Thursday, May 12, 2016

ABANDONED WITCH HOLE POND TRAIL

Sorry if you read this earlier and saw the somewhat confusing map I had put up of this newly discovered abandoned trail, which I am calling the Witch Hole Pond Trail.  Being an abandoned or ghost trail, it has no trail markings or trail head, but on a return trip back to the area we discovered something just as good as a trail head.

WITCH HOLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
As the Witch Hole Pond Carriage Road turns away from Witch Hole Pond, it follows the edge of a marsh for a very short ways uphill, before turning away from the marsh.  Right in front of you, there will be three different carriage road sign posts, the one closest to you has a well worn trail that begins right next to it - that is the abandoned Witch Hole Pond Trail.


WITCH HOLE POND TRAIL - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


CASCADES OF WITCH HOLE BROOK - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


Years ago there was old roads and hiking trails all throughout this area, but all were abandoned over time, the old roads replaced with the Carriage Roads and the Hiking trails left to fade into time.
This abandoned trail once ran all the way to the pond's edge and than followed the pond looping around it.  A vanishing section of the trail around one edge of Witch Hole Pond can still be followed today for a short distance.
So the very first of the three sign posts is key to finding the start of the trail.  It goes into the woods a very short ways before coming to an intersection, turn right and head toward the marsh.  The trail left goes a very short ways back to the carriage road.

DIRT PULL OVER BEFORE PARK LOOP ROAD SPLITS

TRAIL COMES OUT BY PARK LOOP ROAD - DIRT PULL OVER TO LEFT

You quickly come to a second intersection, go left, and keep following the edge of the marsh.  The trail right goes a very short ways back to the carriage road.


Even though I just discovered it, it is clear by how worn it is that the abandoned trail is very much in use today by locals, and no doubt park staff wanting quick access to the Witch Hole Pond area.
As you make your way along the trail there is a hill over looking the trail and old maps show where 3 to 4 houses were once located up on that hill.  We did some exploring and were able to locate only one sunken foundation.  I recall reading that back than some of those houses were nothing more than log cabins.


We went down the back side of that hill and came to an old dirt road which we followed through the woods - it came to a large marsh I had never seen before.  The dirt road kept following the edge of the marsh but water from the marsh along with thick brush soon over took the old road and we could not follow it any further.

WITCH HOLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
WITCH HOLE POND CARRIAGE ROAD - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
SUNSET - WITCH HOLE POND - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK







Saturday, May 7, 2016

ABANDONED HOUSE OF EAGLE LAKE

Hidden in the woods not far from the shore of Eagle lake is a partial foundation with large stone arches, and for some time this site has been the subject of much speculation. But after much research we now know the story behind the Stone Arches of Eagle Lake. A family who spent their summers here decided to purchase some land along the edge of the lake and construct their dream home by the water, and construction soon began. But the family failed to get permission from the town of Bar Harbor to built near the lake, and concerns were soon raised about the town's drinking water supply becoming contaminated. One rumor says legal action was taken against the home builders to cease construction – however after much research I was not able to find a source for that rumor. What I did find was that George B. Dorr, who was a member of the Bar Harbor water Company, went out and talked to the family and was able to convince them not to built there.




Instead of tearing down what had already been built, they simply left the foundation with large arches standing in the woods by the lake, where it still sets today.
There are two sources for this story, The Trails of History and the History of the Bar Harbor Water Company. We also know that not long after what must of appeared as a major victory for Mr Dorr, he set off for Augusta to help put together legislation that would forever protect certain bodies of water on Mount Desert Island, such as Eagle Lake, Bubble Pond, and Jordan Pond. Not long after the legislation passed and those waters were protected from future development.  



The old Toll House Path made its way from the base of Cadillac Mountain, running past this house that was being built and ending at the location of the Green Mountain Railroad Station a quarter mile further along the shore of  the lake. I have spent many an evening seated by one of the arches, looking out over the water as the sunset blazed across the sky, thankful that this view is today open to the public instead of being private property.
There are three ways to locate the hidden path to the stone arches, one way is by GPS, another way is to walk along the 



Eagle lake Carriage Road, left side of the lake, until you come to a retaining wall sunk into the left hand side of the carriage road. There is only one such retaining wall on that side of the lake, and just before the retaining wall is a dry drainage ditch. A couple feet before the drainage ditch, on the right hand side of the road, once you locate it, following it to the stone arches is easy,
The other way to the site is to begin by Bubble Pond, park and cross the road and follow the carriage road to Eagle Lake, at the first intersection, turn right, and follow the carriage road which will come to a bridge. Not far after the bridge you will come to the retaining wall, but from this direction it will be on the right hand side of the road. Follow the retaining wall until you reach the other end, just ahead will be a narrow drainage ditch, a couple feet past the drainage ditch look for a path in the woods on the left hand side of the road, it is pretty easy to find.






GPS for hidden path to Stone Arches
44 21' 46”N - 68 14' 41”W
GPS for stone arches

44 21' 46”N - 68 14' 45”W

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

THE HIDDEN WATERFALL

Today we once again entered the forest of Acadia National Park, not in a quest of an abandoned or lost trail but to simply see what nature would offer us, and nature did not disappoint.

CASCADING WATERS LINE THE ROUTE
Over the years I have followed this same stream and never saw the views it offered up today.  In part that is because we always followed this stream moving along its right bank, today we moved along its left bank and for the first time saw views that were hidden from the other side.
And as we made our way along the stream the views only kept getting that much better, views that you won't come across from the comfort of your car or biking a carriage road, nor hiking an established hiking trail for that matter.  Some of the most beautiful places in the park lie like diamonds in the rough and to find them you have to have a sense of adventure and go off trail to locate them.



The waters from the mountain spill down the mountainside into this quiet pool of water, I think on a hot summer day I might just return here to take a dip in the cool shade of the surrounding tree's.





So the above photo is a built up wall that you come to shortly after entering the woods to follow the stream uphill.  In the past we have come here and sat while listening to the singing stream rush past as it moves downhill and passes beneath the Park Loop Road.  So exactly where do you find this stream with its many cascades and waterfalls?



It's the same direction  as for the Green Mountain Railroad trail pretty much.  Drive along the park loop road in the direction of Bubble pond and Jordan Pond.  Once you come to the Cadillac Summit road keep driving past it and continue on past the first pull over on the right.  Stop at the second pull over and park.  Now walk back up the road back in the direction you just came for a short ways, to where a fast moving stream passes through the woods and under the roadway.  You will want to enter the woods on the left hand side of the stream, as some of the best views can't be seen from the other side.

To reach the area with the nice pool of water and the waterfall you do not need to go in too far, as you can at see the road from the falls.. 


Some one emailed me and asked if the large pool of water beneath the waterfall was deep enough to swim in, and I can tell you the water is crystal clear as it can be and fairly deep. 

WATERFALL - CADILLAC MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
CASCADING WATERFALL

Pull Over
latitude       44 21' 32"N
longitude     68 14' 28"W
enter woods at
latitude        44 21' 34"N
longitude      68 14' 27"W
To side of brook
latitude        44 21' 34"N
longitude      68 14' 26"W
waterfall
latitude        44 21' 34"N
longitude      68 14' 25"W




SOUNDS OF NATURE - WITCH HOLE BROOK