Mount Desert Island Journals

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

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An August 2005 trip to Mount Desert Island by Tomcat7194

Acadia National Park Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine More Photos
Quote: A look at Mount Desert Island and the immensely beautiful Acadia National Park.

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

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Overview

Acadia National Park Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Mount Desert Island is beautiful. Plain and simple. Trying to describe it beyond that invariably results in minced words and pointless metaphors, because the place is so overwhelmingly, stupefyingly beautiful. Everywhere you turn, there are panoramic views of a lake or a mountain or a patch of woods. All their places would be called "scenic lookouts" and swamped with tourists were they located anywhere else, but the island's surplus of incredible scenery means that many of the most spectacular places are relatively untouched. You can climb for 5 minutes up some half-forgotten trail and find a slice of picture-perfect wilderness that is entirely your own. All of this natural beauty is preserved by the ...Read More

Claremont Hotel

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Hotel

Claremont Hotel Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
The Claremont Hotel is the best place to stay on Mount Desert Island. It is located within walking distance of Southwest Harbor, a small town on the quiet side of the island. The hotel itself occupies a piece of land on the shores of Sommes Sound and features a large, manicured lawn sloping down to the water, with stupendous views of boats moored on the sound and the islands it separates from the mainland. At the top of the lawn sits the main hotel, a stately yellow-and-red building dating back to 1884 and featuring attractive rooms and a common lobby. The lobby is full of comfortable chairs and a fireplace where a roaring hardwood fire is maintained whenever it's chilly outside. Tea is served afte...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 14, 2005

Claremont Hotel
22 Claremont Lane
Mount Desert Island, Maine 04679
(207) 244-5036

Precipice Trail

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Attraction

Precipice Trail Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
The Precipice is not a trail for the faint of heart. Each year, at least one climber plummets over the cliffs, usually to their death. Granted, the person almost always made a stupid mistake (climbed while drunk, went up in inclement weather, wore improper footwear, etc.), but the Percipice is not a trail for the beginning hiker. The path begins at the loop road, and the first part is a fairly subdued hike through the forest. Once above the tree line, the hike becomes more interesting. The trail curves back and forth along a sheer cliff, and the path is sometimes only a few feet wide. Handholds have been installed over the years, and hikers should make full use of these. At a point about halfway to...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2005

Precipice Trail
Champlain Mountain
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Beehive Trail

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Attraction | "The Beehive Trail"

Beehive Trail Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
The Beehive Trail is great for the intermediate hiker. Unlike its big brother, The Precipice, the Beehive Trail is a relatively short trail with only a few technical elements (iron rungs, ladders, etc.). The trail is much wider than that of the Precipice, and the Beehive itself is far smaller than Mount Champlain. However, despite the fact that you travel fewer vertical feet, the Beehive trail begins at a fairly high altitude. This means that it offers panoramic views comparable to those of the Precipice. Although it is tame in comparison, the Beehive Trail should not be underestimated. It is a strenuous hike with many exposed cliffs, and a complacent attitude while hiking it could be very dangerous. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2005

Beehive Trail
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Seal Cove

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Attraction

Seal Cove Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Seal Cove is a relatively unknown place. There aren't any brochures advertising it, and it's not frequented by tourists. You can reach the cove by turning onto the obscure Cape Road, which intersects with Route 102, and following it down to the water. There you will find a wonderfully secluded spot unknown to all but the locals. The local chamber of commerce has installed several picnic tables in a little grassy park by the water, and there is a small parking lot that is well maintained. Next to the park is a boat ramp frequented by local lobstermen who moor their boats in the deep water of the cove. The ramp is an excellent free place to launch a small vessel, and the dock alongside it extends far...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2005

Seal Cove

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Thunder Hole

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Attraction

Thunder Hole Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Unfortunately, Thunder Hole is fairly anticlimactic. Located amongst the rocky cliffs that separate the park from the sea, the hole is reached by driving along the park's loop road for a few miles. According to the brochures, it is one of the great natural wonders of Acadia National Park. As you approach it, the Thunder Hole Gift Shop, Thunder Hole Parking Lots (1 and 2), and the long line of tourists snaking down a stairway out of sight seem to confirm that this is something out of the ordinary. Supposedly, the incoming waves funnel into the hole (a semi-submerged sea cave), burst through a fissure in the rocks, shoot high into the air, and make a loud and thunderous bang. This is certainly an app...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 15, 2005

Thunder Hole
Park Loop Road
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Otter Cliffs

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Attraction | "Climbing Otter Cliffs"

Otter Cliffs Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
Otter Cliffs are a series of natural sea cliffs located just off the loop road in Acadia National Park. They are excellent for climbers of all skill levels, with routes ranging in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.12. There is an access trail leading from the loop road to the top of the cliffs, where you can build your own anchor point or use one of several permanently installed ones. Seeing as how the cliffs are within Acadia National Park, there are some regulations in effect. According to the park's website, you can't have more than 12 people in a group, and you can't bring a dog. The website also offers the useful, if somewhat irrelevant, tidbit of advice: "Use the portajohn in the parking lot or urinate i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Otter Cliffs
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, Maine

The Bowl

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Attraction

The Bowl Photo, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Quote:
The bowl is a natural lake located between the summits of the Beehive and Mount Champlain. It is situated on a ridge between the two mountains, at an altitude of about 300 feet above sea level. As a result, the views from the lake are fantastic. The natural beauty of any New England body of water is combined with the views of Sand Beach and the whole of Acadia National Park far below. The result is a wonderful place to visit either as the single destination or as a stopping point in your descent of the Beehive. There are several ways to access the bowl, depending on what kind of hike you're looking for. If you want to visit the bowl and nothing else, begin as if you were climbing the Beehive. A...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2005

The Bowl
Acadia National Park
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Ship Harbor Nature Trail

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Attraction | "Ships Harbor (Multimedia Journal)"

Quote:
Ships Harbor Nature trail is an easy trail for hikers of all skill levels. It takes only 45 minutes to complete, yet it affords those who hike it unique views that cannot be matched by anything else on the island. The trail begins at a parking lot just off the road to Bass Harbor Light, near Southwest Harbor on the quiet side of the island. There is ample parking for the relatively unknown trail, as well as bathroom facilities provided by the park. The trail begins in the woods, slowly winding its way towards the sea. The hiking is easy, and the trail is more or less flat. In areas with a greater incline, steps have been constructed that are shallow enough for any hiker to climb. This makes the trail ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 20, 2005

Ship Harbor Nature Trail
Southern end of Mount Desert Island, near the Seawall area
Mount Desert Island, Maine

Kayaking Seal Cove Pond

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Seal Cove Pond is a body of fresh water located near Seal Cove in the town of Tremont on Mount Desert Island. The pond is separated from the saltwater cove by Route 102, some trees, and little else. Seal Cove pond is big, and the name is somewhat misleading. While ponds generally conjure up images of a small basin of water in someone's backyard, surrounded with landscaping and perhaps containing some Koi, Seal Cove Pond is markedly different. It is several miles long, about 30 feet deep, and contains several species of gamefish, including bass and brown trout. The pond is really more of a lake, but its name and location make it unknown to most tourists and even many locals living on the busy side of t...Read More