Friday, September 1, 2017


I first came upon this lost trail many years ago and had no idea of what it was.  Research revealed it was at one time the George B. Dorr Bicycle Path, a path he was often spotted riding his bike along.  Some reports state that this trail is not the George B. Dorr bike path, and go on to say that his official path is now under water, swallowed up by the rising waters of the beaver pond.  I will give an argument as to why the official path is still very much there, and I suspect the park service pushes the idea of it having all been swallowed up by the beaver pond as a way to keep people out of that area.

I suppose the first place to begin with is with the area itself.  Dorr was highly interested in land that Indian Pass crossed over, and the area around the pond was once part of Indian Pass.  I also don't know if it is true or not, but I have heard that a small Indian village was located to the back side of the beaver pond.

Dorr constructed his bike path with both love and care, it was one of his prized areas in the park.  And it was not just a prized area of the park for him, this was the area where Dorr's mother spent many an afternoon.  That is because this area was not just a bike path, it was also the first location of the Wild Gardens of Acadia, which was located to the far right rear of the pond.  It is said that those gardens became so famous from near and far due to the work she put into them.

Let's say for sake of argument that the current hidden path around the pond was not the official Dorr bike path, we are talking about only a section of the bike path, not the entire bike path which went well beyond the beaver pond.  Anjd since the woods between the pond and Sieur de Monts Spring are not under water, neither is a large section of the Dorr bike path.
So we went to the rear of the pond, to the far right corner, searching for any sign that a path or old road was there, and sure enough we did find one coming out of the water and running up through the woods, just as it should if the pond swallowed up sections of the bike path.

 We followed the old path and soon came out across the road from the Bear Brook Picnic Area, the end furthest from the entrance.  But the old  path continued back into the woods, and we followed it, knowing that Dorr's bike path went all the way to the Sieur de Monts spring area.  It came out by route 3, almost directly across from the entrance to Sieur de Monts Spring entrance, as it should of.
But another section shot off i9n the direct of the Beechcroft Trail.  I have read that Dorr added connector trails to local trails in order to steer more people to his beloved bike path.
We also located a lost series of stone steps leading from the Dorr bike path to the official Bear Brook Trail, on some maps called the Champlain Mountain North Ridge Trail.  The steps are easy to miss from the bike path, and nearly impossible to locate if your on the official trail up Champlain Mountain.

At some point after Dorr's death, the Park Service abandoned his prized bike path, along with the connector paths, and dug up and relocated his beloved Wild Gardens to where they are today.  I will ask anyone, who had the better vision of placing the wild Gardens in "The right place?"  I will say it was George B. Dorr who had it right, with the beaver Pond as a setting and Champlain Mountain rising up above it  set a perfect backdrop.
Champlain Mountain - George B. Dorr Bike Path - Acadia National Park

So the George B. Dorr bike path may of been rebuilt along two sides of the pond, but clearly a large section of the original path is still very much there.  Two of the connecting paths are also there.
We also found evidence of an old trail leading from the Dorr bike path, the section across the roadway from the Bear Brook Picnic Area.  This old trail runs up one side of Huguenot Head.
The day we located the old trail, we attempted to follow it and got close to the top  when thunder storms began sweeping in. 



At October 3, 2017 at 8:46 AM , Blogger Jennifer Maher Galas said...

I'm thinking that the steps were part of the original route of the Bear Brook/Black Path (now Champlain North Ridge Trail). I have a GPS tracklog of our hike along the bicycle path and up those steps, and it matches exactly with the former routing of the trail as shown on the USGS topo map and the old path maps.

According to Pathmakers (p. 219), "The lower, northern end of the trail was rerouted by the CCC during the motor road construction as part of the circulation system for the now-abandoned Bear Brook Campground."

Has anyone located the Black & Blue? I'd love to look for it on our next trip to MDI.


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