Monday, January 22, 2018

IN SEARCH OF THE OLD TOBOGGAN RUNS

  The following appeared in the Bat Harbor Times, Aug. 23, 1922 and helps pin down the location of one of the two toboggan runs that were built each winter as part of the areas winter sports activities.  This toboggan run or slide was built of boards and carried sledders  from an area by the Boyd Road  down hill  and out onto frozen Eagle lake.  A second toboggan run was built each winter and ran down the side of Kebo Mountain, carrying sledders out onto the grounds of Kebo Golf Course.  I am still trying to research and nail down the location of that run, but I suspect it ran right down the current Kebo Mountain hiking trail.

PATH COMMITTEE MAKES ITS REPORT
Does Fine Work on Paths and Trails
Bar harbor times - Aug. 23, 1922

Committee Hindered in Work by Destruction of Signs Indicating Trails

Editors Note;  In presenting the annual report for 1922, the Bar Harbor Path Committee calls attention to the fact that each year a number of signs are destroyed, thus making it difficult and often dangerous for visitors to enjoy our splendid system of trails.  This is a matter of grave importance and any person found destroying these signs should be dealt with severely.  The report this year shows the usual amount of unselfish work on the part of the committee members and will be read with interest by all who enjoy the opportunities made possible by the work of this committee.  New members of the committee this year are;  Barrington Moore, George S. Robbins, and Arthur C. Train.  The report follows;
  The usual improvement and repair of the Bar Harbor Trails was commenced by the committee on April 17th last and has since continued in order to put them in the best possible condition for the walking season and the enjoyment derived from the healthy and beneficial pastime of mountain climbing as the paths now extend throughout the Bar Harbor District in almost every direction.
  The present active membership of the Path Committee consists of George B. Dorr, Dr J. Madison Taylot, Mrs. John B. Markoe, Miss Alice Miles Carpenter, Abdrew Liscomb, Barrington Moore, George S. Robbins, and Arthur C. Train;  Frederic Delano Weekes being Chairman and Andrew Liscomb Superintendent, a Positior successfully filled by him for some years.  Fortunately the winter season was not a severe one and the trails were found to be in a fairly satisfactory condition and not to any extent encumbered with many fallen trees or damaged by washouts that often cause considerable trouble.  It is, however, a subject of great regret that such a number of signs are found missing every year and to replace them cause much extra expense to the Committee.  These appear to have been pulled down or shot away for when a sign absolutely disappears there can be no other explanation except that it has been either destroyed or carried off.  Paths must be properly marked or their use is not only  difficult but even a source of danger and the maintenance of the signs is therefore of great importance to the community.  Their wanton destruction has already been given serious consideration by the Selectmen of the town of bar Harbor and to destroy or remove them has been made a misdemeanor.  the Path Committee earnestly hopes that this thoughtlessness and entire disregard so far as the public are concerned in the comfort and use of the trails upon which so much money has been expended for the benefit of the Bar Harbor residents, will not continue, but if so, that the culprits may be apprehended and meet with just and proper punishment.
  This season's work thus far by the Committee in the care of the trails and up to August 1st may be stated briefly as follows;  During April Kebo Mountain, Harden Road, and Farm, Toll House, Bracken, Green Mountain Gorge, and the North Ridge trails og Green were entirely cleared of brush,  25 pointers being replaced and 10 cairns erected.  In May the trails on Great Hill and the Duck Brook, Breakneck, Half Moon, Witch Hole, Mcfarlands, Curran, and Aunt Betty's Pond paths were cleared of brush, also the trails around the foot of Eagle Lake down to Bubble Pond and along its West side to the Boyd Road steps being also built over the toboggan slide at the lake.  The committee found that the beaver were causing interference there as they had built a dam across Bubble Pond Brook and the trail near it in consequence was submerged.  The Committee will however endeavor to remedy the trouble in such manner as may be suggested and without disturbing the engineering work of this interesting colony.
  Further work was carried on in June and the Southwest Valley train (terrain?) skirting the base of Sargent Mountain was cleared of brush and fallen trees removed.  The Fawn Pond path leading to the beautiful tract of land donated by the late Charles T. How, was also cleared, fallen tree's removed and pointers restored.  The Southwest Trail of Green Mountain to the Boyd Road was cleared and 10 cairns erected, and the East trail on Green a recent addition to the Bar Harbor Path system and which opens up many beautiful views of the Otter Creek region leading to Canon Brook path, was cleared of brush.
  In the Northern District a large tree was cut out of the Witch Hole Path and missing pointers restored.  Three new signs were also put on the Duck Brook Path and one on the South Ridge of Green near the old well.  Aunt Betty's Pond Path, South West Valley trail and Fawn Pond, Bracken, Kebo, Harden Farm and Half Moon Pond paths were mowed out, two large tree's removed and eight new signs put up on the Half Moon Pond, Eagle Lake and Toll House Paths.
Additional work was performed in July and the trails around the Witch Hole and also at Great Hill mowed out.  On Cadillac Cliff path ten pointers were replaced, two large tree's removed and six cairns erected.  The Yellow path running to the White one was cleared of fallen branches, brush removed and fallen trees were cut away on the Blue trail to the White one.  The Red path was also cleared of brush and branches removed.  The Toll House Path and the Canon Brook trail were also cleared and mowed, the bridge over the brook being replaced.  Mcfarlands paths were mowed out and the South West Valley trail also being in addition cleared of brush together with the Carran and Jordan Pond trail from the South West Valley path.
  In order to maintain and carry on the work that has been undertaken as well as to complete other necassary repairs and improvements to the path system nearly $600 dollars has been already subscribed by certain Bar Harbor residents who always were gengerous and zealous supporters of this particular branch of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association's activities, and contributions for this purpose were received from Miss Mary P. Coles, Barrington Moore, Mrs Max Farrand, Dr. Robert Abbe, Miss Agnes Miles Carpenter, Courtland Palmer, Mrs John S. Kennedy, Mrs John Markoe, Frederic W. Vanderbilt, George S. Robbins, Hon. George L. Ingraham, Philiph Livingston, Mrs Herbert L. Satterlee, Mrs Ernest Schelling, Thomas D. Witt Cuyler, Arthur C. Train, Mrs John Innes Kane, F. Maurice Newton, Dr, and Mrs Joseph Blake and Frederic Delanc Weekes.
  The further work undertaken by the Committee from August 1st will be included in its report at the annual meeting of the association on Sept. 14th.
  Any additional contributions for the purpose of improving the trails will greatly assist the Committee as to maintain them requires a considerable outlay their present extent in the Bar Harbor District alone being in excess of 125 miles.

