A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

A little via ferrata

November 27, 2020
Emilie Phillips

If the Bar Harbor Island Explorer bus were running, we could have hiked from one side of the island to the other. Instead we had to be more creative. By parking at the Schooner Head overlook, we split the road walk into a mile of roadside trail at the beginning of the hike, and a half mile of road walk at the end. In between, we got to hike the Precipice trail, the Beehive, ancient sea cliffs, and Thunder Hole.

The Precipice trail was exciting with all the iron rungs to climb and exposed cliffs. We were expecting a cold cloudy day, but the morning was sunny. The sun partly dried the cliff, but it was still slippery in places. Thankfully there were iron bars for handholds most places. Most of the rocks we climbed were only a person or two high, but I loved the one fifty foot high band of rock we skirted. Tyson thought the views of the ocean and islands were the best. And Isaac grinned every time he found the next iron rung ladder. The Precipice Trail is only one mile long, but it was lunch time when we reached the top.

Almost to the top of the Beehive

The Beehive was a much smaller version of the same. We hadn’t seen many people on Precipice or on the Champlain South ridge. From the Beehive south, we saw many more people. People experience the park in so many different ways. We used our feet to make the eastern lobe of the island small. To other people, the Beehive was a personal achievement. And to others whom we met, the loop from Sand Beach to Gorham Mountain was long enough to get lost.

We took the left fork on Gorham Mountain trail which skirts the bottom of the old sea cliffs. The shapes of the rocks looked just like the cliffs on Great Head where we had scrambled yesterday. I visualized the waves from thousands (millions?) of years ago crashing into the separated stacks or booming in the cave.

We finished our hike on the Ocean Path. We all could have stood there for an hour watching the water ebb and flow. The dark swell of the waves, then a slight white curl, and then the explosion of spray upwards.

It was almost dark when we got back to the car, but nobody minded.

Read about the rest of our Thanksgiving in Acadia National Park

All Photos

GPS Track