Relaxing Day Off Hike

Long Pond Overlook on Beech Mountain

I have found that my third season here at Acadia has changed my perspective with regard to my day off excursions. I no longer feel the need cram as much hiking and biking in as before – always seeking out that one trail I have yet to conquer. It feels more like home now than a tourist destination. I sleep in more often and enjoy the simple pleasures of having a leisurely coffee down on the rocky coastline, and, then, I choose my free time hikes/bikes more discriminately.

One of my favorite short hiking loops is around Beech Mountain. The Valley Trail leaves from the parking lot at Beech Mountain and runs along the base of the Beech Mountain cliffs. It is a stunning hike through a moss-covered, rock-strewn spruce forest.

Young spruce trees taking hold along the Valley Trail

At the South Ridge Beech Mountain Trail junction, I hang a right and ascend the semi-steep path with multiple stone staircases to the summit of Beech Mountain. Once at the summit, I take in the view on the fire tower platform before starting my descent down the other side of the mountain.

Hazy Fire Tower View facing west

As I head back down the trail to the parking lot, I like to take the route that runs along the ridge above Long Pond. I have a favorite spot where I take a snack break and enjoy the solitude and quiet looking down on the large lake. From my vantage point, I watched a few kayakers making their way along the far coastline of the lake.

This morning for my second day off, I rose earlier (still not early enough for the sunrise!), walked down to the water’s edge and enjoyed watching the fog build off-shore. There was a lone lobster boat crew out checking their traps way off shore – the sun glistening off the boat. Cormorants and gulls were drifting by – gliding along the surface of the water. A peaceful start to the day!

Bank of fog on the horizon….

Not sure what the rest of my day will bring – it’s been nice not “planning” my day’s off. As I do my morning chores, I’ll let my musings guide me towards the next adventure!

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