That was the entire newspaper article and it highlighted several things.  First, noticve all the many names of trails mentioned that were later abandoned by the Park Service.  The Boyd Road is also mentioned as running between Bubble Pond and Eagle lake.  The article also pins down the location of the toboggan run, placing it close to the Bubble pond Brook - the article states that the stone steps that led up to the Boyd road were built over an area of the toboggan run.
Perhaps in March I can get into the woods there and see if there are still any signs of those stone steps but at least now we now know the general area where the toboggan run was located.
Sadly I don't have a copy of another article i came across years ago that talked about the second toboggan run, but I do remember  it said a second toboggan run was located near Kebo Mountain, ran down through the woods and came out onto the Kebo Golf Course.  In a past post on the Building of the arts, I had posted that an abandoned section of the Stratheden  Path once began near some old stone steps located directly across from the Kebo Mountain trail, I still believe that.  However I now do not believe that the Stratheden path went straight down the hillside directly in front of those stone steps.  The well worn area that ran straight ahead from those steps and continued down through the woods to the golf course I now believe to have been the location of the second toboggan run - it fits perfectly and there really is a very limited area there where a toboggan run could of gone in that began by kebo mountain.
Sadly the Park Service, when it reopened and upgraded a trail that now runs left and right at the bottom of those stone steps, it filled in and planted over that worn area that ran from the stone steps down to the golf course, burying what i now believe to have been where the second toboggan run was located.
  These toboggan runs were built out of boards and put in place in the mid to late fall and taken up in the spring and they don't appear to be marked on old maps.  However, on one old map an area by Kebo Mountain is circled and marked as Kebo Valley Winter Sports Area and that worn section of what I thought was an abandoned trail runs right through that area and ends by the golf course.
I believe I may now know the general area where the Stratheden path ran through but I have to wait until early spring to go back to the area and confirm it.  On old maps, the Gorge path that once began by route 3 and runs over to Mountain Ave and beyond to an intersection - at that intersection is where the remains of the Stratheden path should be located.  It would of run from the golf course, beginning by the area of the stone marked Stratheden Path, to the woods, down a steep hillside to the new trail the park service put in there a few years ago.  I remember finding an old path in that general area  before the new trail was constructed.

