One of my favorite hikes last summer brought me to the summit of Champlain Mountain on the North Ridge trail. This year, for a little variety, I decided to ascend via one of the other routes up to the summit – the Beachcroft Path. This trail dates back to the late 1800’s and was built by the “father” of Acadia, George Dorr along with the help of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association. The meticulously laid stone steps wind their way up the steep slope of Huguenot Mountain via several switchbacks. Near the summit of Huguenot, the trail descends slightly to the valley between Huguenot and Champlain and then starts a 1/2 mile steep ascent up the western slope of Champlain.
I loved this hike. The Beachcroft Path is a marvel of engineering design and underwent some trail maintenance earlier this year – making it a sweet walkabout and a great route to summit Champlain. Along the way, I took time to turn around and enjoy the views of Dorr Mountain, the Tarn, Cadillac Mountain and Frenchman’s Bay in the distance.
The hardest section of the trail is the final push up to the top of Champlain and, while it was steep and involved some minor rock scrambles, it was totally do-able and a great aerobic workout!
Descending the South Ridge trail of Champlain, I skirted by The Bowl and went up and over Gorham Mountain. My final mile was to the Otter Cliff shuttle bus stop so I could catch the #3 Sand Beach shuttle back to my car at Sieur de Monts. Gotta love the free shuttle bus system in the park! Great day of hiking in Acadia National Park! 🙂