Acadia National Park 2017 – Day 5
We were fortunate to have another beautiful day today, a perfect day to climb Acadia Mountain. Though my toe does seem to be broken, I splinted it and took some ibuprofen, determined to carry out the hike we planned for today. We hiked this mountain when we came up here last year, and it was too great not to repeat.
After parking in the Acadia Mountain parking area, we started the climb up via the Acadia Mountain Trail (rated strenuous). The trail goes through a cedar forest for 0.2 miles, which smells wonderful, before ascending quickly up the mountain via stone steps and rock scrambles. It is 0.7 miles to the peak of Acadia Mountain at 681 ft.
The view of Somes Sound at the 0.3-mile summit is incredible. We even saw a Peregrine Falcon circling above, of which I just barely caught a photo. They nest in the area this time of year, closing several trails throughout Acadia, including the nearby Valley Cove Trail.
While walking along the summit we also came across some more cairns, which we have been seeing along various trails. They are particularly noticeable to me on the granite and rock formations throughout the mountains we have visited in Acadia. They are actually what guided us most while crossing the summit and beginning of the Pemetic South Ridge Trail, the cairns being easier to see than the blue blazes. These are constructed of rocks stacked in a very specific way, as shown on signs occasionally found throughout Acadia. Rocks are not to be arbitrarily stacked for a number of reasons, as stated on the posted signs.
Throughout the steep 0.7-mile descent, the views of Somes Sound continue. It’s a beautiful, invigorating hike down Acadia Mountain.
After completing the Acadia Mountain Trail, Rob, Delfina, Greyson, and Ari decided to head back to the Acadia Mountain parking area via the 0.9-mile Man O’ War Brook Fire Road (rated easy). Aiden and I continued on the Valley Peak Trail (rated strenuous) to tap the summit of Valley Peak.
The Valley Peak Trail is another trail with great opportunities for a different view of Somes Sound as well as views of Norumbega Mountain and Parkman Mountain to the east. The trail continues parallel to the Somes all the way to The Narrows.
The Valley Peak Trail is back up 1.1 miles to the peak at 530 ft. After tapping Valley Peak, we continued 0.4 miles more to reach the summit of the St. Sauveur Mountain at 679 ft. Coming down the St. Sauveur Trail (rated moderate) we caught a glimpse of Echo Lake to the west, Long Pond barely visible way in the distance. After our 1.1-mile descent, Rob picked us up and we headed back to the cottage.
Great hike today, and in the end my splint held up just fine without further damage to my toe! This hike will remain on my list of favorites. There are so many opportunities for scenic views, I just can’t imagine passing it up!
Tomorrow is our final day on Mount Desert Island before heading back home early Saturday morning. We are expecting rain again, so we are playing tomorrow by ear. Hoping the rain holds out so we make the most of our last day. I am already sad at the thought of having to leave, but I will remain hopeful that we will be able to return again next summer to explore some more of Acadia National Park.