MAP OF ONE OF THE TOBOGGAN RUNS - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DORR MOUNTAIN CREVICE CAVE

DORR MOUNTAIN CAVE

I came across this cave posted on Youtube the other evening and have tried to contact the guy who posted it to nail down the exact location of the cave in the video.  That said, I have hiked Dorr Mountain many times over the years and am pretty certain I know the location, but it I am wrong I will update this with new information.
Clearly the video is taken along  Dorr Mountain, and the guy in the video makes the statement that the cave is just below an area that looks like an observation deck - I know of only one area on Dorr Mountain with an area that looks like an observation deck.
You can either take the Homans Trail or the main trail just behind the Spring House at Sieur de Monts Spring.  If your on the main trail continue past the Homans Trail intersection, at some point ahead the trail will take a turn to the right and begin to pass through narrow passages of granite along stone steps.  The trail than comes to an area that looks like an observation deck, kind of a half circle in the front with rocks along it.  There should also be a large slab of granite there that is a make slight bench.
I had never noticed the opening just below the observation deck, but now that I see the video it is clear the opening is there just below and in front of the observation deck area.  We had always referred to that spot as the resting place because of the stone bench.  The views from that location are fantastic and as you can see in the video, you can step right down into the cave from the deck area.
The video does show a crevice in the wall of granite further below the observation deck but using the observation area might be an easier landmark to find.
Of more interest is the section of granite halfway between the observation area and the crevice area, where the guy points out some "Staples" leading upward along the trail...clearly at one time that lead to a lookout point of some sorts.

DORR MOUNTAIN CREVICE CAVE VIDEO





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

THE GATES OF EDEN

George B. Dorr loved all of Acadia National Park, but there was only one spot that he coined the name, The Gates of Eden.  The title Dorr gave this location may of become lost to time, but Dorr's Gates of eden are still very much there today. 
The location can be found along the Kane path, that trail that runs along the back side of the tarn along route 3.  As your passing the Tarn, just beyond the Tarn there are a couple of trails that lead from the roadside into the woods.  You want the trail that quickly comes to an intersection, with the Kane Trail running right and left and the Dorr Ladder Trail running straight ahead.  If you are at that intersection, you are standing at what George B. Dorr called the Gates of eden.
At first glance there appears to be nothing there that would even suggest it was the Gates of Eden, at least not during much of the year.  But go to that location at the height of fall foliage when the leaves change to bright flaming colors, and you know it was that time of year that Dorr walked along that stretch  and paused, and named the area the Gates of eden.  An autumn walk along that stretch from that intersection up to the A Murry young Trail and gorge Trail is something special you want to try and treat yourself to if you haven't done so yet. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

CAN YOU SOLVE THIS MYSTERY

A genealogy mystery isn't something you would expect to find on Abandoned Trails, but we have been trying to solve this mystery for a number of years with no success, so we are trying a new approach by posting this on non genealogy sites in the hopes that some one can solve the mystery.  We have a document and all the information on it is known except for the maiden name of Francis foster's wife, Sarah  ?.  I have cut and pasted three sections of the document together and darkened it a bit in order to make it easier to read, and I will post a link to the official document as well.



LINK TO OFFICIAL DOCUMENT









Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ABANDONED CARRIAGE ROAD ENTRANCE

Many years ago I had remembered seeing what looked like it might of been an old trail just before Aunt Betty's Pond and had always meant to return to the area and check it out.  Yesterday I finally did do just that,  and I was surprised that the old trail led to the Eagle lake road and clearly was once an entrance point to the carriage roads.  I say this for two reasons, first, there is the remains of an old iron gate like the park service used to shut down sections of the park in winter time.  Second, the road on the Eagle lake Road end is blocked by several large granite blocks.
We followed the trail from the carriage road end, and it soon came to a brook, and a section of the trail was under water on the far side, but we decided to press forward to where the trail was no longer under water.  The further we went the better the trail became until it widened out into an old road. 
Once at the Eagle lake road we could see the long section of guard rail leading uphill toward the  Acadia National park headquarters, so the guard rail ends not too far from this abandoned road.  Thye entrance to the old road also sets down an embankment so you may not be able to see it while driving past in a car.  but its not that far of a walk from park headquarters.
There is no place to park by this old road, but if there was, this would be a real short cut to Aunt Betty's pond. 

AUNT BETTY'S POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

Once past the brook we came to this cool arch.


Here the path widens into an old road.


Here the old road ends at the Eagle lake Road - notice the section of old gate post on the left.

