Wednesday, March 29, 2017

LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH

Even though Little Hunters Beach is located along the popular Ocean Drive, or One Way Section of the Park Loop Road as popular attractions such as The Beehive, The Precipice, Anemone Cave, Sand Beach and thunder Hole, many tourists pass along that stretch of roadway without ever knowing they are passing this tiny Oceanside beach.  In part this is because the Park Service treats Little Hunters Beach as if it were an abandoned section of the park, much like they treat Old Farm at Compass Harbor and Anemone Cave.  In other words, there are no signs telling you to put on the brakes, there's something unique and interesting to see here.
What makes Little Hunters Beach unique and interesting is also what makes the park want to make it hard to locate - for the tiny rocky beach is famous for its perfectly smooth oval and round stones of various sizes.   I recall first going to this tiny beach many years ago, and at that time the number of these unique stones was very high.  Sadly, today there are a lot fewer of those unique stones, created by the ocean waves moving across the stones, wearing them smooth and round or oval shaped.  People visit the beach and pocket the stones - which is illegal and can earn you a court date before a Federal Judge.
Some pocket the unique stones as a keep sake to remember their visit to the National Park, others seek the stones because some believe them to have mysterious healing powers, and others simply can't resist the perfectly shaped rocks, but leaving the unique stones in place helps ensure Little Hunters beach will remain a special place for many more years to come.
I have a map showing where the tiny beach is located along the Park Loop Road, but there are no signs it even exists other than a small bridge you pass over at one point.  At that small bridge is a narrow steep stairway leading down to the rocky beach itself.  Near the top of the bridge, just inside the woods is a display telling about the area, not easy to see as your driving past.  So the tiny bridge is the only clue to letting you know your there.

LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


So the only way to reach the tiny beach and not miss it is by arriving by car, bike, or bus at Blackwoods Campground.  The Sand Beach bus from the Bar Harbor Village Green, a free bus,  makes a stop on each run to the campground.

LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


  From the campground bus stop, you want to walk up along the roadway to the far left, passing tent sites on the right as you go.  In a very short time you will reach a path on your left which leads to the Park Loop Road and the high cliffs over looking the ocean.  Years ago this was a service road, but today is a path. 
Once you reach the park loop road, go right, walking in the same direction as the traffic.  Depending on how fast you walk, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes to come to the small stone bridge, with its nearly hidden steep staircase on the left hand side of the bridge.  You may end up taking longer to reach the bridge as there are a number of places along the way that offer great views of the ocean and rocky coastline.
To return back to the campground simply retrace the route you took to reach the beach.
WOODEN STAIRWAY - LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


BRIDGE AT LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK


LITTLE HUNTERS BEACH - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

GPS - Little Hunters Beach - Acadia National Park









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