Acadia National Park 2017 – Day 3
Woke up to rain this morning, so we stayed in playing some more games. The whole family had a great time playing Haba’s Rhino Hero. Clever stacking game. Really fun. If you have kids, buy a copy. If you want to know more, you can get a full overview by checking out Rob‘s review on A Pawn‘s Perspective.
We had planned to visit the tide pools today at low tide, and fortunately by that time the rain had ended! Off to the Ship Harbor Trail went. This trail is a short, easy 1.2-mile loop with lots of cool things to stop and check out along the way. Flowers, tide pools, ocean views, just an overall nice nature trail. The trail had an abundance of little white flowers that we later found out to be Canadian Dwarf Dogwood, which flowers and then produces edible berries in late summer. Pretty interesting. Once at the tide pools, there is a wide span of rocky shore to explore, and the tide pools are plentiful. Though it was difficult to see into some of the pools on such a cloudy day, the kids still managed to make some discoveries.
After returning from the Ship Harbor Trail, we started planning another hike for today. Rob, Delfina, and Ari decided to stay at the cottage for the afternoon. Aiden, Greyson, and I decided to tackle Mansell Mountain. There are several ways to scale this mountain, but this time we opted to go up the Razorback Trail and come down the Perpendicular Trail. The Razorback is a trail that runs right along the spine of the mountain, hikers crossing through an exposed granite ridgeline to work toward the Mansell summit. The Perpendicular is well known as a steep set of carefully positioned stone steps that cut through a steep boulder field, leading up the mountain. Now that I’ve covered the brief overview of the main trails for today, let’s start from the beginning of the hike.
We parked at the south of Long Pond. Bits of blue sky were desperately trying to break through the mist that has been hanging around since we arrived up here. We were really hoping for it to clear up a bit so that we could finally appreciate some summit views. We started along the Cold Brook Trail (rated easy) heading towards the Razorback (rated strenuous). After 0.4 miles on Cold Brook, we hiked 0.1 miles more on the Gilley Trail (rated easy). We had then arrived at the Razorback trailhead. This started out steep right away, rocks galore. It wasn’t long before found ourselves scrambling, scrambling some more… and some more. Lots of scrambling. We reached an overlook, but that mist was still lingering, obstructing our view of Beech Mountain on the other side of Long Pond.
We continued along the ridgeline that is the Razorback for a total of 0.7 miles, exposed in several areas. I had reminded the boys to tread carefully here. To be frank, in some areas, one slip could mean rolling right off the mountain. They did an amazing job though, and we pressed on to the Mansell Mountain Trail (rated strenuous).
We were only on the Mansell Mountain Trail for a short 0.1 miles, and after some more scrambling, we reached the 949-ft summit. The view is mostly obstructed by trees here, even on a good day, so not the most picturesque summit. Still, we took our celebratory photo (I like doing those in case you couldn’t tell), and we then headed for our 1-mile descent down the Perpendicular Trail (rated strenuous).
On the way down the Perpendicular, though slightly obstructed by trees, we did catch a pretty nice view of Long Pond. The blue skies were breaking through the mist just enough! After reaching the bottom of the mile long stone staircase that is the Perpendicular, we had reached the Long Pond Trail to head back to the parking area. As we reached the south end of the pond, we were able to see down the pond, Mansell Mountain on the west, and Beech Mountain fading into the mist on the east.
As far as trails go, I think this is the toughest one we have done yet up here in Acadia. Yes, that final climb to the summit of the South Bubble was a bit of a surprise, but that hike along Razorback today was pretty intense and exciting, though complicated by lots of slippery rocks thanks to the wet weather we have been having. Kudos to our 7-year-old, Greyson, for completing this hike without a single complaint and carrying his own day pack the whole time! I think that’s pretty amazing! Overall, another awesome day in Acadia. The next 2 days are supposed to be nice ones, so hoping to catch some gorgeous views at the summit of Acadia Mountain and, perhaps, Pemetic Mountain. We shall see!