Monday, June 5, 2017

OLD SKI SLOPE OF MCFARLAND MOUNTAIN

MCFARLAND MOUNTAIN WEATHER MONITORING STATION
We finally made the trip to McFarland Mountain and the old ski slope.  We were surprised the Weather Station the Park Service has in place on the mountain side was as close to the road as it was.  It is a ways in at the end of a dirt road, which is gated, but we had expected it to be much further up the mountain side.


I really didn't know what to expect as far as the weather monitoring station goes, but clearly I was not expecting there to be two small buildings there.  I have seen photos of the weather monitoring gear in the large field, so that was expected.
It was our first trip to the Mountain, and we expected  that we would need to spend some time in locating this path or trail I have read about which leads you to the ski slope.

Worn Path
But once we reached the monitoring station parking lot, I simply followed the edge of the woods around the corner and there it was, a well worn path through a field with a few tree's.
The path headed right straight to the edge of the woods, when my son spotted rusting metal parts by a large rock at the edge of the field.

One of the chair lift suppoorts
We walked over to it to examine it closer, and it turned out to be some rusting metal parts from a chair lift.  There was also a concrete platform which had served as one of the supports for the chair lift, oddly we could only locate that one support.
Between the support and a large rock was more rusting metal parts as well as a large electrical box.  There was also cables running across the grounds.
A short ways always we located more rusting parts just inside the treeline, with more rusting cables.
From there we followed the ski slope up almost to the summit, than follow a worn path around the corner to the rock pile marking the summit. 
There may be more up there as far as the old ski slope goes, but we didn't find anything else other than the two sites on the map.
View looking up the ski slope - Mcfarland Mountain - Acadia National Park

So this trip turned out to be a pretty easy adventure, and went much quicker than we had thought it would.  The dirt road leading from the Eagle lake Road up to the weather monitoring station is gated, but oddly there is not a single sign telling people not to enter the area, so we took that as an open invitation.
So how do you reach the site - that is pretty easy.  From Bar Harbor, drive out along the Eagle Lake Road, route 233.  Mount Desert Street in Bar Harbor runs right out to route 233.

Drive past Eagle Lake, cross a bridge and head uphill.  The road continued on and rounds a curve, near the end of the curve is the entrance to the Acadia National Park Eagle Lake Headquarters.  A short ways beyond their headquarters, on the right hand side of the road, look for a dirt road with a gate across it - that is the road leading up to the Weather Monitoring Station.

 There is at least one piece which stated that Acadia National Park once had their headquarters or sleeping quarters located on Young's Mountain, however this is not true.  The CCC did build a trail along with a very small log cabin on Young's Mountain.  the tiny cabin served as a shelter for rangers to get into during bad weather as well as a place to spend the night if need be.  These tiny "shelter" cabins were located on Young's Mountain, McFarland mountain, Western Mountain, Oak Hill and at Sieur de Monts Spring.

SUMMIT OF MCFARLAND MOUNTAIN - ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

More rusting chair lift parts

View of Eagle Lake Road from Dirt Road