Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Biking Acadia...Around the Mountain II

This ride kicked my butt, therefore I nicknamed it The Ride From Hell!  Bill found it in the book, "Discover Acadia National Park".  It was described as 18.1 miles, without the difficult sections found in the Around the Mountain loop.  HA!  that is totally false.  I swear this ride was 18 miles uphill and .1 mile downhill.  The book indicated it would take 5 hours to complete this loop; however, it took us about 3 hours to do the entire loop although we stopped for lunch and to take pictures and catch our breath.  I started walking the uphill sections after the first couple of hours.  I just couldn't pedal uphill any more!  

For the most part, this ride takes you through the woods.  However, there are a couple of sections with nice, distant views and you pass over several wonderful bridges built in the 1930's.

The morning was very foggy at our cabin but was clearing by the time we got started.  We began our trip at the end of Eagle Lake and went counter clockwise around the loop.
Eagle Lake with fog on the distant mountains
We traveled along the length of Eagle Lake but it disappeared fairly quickly as we pedaled up a nice, long hill.  Before too long we came across Aunt Betty Pond.
We rested our bikes along Waterfall Bridge

Hadlock Brook
and took a short walk down to the brook, where we ate lunch.
The view at lunch
As we continued our ride, we crossed the Amphitheater Bridge which is the longest bridge in the park at 235 feet.  The construction is absolutely gorgeous.
 and the Cliffside Bridge, my favorite.  There were nice views along this section.
We rode and rode and rode and finally reached Bubble Pond, which Bill told me was Eagle Lake and we were nearly done.  WooHoo! 
Cadillac Mtn from the edge of Bubble Pond
The end of Bubble Pond.  No fog now ;o)
Unfortunately, we had another mile or so to pedal before we reached Eagle Lake and our car ;o(  The fog burned off completely and the day turned out to be a beautiful one with temps warming into the 70's.

If you enjoy riding the carriage roads and want to spend several hours doing so, you will probably enjoy this loop.   There are several other loops you can enjoy if you want something shorter.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hiking Acadia...Beech Cliff Ladder Trail/Canada Cliff Trail

Bill decided on this hike before we got here and I have been anxious about it ever since.  What's to be anxious about, you ask?  Well...Cliff and Ladders are two things I don't like hearing when it describes a hike.  Our favorite go-to hiking book about Acadia, A Walk in the Park, describes it this way..."the trail climbs the steep side of Beech Cliffs over ladders and steep terrain, so beware!"  Ugh, not my idea of a good time ;o(

The morning started out perfectly.
Good morning from Edgewater No. 6
We were actually out of the cottage by 9:30, very usual for us but rain is predicted later ;o(  After a short drive going the wrong direction, we quickly got back on track and reached the Echo Lake parking area a little before 10:00.  Our destination could be seen in the distance.
It doesn't look that bad from here.
No mention of ladders!
It was a short hike, only about 1/2 mile; however, it was up the side of the cliffs.  Initially, the trail was not very obvious and not well marked marked at all from what I could see.
We climbed steadily with the help of handrails and steps
Nice curved handrail

Seriously, who can use a handrail this size, other than Paul Bunyan or maybe Hagrid.
Now this is a little more like it, something I can wrap my fingers around until my knuckles turn white.
Not sure where that "old" hand came from
Views of Echo Lake were visible after a short time.

From here is was fairly steep but we were aided by ladders, long and short.
short one, 8 - 10 feet
long one, 18 - 20 feet
go Bill!
And then there were two.
waiting, waiting
We saw some interesting flora on our hike.
I love these teeny tiny ferns.

my favorite
There was even a nice place to sit and catch my breath.
I'm not really in pain, although it looks like I am
We reached the summit in short order.
Summit of the Beech Cliff Ladder Trail
There was a .4 mile loop at the top which we were glad we investigated because the views were well worth the time spent there.
Greening Island in the distance
Sand beach at the end of Echo Lake
New Keen hiking shoes scored at Marshalls for $30!
The skies cleared and the sun even came out for a few minutes!
Previously, we would have had to back down the ladder trail in order to return to our car.  However, at some point fairly recently, a "new" section of the Canada Cliff Trail was completed, so we returned to the car that way, a much better option in my humble opinion.
New section of Canada Cliff Trail

so many choices
That way or that way?
Help to keep our feet dry
We ate lunch on the beach of Echo Lake, cloudy again but not raining...yet.
The view at lunch 9.10.13
It was a good hike and I would do it again.  If you are terrified of heights, I wouldn't recommend this hike; however,  I get a little anxious hanging on the edge of cliffs and climbing long ladders but I felt quite safe on this hike.  There are plenty of handrails and cables to stabilize yourself.  It's a short hike with a decent return.

After lunch we rode our bikes along Lurvey Spring Road to Long Lake.  Unfortunately, one of the roads at the end is private and the other one is very steep and accesses private property. 
Cool gate telling us to "go away"

It appeared that there was a small path along the edge of the lake so I ran down and took a quick photo since it had already started to rain!
Nothing exciting, most lakes look the same in the rain ;o(
We walked our bikes back up the hill and pedaled our little behinds as fast as we could nearly 2 miles back to the car; we still got fairly wet.

Photographic proof that it was raining
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