I pulled onto Mount Desert Island for the first time in nearly 30 years, eager to return to Acadia National Park. When we visited before, the weather was cold, cloudy, and drizzly. This week looks to be sunny and warm nearly every day, and I plan to make the most of it – hiking, exploring, and learning to use my new Canon R5 camera. For my first outing, I headed toward the western half of the island – as the NPS guide rightly advised me, the popular eastern side would be extremely crowded on this sunny national holiday.
I squeezed my car alongside the road near an overflowing parking lot at the trailhead for Acadia Mountain, and headed out with hopes for a nice loop over several peaks. It was hot – nearly 80º and sunny – and the woods were dry and the terrain sparsely forested. The mountains here are not tall – Acadia itself is only 681′ (208m) – but the trails are often extremely steep, climbing from near sea level to the rocky summits.
I topped Acadia, which offered fine views of neighboring Cadillac Mountain (tallest on the east coast, at 1530′ (466m) and of Somes Sound and the Gulf of Maine beyond. Sailboats were plying the waters, and lobster buoys bobbed in the coves. A light breeze helped keep me cool as I descended the steep trail toward the Sound.
At the base I joined a new trail, climbing steeply toward Mount St. Sauveur – with frequent views across the Sound – and then skirted the summit to tag a nearby bump called Valley Peak, then looping back to the summit of St. Sauveur. A more gradual descent took me back to my starting point.
See more in the photo gallery.