Historic Acadia Trails

Looking out across The Tarn as I had to the Beachcroft Trail

The history of the evolution of the trail system here in Acadia National Park is fascinating and I highly recommend reading a brief introduction to it here. One of my all-time favorite memorial pathways is the Beachcroft Trail. Designed by Andrew Liscomb and organized by George Dorr, the Beachcroft Trail contains all of the trail construction techniques used on the early pathways in Acadia. It’s a steep climb to the summit of Champlain Mountain but well worth the effort.

Once the Island Explorer starts operating on the island, I enjoy using the free shuttle bus to drop me off at a trailhead so that I can hike a longer distance – using different trail connections – one-way back to my summer residence. My first day-off this week hit on the first day the shuttle started up for the season! With that milestone reached, I planned my first excursion on the Island Explorer in conjunction with one of my favorite one-way hikes – Sieur du Monts to Beachcroft Trail to South Ridge Champlain Trail to the Gorham North Ridge Trail to the Gorham South Ridge Trail to the Otter Cove Trail back to Blackwoods Campground. It’s a 6-mile hike that summits two mountains and offers insanely beautiful views across the iconic Acadia coastline. Enjoy the photographs I took along the way!!

Jesup Path Memorial Plaque

The trail starts with a short connection along the Jesup Path out of the Sieur du Monts area of Acadia. At The Tarn, follow the signs that point towards the Beachcroft Path.

The Tarn

The trail crosses Route 3 and the Beachcroft Path officially begins with a set of stone steps. The stonework on this trail is amazing.

Climbing the Beachcroft Trail….

When I first hiked this trail a few years ago, I set up my camera on a timer and shot a photo of me at the “Dorr” rock. There is a famous photograph depicting the “father of Acadia” posed in front of this rock. I just had to replicate this photo with me in place of Dorr. So, of course, on this recent hike, I paused at the “Dorr” rock for another photo op. 🙂 (The name of the rock is my own – just a disclaimer!)

Me at the famous rock…
Same rock in the background with George Dorr – “father of Acadia” – from the NPS archives

Continuing on the trail, I was reminded just how steep the top part of this trail is! Luckily, it is a short section!

The path winds its way up through this rocks…

Once at the summit, the view is unparalleled!!

Oasis with water at the summit of Champlain Mountain

I’m always amazed that this depression at the summit of Champlain Mountain is always filled with water – creating a cool little ecosystem for plants to thrive.

Dark-eyed Junco serenading from the summit…

As I crossed the official summit and started down the South Ridge Champlain Trail, I heard this little Junco calling out to me!

Another pool of water towards the summit with some beautiful iris growing wild…
View from high on the South Ridge Champlain Mt. Trail

The long-range view descending the South Ridge Trail of Champlain Mountain is an impressive panorama of the Acadian coastline – from left to right – Sand Beach cove can be seen, then The Bowl – a small pond that sits beneath The Beehive and finally, on the far right side of the photograph is Otter Point jutting out from the island. Baker Island can be seen off in the distance off the coast.

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