Aunt Betty's Pond carriage Road - Acadia National Park






PARK HEADQUARTERS SHORT CUT PATH

I would call this more of a path than a trail.  You enter Park Headquarters off the Eagle lake Road to the far right, go to the stop sign, and look for a paved path on the right beyond the stop sign.  This threw me off because I was looking for a dirt path, but the first section of the path is paved.  The paved path takes you quickly to a small field with a generator, along with several small storage units or sheds.  Here the path turns to dirt and crosses one edge of the small field to a series of steps that lead down to a make shift bridge that connects to the Aunt Betty's Pond Carriage road.
So if your parking your car at Park headquarters, this short cut can really save you time walking to Aunt Betty's Pond.

AUNT BETTY'S POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK





AUNT BETTY'S POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
On the Carriage road end this make shift bridge kind of gives away the fact that there just might be a path there.


In the photo above you can see some of the stone steps leading to the small field.


In this photo you can see the storage areas near on end of the field.


This photo shows the paved section of the path between the field and the Park Headquarters parking lot.













Saturday, November 25, 2017

SECRET PARK RANGER TRAIL








At the intersection, a right hand turn quickly came out well behind Park Headquarters at a kink of car graveyard of sorts, other cars further back included an older ambulance.  At first we had no idea where we were at, there were cars, trucks and machinery all around the place.  But once we got around the corner we knew it was well behind Park Headquarters.



How would you like to change a wheel on this thing.....not sure this would come in handy in a high speed chase.
As I have said many times, often when you go on a search, no matter how well you research it, you often end up finding something you were not counting on, as was  the case today.  Went back to the Brewer Ice Company area for more photos, located parts of an old rusted truck.  Decided to go explore the area around the stone bridge, when close to the intersection there we spotted what appeared to be a path leading up into the woods.  We followed it and it soon came out by the Eagle lake road, with an old paved road running to the left - it begged to be followed.
It is really a short section of paved road that quickly comes to a storage area used by the park Service, mostly piles of granite blocks and a storage trailer.  But just before we arrived there, we made note of a very well worn trail which entered the woods, so we returned back to that worn path.  This path was not your average abandoned trail, this was a well worn and well maintained trail, brush trimmed back, fallen limbs and trees removed from the trail, well kept up - we knew we had a good find.
Secret Park Ranger trail - Eagle lake - Acadia National Park

We arrived at an intersection and my son said we should go right, but I over ruled him and we went left.  Even though we were passing through deep woods, the trail was amazingly kept up and soon we came to the Aunt Bettys Pond Carriage Road.  We looked at the path we had just stepped off of and it was hard to tell there was even a path there.  And directly on the other side of the carriage road the path continued down through the woods until we came to the Eagle lake carriage Road, we looked back and again could hardly tell a path was there.  Directly on the other side of the eagle lake carriage Road the path continued down to the edge of Eagle lake - but why?
We retraced out way back to that intersection where my son wanted to go right, and followed it.  A short ways through the woods we crossed a small wooden bridge, and a short ways beyond that we came out behind the Park Headquarters, with one sing post that read, "Park Employee Eagle Lake Path."
It was than that I started thinking about how this well maintained path simply ended at the edge of the lake - why?  I remember looking across the lake, there was a clear view of the Boat landing, as well as much of the shoreline on the other side of the lake.  Could this be a look out point where rangers could secretly scan the edge of the shoreline with binoculars, keeping an eye out for anyone violating the NO SWIMMING law that applies to Eagle Lake?  Clearly this well groomed and well worn trail runs from Park Headquarters to the edge of the lake for a reason.
One thing is for certain, this is an unmarked trail and not easy to find, with only one trail sign by the park Headquarters, way out in the rear and around a corner where a large number of park trucks, plows, and other equipment is kept.  We even saw an old ambulance back there.

SECRET PARK RANGER PATH
by Eagle Lake bridge
Latitude  44 22' 38" N
Longitude  68 15' 12" W
Trail by Old Road
Latitude    44 22' 35" N
Longitude  68 15' 22" W
Intersection
Latitude    44 22' 31" N
Longitude  68 15' 21" W

Trail by Eagle Lake Bridge (unmarked)
Abandoned Road
Abandoned Road - Park Storage Area Ahead

Trail from headquarters to lake

Here the trail crosses the Aunt Betty's Pond Carriage Road and continues down to the Eagle lake Carriage Road.  Even though the trail is well worn, it is still hard to see from either of the Carriage Roads.