun, but they're not for everyone - some people ahead of us had to turn back.

We all took the south ridge down the mountain, and even that has some bridges, ladders, and steep stairs. All in all, a great hike!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dorr Mountain

We originally planned to park at Sieur de Monts Spring, walk along the Tarn Path, and then climb up the ladder trail.  Lack of parking at the Spring forced us to park south of the Tarn, and head straight up the Ladder Trail.  This put us right into a strenuous climb, albeit up nicely groomed stairs.  After the stairs there are some small ladder sections to get through, and then a nice easy stretch up to the summit.

From the summit, we started back down the way we came, but then turned off to the left on the Schiff Path and finally down Kurt Diederich's Climb. These are some of the nicest trails in the park!

Our final stretch was on the Kane Path, along the Tarn, where we had hoped to start. This provides a nice, up-close view of the Tarn and makes a nice end (or beginning) of this hike. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cadillac Mtn

With the amount of visitors/traffic in Acadia National Park, we decided to try something different and used the free park shuttles. 

We got dropped off at the "Cadillac North Ridge" stop (just before the one-way Loop Road), which is really the trailhead for the Kebo Srream Trail. A short walk to the one-way section of the Loop Road brings you to the real North Ridge trailhead. 

The trail was ok, although too narrow in many place to walk two abreast. It gets pretty strenuous in sections and there are great views back to Bar Harbor. However, you finish the trail skirting around the road to the summit, so you lose the isolation/remoteness you get on most trails. 

At the top, we started down the South Ridge Trail, soon turning down the West Face Trail. This might be a good trail to climb up on a dry day, but we were going down on a wet day. This took quite a while and was very slippery/dangerous. 

We finished at the Bubble Pond parking lot, where we picked up another shuttle to take us back. I liked the benefit of taking shuttles - no parking worries and you don't have to start & finish the hike in the sane place. If we were to do this again, I would just reverse it, going up the West Face Trail and down the North Ridge. This would let you enjoy the challenge of the West Face and the views of Bar Harbor coming down the North Ridge.