Thursday, April 27, 2017


I can't find anyplace where this trail is labeled, and when I first listed it some contacted me and said  this was actually the Orange and Black Trail, which is you look at old maps,  the trail appears to be a quick access route to the Orange and Black trail.  I simply have called this the Lost Rudolph Brunnow Trail.    I believe this was used by him and perhaps some of his work crew to access the Orange and Black Trail, the Precipice and the Great Cave Loop, and here is why I believe this.  The trail begins near High Seas, but unlike other trails on old maps, this one shows up in a lighter color, as though it was not an official trail.  It also runs up the mountain side and quickly joins the Orange and Black Trail in only a fraction of the time it would take had you hiked to that point from the start of the orange and black Trail.

The Trail I am covering begins between this sign post and the Precipice Parking lot.

We researched and studied old maps to best see how we could track this trail down, knowing that not only had it been abandoned but most likely some, if not all of the trail would of become lost to time.   We began near the Precipice parking lot, since we knew this trail lay between that parking lot and the start of the Orange and Black Trail.

One of many storm drains along side of the Park Loop Road

My youngest son walked right up along the rocky base of Champlain Mountain, while I walked the woods a little closer to the road.  At about the half way point, he called out to me and said he had come to a steep rock gully and said he was going up it to see if anything was up there.  Moments later he called out he had discovered a small rock pile - I headed for where he was.

From road go straight in short ways until you reach rocky gully running upward.

By now he had reached as far up the gully as he could go when he looked to his right and called out he had located stone steps.  And that is how we located the trail, and decided to return the next day to go further up it.  The following day we could not locate the trail and had to repeat the entire process over again.  Once we relocated it, I went out to the roadway and figured out how to know exactly where this trail was.  Than we climbed the trail until we came to a dead end.  It stops just short of the official Orange and Black Trail, and appears as though some of the stone steps were removed so people hiking the official trail would not spot this trail.  We than took photos and mad a rough sketch of where the trail was and how it ran.

Rocky Gully - at top, look right for stone steps

To locate this trail, drive, bike, hike or take the free Island Explorer bus to the Precipice parking lot.  If using the bus, make certain you let the driver know you want to get off at the Precipice parking lot.  He may tell you the trail there is closed due to endangered Falcons nesting along the Precipice, just tell you to let you off there.

Stone Steps of the lost Rudolph Brunnow Trail

Now walk along the Park Loop Road, going against the traffic, and at each storm ditch along the roadside, look back down the road behind you to see if you can still see the large Precipice sign on the side of the Park Loop Road.  When you come to the storm ditch where you can no longer see the sign, follow the tiny brook there into the woods.  The brook may be dry.  There may or may not be some rock piles up, just walk straight toward the base of the mountain toward a rock strewn gully which leads up the mountain side.  as I recall, it is the only place in that area where you can make your way upward.

Rock gully as seen from the stone steps

As you get as high as you can go look to your right for stone steps.  The trail is in good to rough shape, but the stone steps can be clearly seen.  They go on to turn left where the steps are in better shape.  A little higher up the steps turn the corner again, turning left again, than the trail turns to rock and dirt, with some brush growing up in the trail.  After a short ways the brush becomes much thicker and the trail turns upward, but here is where a number of steps seem to have been removed.  The official Orange and Black Trail  is just ahead.

 this the Lost Rudolph Brunnow Trail - Acadia National Park

Because this trail was so well hidden I rank this as one of our bigger finds and it felt so good when we first got those stone steps into sight.  I just wish we had this much luck with every abandned trail we went searching for.


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