So so tired, so here’s a quick update: today we completely snuck into the park and hiked all but 1 mountain along the east coast of the park! It was fabulous! We drove down Schooner Head Rd. until we hit the official Acadia NP parking lot at the end. The lot was blocked off, but there were about 20 cars lining the sides of the road, so we parked and walked the short distance up to the Park Loop Road.
Once we got to the main road, we realized we were at the gates to the park. It was so creepy silently walking through the gates without seeing anyone!
Once inside, we walked over to Sand Beach to eat lunch. We’ve never been here before because usually there are tons of kids running around screaming. We figured it would be empty, but there were about a dozen people walking around! Our view was beautiful and I couldn’t get over all the red and yellow trees along the cliffs. I love fall!
Then we did a hike I have been dying to do since I started coming to Acadia: The Beehive. I somehow have no pictures of this on my phone, but it’s completely vertical up a cliff face and involves the use of metal rungs and ladders to get to the top. It honestly reminded me of rock climbing more than hiking! At certain points I was standing on a foot-wide path on the edge of a cliff and I had to pull myself up a boulder using metal rungs. Not exactly safe. In fact, it’s the second most difficult/dangerous hike in the park, and only because the #1 hike is longer than this one! I always wanted to try it but now that I know how physically and mentally difficult it is I don’t need to do it again! Although I am glad I checked it off my list, I felt like such a badass when I got to the top!
We then hiked down the much easier back side of the mountain and stopped to rest at The Bowl. This is the kind of thing I love about Acadia – there are tons of hidden lakes in between the mountains, and when you hike there you have them all to yourself!
We then hiked to the summit of Gorham Mountain. All the trails connected so it was pretty easy to get from The Bowl to the summit! All my pictures from the summit are on my camera, but this was our view on the way down!
Gorham was an easy and beautiful hike. On the way down, there was a detour to Cadillac Cliffs. We had to do a bit of climbing over rocks again, but it was pretty easy and definitely worth the extra work because we got to check out a bunch of cliffs and caves along the mountainside. If you hike any mountain on the eastern coastal area of the park, do this one! There were tons of oceanfront views and you can see all of Cadillac Mountain on the other side.
To get back to our car, we had to hike along the Park Loop Road. It was a 2 mile hike, but it was flat and had gorgeous views of the cliffs! We stopped to climb the cliffs a few times, and Andrew got a chance to take some close up pictures of a bunch of different kinds of birds (he’s into that stuff!). We also saw a ranger drive by, and all he did was wave and look away. No tickets for us! By the time we got back to the car, we’d been hiking 5 hours. We’re definitely ready for bed!
Tomorrow get ready, because we’re hiking the biggest mountain in the park! Stay tuned for more illegal hiking!