Friday, April 28, 2017

ABANDONED BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL

Before I begin, this is not the Bass Harbor Lighthouse Keepers Trail, this is the other lighthouse trail.
 I came upon this old trail on an old map one evening and since it had no name, I named it the Bass harbor Lighthouse Trail.  Years later when I lived in that area, I soon learned the locals knew of this trail and hiked it often.  The start of the trail is not hard to locate, but expect there to be some tree branches tossed over the start of the trail.

BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE


To locate the start of the trail on the Lighthouse end, drive along route 102 A, and than turn onto the Lighthouse road, which soon takes you to the Bass Harbor Lighthouse parking lot.   You want to go to the trail by the restrooms to the far left corner of the parking lot.  It turns a corner and brings you to a long section of wooden steps which leads down to the rocks well below the lighthouse.  There are two places not far from one another just before those wooden stairs that are the start of the trail.
The trail passes through a short section of woods and than follows the tree line along high cliffs un til it comes to a small hill. 

ABANDONED BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL


The path up the hill is fairly easy, the path down the other side of the hill is a little steep, just take your time.  From there the Trail continues to move close to the water offering up some nice views before it reaches a point where several large trees have come down across the trail.  Once you make your way over the trees, the trail crosses a high cliff and below is a rocky beach the locals call Whistlers Beach, named because the guy who built a path to the beach whictles as he makes his way to the beach.

OCEAN VIEW FROM BASS HARBOR LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL


Follow the path as it moves downward to the rocky coastline and there you can walk out on the rocks and reach the beach area.  Ignore the trail at the top of the cliff as it leads to private homes and one guys back door. 
The trail continues to stay close to the water, and as you have seen by now, is fairly easy to follow.  The trail comes to an area where drift wood washes up along the shore, though the park does not allow you to remove driftwood from the park.  Once past that area the trail makes its way to the mouth of Ship Harbor.  Look across to the other side of the harbor and often you will see tourists over there trying to figure out how you reached the other side of the harbor.  this is where for many the trail will end.
Locals know how to make their way around, where the trail once ran, ending at an area by the Ship Harbor parking lot.  A shame this trail was abandoned as it fits so nicely in with the official trail, and would of been a great way for people to reach the lighthouse without having to take up the limited parking stalls there.
To locate the start of the trail on the Ship harbor end, from the parking lot along route 102 A, walk to the corner closest to the parking lot, a brook crosses under the roadway, and a hidden path runs along the brook to an opening overlooking the harbor with great views.  From there the trail follows the inside very edge of the woods, staying close to the open harbor until it  reaches a hard right and comes to a brook.  From there you really have to be from the area to know exactly where the trail went, but it does come out by the mouth of ship Harbor.




ABANDONED LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL VIDEO








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