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.

ABANDONED 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.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

ABANDONED HOUSE OF EAGLE LAKE

I will bet you have walked, jogged or biked around Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park a number of times, perhaps dozens, and never realized that a very short distance from the carriage road, right by the side of the lake itself, is what remains of an abandoned house.  I first learned of it from another website that covers abandoned trails, but they would not disclose it's location.  They did however post some photos, and from those photos I was able to locate the house, or what remains of it.



It was a family who came up to Maine in the Summer Months who decided to build their dream home on the Shore of Eagle Lake.  Some sites, mine being one of them, have posted that it may of been the Bar Harbor Water Company that brought about the house not being built, by giving the family building the house a "Stop work" order.  This however appears not to be what happened.  I came upon a piece published in Trails of History which states it was George B. Dorr who approached the family and asked that they not build their home on the shore of the lake.  He pointed out to them that waste water could contaminate the areas drinking water.  But in GDorr's mind he must of been considering the much bigger picture, because at the time he was buying up lands in hopes of one day establishing a National Park here.  So if dorr could convince this family from building along the lake, it would be a first step in preserving not only Eagle Lake, but other Lakes and Ponds on the island.  He must of gave a good sales pitch, because the family did agree to stop building their dream home, leaving the impressive foundation with its wide arch in place as it sets there today.


 VIDEO OF ABANDONED HOUSE - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK






Once Dorr got the family to abandon their home, he went right to work putting together legislation that would forever protect many of the islands lakes and ponds, including Eagle Lake, buble Pond and Jordon Pond.  The legislature listened and passed into law the protection of these prized locations from any future development. 

Now I was just at the abandoned house the other evening, and what I discovered did not come as a surprise at all.  Pesky Ridge Runners had dragged a downed tree over to the path and placed it length wise as to try and hide the trail to the house.  This is a common practice that they engage in.  Just keep it in mind should you go there, that there very well may be a tree across the path or branches tossed onto the path in an effort to discourage your sense of adventure.

Eagle Lake - Acadia National Park


So I will put up my map to this location, which is helpful if your coming to the location from the Eagle Lake boat landing end of the lake.   You follow the Eagle Lake carriage road around the lake on the left hand side of the lake.  Walk or ride until you come to a rock support wall on the right hand side of the carriage road.  Now go back in the direction you came, maybe four or five car lengths, to where a very narrow brook is on either side of the road, the brook is sometimes dried up.  On the left hand side, maybe half a car length is a worn path entering the woods and moving at an angle toward the lake.  The path becomes heavily worn the further you go.  It goes down into a dip before heading up a small hill and the abandoned house is right there over looking the lake.
Now here is the second way to locate the abandoned house of Eagle Lake, this time we begin by the Bubble Pond parking lot.  You want to go onto the carriage road by the parking lot and go toward the park loop road.  Cross the paved road and continue down the carriage road toward Eagle Lake.
At an intersection, go right.

 Continue until you come to a wooden bridge with wooden railings.  Shortly after you cross the bridge a supporting wall will appear on the right hand side of the carriage road.  By supporting wall I do not mean those large granite blocks that are spaced apart, check out the photo for what the supporting wall looks like.


Continue on until the supporting wall ends.  Now continue forward maybe four to five car lengths or until there is a narrow brook on both sides of the road.  Half a car length beyond the brook on the left the path begins and makes its way toward the lake at an angle.  .



Thankfully George B. Dorr proved to be the right man with the right vision who came along at the right time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

THE SINGING 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?

Bubble Pond - Waterfall - Acadia National Park


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 intoo far, as you can at see the road from the falls.. 


So anyways, just to do an update - me and my son returned back to the singing waterfall, since we had a pretty good rain the day before.  As we approached the area where the stream crosses under the roadway we noticed a car parked in the pull over and I commented that it looks like someone is tracking down a trail.
We entered the woods along the side of the stream and the stream did not disappoint, in many areas it was pure white water, much more than when we walked it a few days back.  The rains certainly gave new life to an old stream.  And the waterfall area was something else - I shot a number of videos while there.

We made our way back out to the road and as we stepped out of the woods, someone down below from us also stepped out of the woods.  As it turned out it was Matt from Leave The World Below - we finally got to meet in person.  I mean, what are the odds that we would both be in the same area of the park and both step out of the woods at about the same time.....
After talking a bit me and my son moved on down into the woods in an attempt to retrace the way Matt had taken when he nailed some killer shots of the lower section of this stream.  I am not sure what we did wrong, but I think we missed some of the better photos this stream had to offer on the lower end.
We had gotten not far down the banking when we decided to cross over to the other side of the stream, which further down branches off into two or three directions - I guess we just choice the wrong side to follow, but I was able to get some nice videos.


SOUNDS OF NATURE - WITCH HOLE BROOK

VIDEO OF THE SINGING WATERFALL