Tuesday, May 30, 2017


While hiking the Stratheden Trail nearly 20 years ago, I passed an area along the official trail that looked like it was an unmarked trail, so today we went back to that area in hopes we would be able to find it again.  Once again we forgot the bug spray and the bugs were relentless, but we did find what we set out to find, an unmarked trail.

Okay, as we began hiking along it we soon realized this was no trail, this was in fact an old abandoned road.  You could still see the itre groves, and the entire left hand side of the old road was well built up and lined with rocks - see photos.  But no sooner had we begun to wonder where the road went to, that it suddenly came to an end.  The area where it ended had towering walls of granite that were smooth and perfectly flat, and clearly appeared to be an old granite mining site.
And on a large rock was a pile of rusting metal parts, a few of the parts seemed to clearly have come off of some sort of truck or machine.  Check out the photos and see what you think.

So we poked around the entire area searching for more signs of anything that might be there and found nothing.  So we decided to make our way up the mountain side oven an open area and soon came to the woods, and there amid piles of what appeared to be cut granite, one large piece proved this area was once a granite mining area.  It had the tell tale grooves evenly spaced along one side.
 Here the drainage ditch veers right away from the official trail, this is where the abandoned road begins.

So to find the general area of tall walls of granite and rusting metal parts, hike along the Stratheden Trail and pay attention to the drainage ditch on the right hand side of the trail not far into the hike.  At one point a long section of the ditch makes a sudden right hand turn and actually begins to go up the abandoned road.  And you don't have to go up the old road very far before you see how one side of the road is lined with large rocks.
 Here you can see how rocks line one side of the old road.

The hardest part of finding this location is in first finding the Stratheden Trail, which is very easy to miss.  Begin by driving or biking along the one way section of the Park Loop Road.  You will soon pass the pull over for the Cadillac North Ridge Trail.  The road than goes down hill, and crosses a large stone bridge - the start of the Gorge Trail is below the bridge.

Continue down the road until you come to a long cruve, half way through the long curve is the Kebo Mountain Trail Head.  As soon as you exit the long curve, slow and look for a very tiny pull over on the left and side of the road, that is where the Stratheden Trail begins.  The pull over is large enough for one, maybe two cars at the most.


Saturday, May 27, 2017



It is a mystery because no one seems to know much about the ship wreck or how the large ship came to be where its remains are located today.  An older gentleman recalls playing on the wreck when he was a young boy. 
In most pieces I have found on this ship wreck, the Park Service has stated they wanted the ship wreck's location kept a secret, however, documents found online tell the location of the wreck.  There are also a number of photos of the ship's remains as well as photos of what the ship might of looked like.
The ship is said to have been a large vessel, the kind most often used to carry passengers.  
On a video showing Park Rangers at the site, it is said that the vessel entered a narow cove and either crashed or came to rest on the far side of the cove in an area that is mud at low tide.  So to access the crash site one would have to arrive in the area at low tide.  It's location as described below appears in a free online PDF on the ship wreckage;
"The shipwreck is located on the north shore
of  the  eastern  end  of  Seal  Cove,  on  Mount 
Desert  Island,  in  the  intertidal  zone  (
.  5). 
East  of  the  main  part  of  the  cove,  the  site  is 
next  to  a  narrow  channel  that  is  nearly  dry  at 
low  tide,  limiting  the  draft  of  vessels  able  to 
enter. The site was reported by local informants
in  2006  and  listed  with  the  Maine  Historic 
Archaeological  Sites  Inventory  in  July  2007  by 
Anthony Booth of Independent Archaeological
Consulting  (Maine  Historic  Preservation 
Commission 2007: 1–2; Price 2007)."
On a video showing Park Rangers at the site, it is said that the vessel entered a narow harbor and either crashed or came to rest on the far side of the harbor in an area that is mud at low tide.





Cedar Swamp Mountain holds a secret many don't know of, a secret that claimed the lift of retired Air force Captain Robert McGaunn. 
He refueled at Boston's Logan International Airport, before continuing on with his flight.  While flying through bad weather from PA to Newfoundland, his plane suddenly disappeared without a trace.  A search was conducted for the missing plane but nothing was found. 
Three months later a pilot from nearby Trenton Maine flying over Cedar Swamp Mountain spotted the wreckage and reported it in.  The body of the pilot was recovered, but the wreckage of the plane was left on the mountain side. 
The pilot died strapped into his seat and the seat still rests near the mountain top.  The crash site and its wreckage is said to be located very close to the top of the summit.  The plane crash took place on 30 June 1970.





Thursday, May 4, 2017


First off, Bar Island can only be reached by boat or by crossing the sand bar at low tide.  Explorers have two hours before the low tide mark, and two hours after the low tide mark to explore the island.
At one time only half of Bar Island belonged to Acadia National Park, but today the entire island  belongs to the park.  Despite the entire island now belonging to the Park service, there is only one official trail on the island.  That said, if you do a little looking, you will find at least half a dozen unmarked trails on the small island.
Let's begin with the official trail, it begins near one end of the sand bar, with a sign and a gate across the narrow dirt road.  This Trail runs up through the woods, coming out into a large field.  As the road cuts through the field, look toward the field to the left, by the edge of the woods is an apple tree and deer can often be spotted by the tree.  At the far end of the field you approach an official trail post and trail leading up to the summit.

