ABANDONED TRAILS IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK;

CHAMPLAIN MOUNTAIN BLACK AND WHITE TRAIL

This trail, as well as all other trails that led up to the summit of Huguenot Mountain were abandoned by the National Park Service with no explanation as to why, however the Park Service  has had a history of abandoning any trail that brings hikers close to it.  As perfect examples of this, they abandoned the Bear Den path, the Anemone Cave trail, the caves of Day Mountain and the Great Cave of the Precipice, just to name a few.  No cave is listed on either old or new maps for Huguenot Mountain, however at least one popular site devoted to caving lists a good size crevice cave on the mountain, but gives no details as to its location.  I also came across an old newspaper clipping that made mention of a cave there, and for the Park Service, that would justify abandoning the trails leading to the mountain's summit.

So I know what people might be thinking who have hiked that area, your wrong, the Beechcroft Trail crosses Huguenot summit, but in fact the Beechcroft Trail does not cross the summit, look carefully at any trail map and you will see the Beechcroft trail comes close to the summit before turning and heading toward Champlain Mountain.  Three trails once connected to that summit and all were abandoned.

That said, as some one who researches and documents abandoned trails, I can report that there is one abandoned trail that does run up to the summit, the old abandoned Black and White Trail, which follows the abandoned Dorr Bike Path around to the back side of a beaver pond, where the trail followed a well defined brook upward between Huguenot Head and the summit of Champlain Mountain.  The brook ends at a well worn trail linking the two summits together.    You can read more on this abandoned trail adventure at the link below to my blog on the Black and White Trail, which also offers photos.

THE BLACK AND WHITE TRAIL

THE GEORGE B. DORR BICYCLE PATH

George B. Dorr is considered by many to be the Father of Acadia National Park, whose relentless efforts and deep pockets helped bring us Acadia national Park.  One of Dorr's passions was riding his bike through the park, and on land he owned, he built his famous bike path, where on any day one might pass and see him bike riding around the beaver pond.  The Black and White Trail, one of the color coded names for the trails back than, came down from the Bear Brook Trail, on some maps marked as the Champlain North Ridge trail, by way of a series of stone steps, where the trail followed the bike path to the far rear corner of the beaver pond, where it turned from the bike path and followed a brook up the side of Champlain Mountain.

Dorr placed his first Wild Gardens of Acadia National Park in the far corner behind the pond and on those days he would bike, his mother could often be seen tending to those wild gardens.  one newspaper article stated the Wild Gardens became famous far and wide by the time and love she put into them.  Those wild gardens were later dug up and moved to where they are today by Sieur de Mont Springs when the Park Service abandoned the Dorr Bike Path.  

The bike path came under hard times from man and animal over the years, with the construction of the Park Loop Road one long section of the path was destroyed.  Beaver activity later caused the water in the pond to rise, which ended up drowning entire sections of the bike path.  Later the CCC crew came in and built a new path, on higher ground, which circled most of the beaver pond just as the Dorr bike path had done, and it is this new path I refer to when I refer to the Dorr  Bike Path.  That said, I have located the original Dorr bike path, where it exits the water in the rear of the pond and continues through the woods, one section coming out near Bear Brook Picnic area, which back in the day was a campground in the park before it was a picnic area.  Another section of the old original path makes its way through the woods where it once came out across from the entrance to Sieur de Mont Springs, which was another popular location for Mr. Dorr to ride his bike in.  What some may not know is that Mr. Dorr was the head of the Bar Harbor Bicycle committee, formed to promote bike riding in the park.

Another thing you may or may not know is that across the road from the Beaver pond and just up the road a short ways, if you look down the high steep banking just in the trees, you will see the outline of an old road that ends at the base of the Park Loop Road.  The Park Loop road was constructed over a section of the old road, but that is a road Dorr had built which led closer to town, as a way to attract more people to his bike path.  To learn more on the abandoned bike path and see photos or maps of it, visit my blog at the link below.

THE DORR BICYCLE PATH

BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE PHANTOM TRAIL

I came across this trail on an old map one day while researching abandoned trails, and though I do call it a Phantom Trail, at one time is was an official hiking trail.  The trail today is pretty much kept alive through phantom activity and is pretty easy to locate and follow.   The trail began just before the long wooden stairway that leads down to the shore just below the Bass Harbor Lighthouse and follows the coastline just inside the trees for much of the way.  The trail, the section you can easily follow, ends at the mouth of ship Harbor, with the official Ship Harbor Nature Trail directly across the water from you.  The other section of trail is much harder to locate if your not a local, and makes its way through the woods, crossing two brooks before following the sides of the last brook to where it comes out along route 102 A, just around the corner from the Ship Harbor Nature Trail parking lot.

From the lighthouse parking lot, follow the dirt path to the far left hand corner of the parking lot by the rest rooms, it quickly turns a sharp corner, and half way to the wooden stairs the trail begins just inside the trees.  Park Rangers have been known to toss branches over the start of the trail to help conceal it from being located.  The worn trail makes its way to a small hill, where it climbs one side of the hill and makes its way down the other side, which is a little steep.  From thre the trail, well worn, makes its way to a high cliff with a beach below, that locals call Whistler's Beach.  Continue to follow the trail to where it levels out by the shore and make your way to the beach, if you like.  The trail continues to make its way along the shore until it comes to an area where a lot of drift wood washes ashore, and from there it makes its way to a wide open area over looking the mouth of Ship Harbor.  For photos and maps see the link to my blog below.

THE BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE PHANTOM TRAIL

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