Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Back in the day, before Bear brook Picnic Area was a picnic area, it was a small campground.  And where Jackson Labs is today there use to be a horse racing track.  So it only makes sense that at one time those two areas would of been connected, and as it turns out they are connected still to this day by way of a secret trail in the nearby woods.  Today the trail is most often used by workers at Jackson Lab who want to get into the park quickly for a picnic or a hike.
But before you can find the hidden trail, you first have to locate Bear Brook Picnic Area, and the park doesn't go out of its way to point it out to you.  Once you drive past the one small sign for it, you have to be ready to brake and turn into it, but many become distracted by the pond on the right with Champlain Mountain towering over it.
And to make matters worse, the entrance to the picnic area is at an odd angle, turning into it ends up pointing your car in the direction you just came from.  It is little wonder that Bear Brook Picnic area see's very little use, and on many a summer day you can go there and find the place nearly empty.  You kind of get the feeling the Park Service doesn't want the public finding it.
To locate Bear Brook Picnic area, drive along the One Way Section of the Park Loop Road, drive past the turn off for Sieur de Monts Spring, pass under the stone bridge ahead, than you will continue uphill and around a long curve, at the top of the hill the road straightens out, and if you look to the left you can see some of the picnic tables.  Switch to the left hand lane and put your blinker on to turn left, slow down, and look for a very sharp turn on your left leading into the picnic area.

Bear Brook Picnic Area - Jackson Lab Trail - Acadia National Park

Once at Bear Brook Picnic Area, the map is fairly easy to follow to locate the hidden trail.  Walk up over some flat granite and the well worn trail is there.  It is not a long path and leads to a rear parking lot of Jackson Labs, with route 3 just ahead.


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