As you approach the sign post, look to the right for a well worn trail leading  into the woods, that road once led to a house where a well known person lived who did the voice on many PBS documentaries.  The house is no longer there, but you will find several foundations, some old walls, and at least two very large fireplaces that are still standing.
view from Glacial Rock Trail - Bar Island, Acadia National Park

The road continues well past the first foundations, but you need to seek it out, look for worn paths. 
Now as you start down that right hand turn away from the official trail, you will quickly come to a sign, private property.  Ignore the sign, it was placed by by the gentleman who lived there once.  Now that the park owns the entire island, it is all available for you to explore.
As you make your way back on the official trail, you will pass old dirt roads and paths, explore to your delight.
Glacial Trail, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

Now lets go back to the sign and gate you came to as you came onto Bar Island.  If you follow the dirt road up the hill into the woods, it runs in a straight line until it comes to a sharp curve.  At the sharp curve, look to the left to an almost hidden worn trail.  This is what some locals refer to as the Glacial rock trail.
Glacial Rock, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

  At the start of this unmarked trail you have some nice ocean views as well as some nice views of the sand bar.  The trail than enters the woods, and runs in an almost straight line toward the back corner of Bar Island.  One is in the woods just before the cliff, the other rests along one side of the cliff.  This is also where kayaks  pass on a guided tour, and the tour guide tells of the giant glacial boulders.
There is also a beach on the far rear of Bar Island, but no trail leads to it and you have to make your way there along the rocky shoreline.
Map of Bar Island - Acadia National Park

When three cruise ships come to Bar Harbor, one usually anchors to the back side of Bar Island, and you get get a very closeup view of it from this trail.

Road to Bar Island Summit Trail - Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor view from Bar Island - Acadia National Park

Deer in Deer Field, Bar Island, Acadia National Park

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Big Rocks is a favorite area the locals go to in Bass harbor, Maine.  I have never been to the site, but when living in the area I asked an old timer there if  Big rocks actually has big rocks?  He smiled and replied, nope, not big rocks, gigantic rocks, some of the biggest boulders I have ever seen.
One country inn in that area gives its guests a map showing how to locate Big Rocks, and though i can't recall the name of the road its on, I can tell you how to get there.
The village of Bass Harbor is located along route 102 A, once at the village there is a small bridge with a small baptist church near it.  The road that leads up from 102 A past the side of the church is the road Big Rocks is located off of.  You will come to a field with a well worn path leading through it, that path leads to Big Rocks.


You have most likely heard of the Duck Brook Road, the Duck Brook Bridge, and of Duck Brook, for which they are named, but have you ever heard of the Duck Brook Trail?   Abandoned today, the duck Brook trail once ran along much of Duck Brook.  Yet the only sign you can find of it today is on iold maps.
A few years ago I went to the large three arched stone bridge  you come to shortly after leaving the Visitors Center in Hulls Cove and head down the Park Loop Road.  We made our way down one side of the very steep hillside, to the edge of the brook.
We had hoped to find signs of the old trail, and in places you can kind of make out where it once ran.  But there was no real trail to speak of.  You see, two  things happened that help erase traces of the trail.  First, route 3, at the time a narrow dirt road, was widened and paved, and a new wider bridge was built, destroying a section of the start of the trail.
Than the Park Service constructed the triple arch bridge over the brook, destroying another good section of the trail.
Duck Brook Trail - Acadia National Park

As a now abandoned trail, no longer maintained, it became over grown with brush and tree's.  This is clearly evident in the photos we took.  Now I have been asked a few times if I ever ventured to the other side of the triple arch bridge, to see if  and signs of the Duck Brook Trail can be found from there onward.
  No, we have not as yet checked that area out, but will try to get to it this year and report our findings on this blog.

It is hard for me to imagine the trail running as far along the brook as old maps show it doing, we have explored areas along the brook much further down and found it impossible to make out way beyond towering walls of granite.  The old Water Pipe trail does get you past those areas, however, it also carries you away from the brook, and the trail clearly followed the banks of the Duck Brook.
The sides of this triple arched bridge are low, and some how a local man fell over the edge of the bridge to his death.
Duck Brook Trail - over grown and in rough shape

So today was the day  we finally returned back to Duck Brook Trail, and yes we did find some short stretches of the old trail, but between each short stretch was usually a rather large rock slide, completely erasing large sections of the trail before we could pick it up again.  This happened more times than I want to recount and because we had to slowly pick our way across all those rock slides, the going was rough.

The reason we continued at all forward was due to the fact that Duck Brook demanded we do so.  This was the first time I have ever hiked along that section of the brook, and its rapids put on a show.  It made me wonder, it the waters of the brook were this lively, how much more so would it be had we just gotten a heavy rail.....
The waters of the brook just kept getting more and more lively the further we hiked, with one great view being replaced by another at every bend.
So we approached the brook from the triple arch bridge located not too far along the Park Loop Road after leaving the Hulls Cove Visitors Center.  We were on the end furthest from the Visitors Center, making our way down a worn path on the right hand side of the bridge, to the waters edge.  Just as soon as we cwere beneath the first large arch we found some typr of bat monitoring device the Park Service has chained to a nearby tree.
Bat Monitoring Device
There seems to be some type of either camera or mic tied to a tree above the large metal box.  As you can see there is a very thick chain running across the ground.  Further to the right there is another device tied up in a tree as well, though I did not see any metal box nearby.

view of the second arch from down by the brook

start of trail moving left, below bridge

 Yeah, kind of looks like an old trail to me too, the brook is just to the right.
Duck Brook - Acadia National Park

Here Witch Hole Brook joins Duck Brook

Abandoned Duck Brook Trail

Duck Brook - Acadia National Park

Duck Brook - Acadia National Park