Sunday, December 29, 2019

Acadia National Park (North Ridge to Cadillac Mountain)

My friends and I hiked the North Ridge Trail up Cadillac Mountain today.  It was a beautiful sunny 35 degree day, and there was hardly any snow on the trail, although there was large amount of ice so ice cleats came in handy.   

Given the ice, we elected to take the Cadillac Mountain Road back down the mountain, as the road was closed to vehicle traffic.  

Saturday, December 28, 2019

UMaine Trails (Orono)

The University of Maine in Orono has an extensive trail system which can be used for biking, walking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.  

My son was working in the area today so after dropping him off I went for a short two mile walk on the trails.  

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Winter Cabin Camping at Little Dyer Pond Cabin, Hidden Valley Nature Center (Jefferson)

This weekend my sons and I went cabin camping at Hidden Valley Nature Center with the boy scouts.  In addition to the three of us, we were joined by one other adult and two other scouts.

We stayed in the Little Dyer Pond Cabin which was well insulated and heated with a wood stove.   The cabin had two cots and sufficient room for everyone to set up on the floor.  There is additional space up in the loft which we didn't need to utilize, but which could have comfortably fit at least four more people.

The cabin rental includes wood for the wood stove and a small propane stove (BYO propane).   There is a small detached outhouse with pit toilet which is very clean (as far as pit toilets go).   There is no electricity in the cabin and cell service can be spotty.   

The cabin has large scenic windows that overlook Little Dyer Pond.  There is also fire pit with benches and two picnic tables.   In the summer, there is a boat ramp with canoes which can be used free of charge if renting the cabin.

There was a mile and a half hike in to the cabin over mostly flat (a few small hills) ground.  It had snowed during the previous week but the snow was packed down on the trail and allowed us to use sleds to transport our camping gear in. 

The trip itself was very enjoyable.  We hadn't planned any activities despite it being the shortest day of the year, so the boys spent the majority of time playing card games, laughing and talking.

For more information about the Pond Cabin at the Hidden Valley Nature Center, visit its website here.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Northern Pond Natural Area (Monroe)

Northern Pond Natural Area is a town-owned property in Monroe which has a remote feel despite being close to Bangor.  The area has approximately 2.6 miles of trails that run through forested wetlands.

The trails are covered with fallen pine needles, which created a nice quiet path on which to hike.  There were no other people at the preserve while I was there, but there were abundant birds to keep me company.

The solitude of the area made me appreciate its preservation - it would be easy to undervalue the worth of such property since Maine has abundant woods and waters, but as more and more of these lands are being developed, public access is diminishing. 

Boots are definitely recommended as part of the trail's wooden bridges were partially submerged due to snow melt.  Here is a map of my hike.  Care should be used when driving to the preserve as the road leading to it is deeply rutted and muddy. All wheel or four wheel drive is highly recommended. 



Saturday, December 7, 2019

Opportunistic Hiking at Kenduskeag Stream Trail (Bangor)

I needed to spend time in Bangor while my son was working as a photographer at the Bangor Christmas parade, so I decided to use the opportunity to take a short hike along the Kenduskeag Stream Trail.  Here is a map of my hike.

The trail was firmly packed closer to downtown.

Wing tip patterns in the snow.  

There were large numbers of crows flying in to roost for the night.  

View from an overlook.

Snowshoeing Kennard Road Trail (Newburgh)

Kennard Road Trail is a 1.1 mile forested trail owned by the town of Newburgh and managed by the Landmark Heritage Trust.  

With the holidays coming up I had a busy weekend so I visited this trail as it's very close to my house.  The trailhead is approximately one mile up Kennard Road from Western Avenue and is marked by a small sign.  There was a small pull-off that fits one vehicle.

The trail itself is wide and well-marked with aqua-marine blazes.  There was a set of cross-country ski tracks that someone had made in the snow. 

New fallen snow gave the preserve a beautiful and quiet feel, and despite its proximity to other homes and Route 202, it had a remote feel to it.  At the rear of the preserve is an open field from which Newburgh's Peaked Mountain is visible. 

Here is a map of my hike.  


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Acadia National Park - Carriage Roads from Hulls Cove Visitor Center to Conners Nubble

I did a 10.6 mile hike today, primarily along Acadia's carriage roads from the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to Conners Nubble, a small mountain that overlooks Eagle Lake. 

I was happy to see that almost all of the carriage roads were free of ice and snow.  It was sunny, but temperatures in the teens and low twenties kept visitation light.  I saw around 10 people during the almost four hours I was at the park. 

I wasn't able to make it to the summit of Connors Nubble due to extensive icing on the trail leading up to the summit, but was able to make it high enough to enjoy the view.  

Here is a map of my hike.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Bucksport Waterfront Walkway

Today was a beautifully sunny (but cold 20 degree) day so my son and I went to Bucksport to take photographs of the waterfront area. 

The Bucksport Waterfront Walkway is a 1.2 mile paved path running along the Penobscot River with views of Fort Knox, Verona Island and the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.  There are multiple access points along the trail.  Not surprisingly because of the cold, we saw few people along the path.

Here is a map of our walk.

View of the walkway with the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Fort Knox across the river.
This rock was in a small stream running under the path.  Ice was just beginning to form around its perimeter.
The marina docks have been removed from the water for the winter.

The tracks along the waterfront are no longer in use.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Eagle Bluff North Summit and Parks Pond Bluff Trail

I visited Eagle Bluff North Summit and Parks Pond Bluff Trail today.  Both hikes are listed in AllTrails and given their close proximity and relatively short distances, it worked well to combine them on the same day.  Here is a map of both trails on one map to show their relative location.

Eagle Bluff North Summit

Eagle Bluff was amazing.  The area is managed by the Clifton Climbers Alliance and is well known for rock climbing.  The trail to the summit was relatively steep but short and afforded incredible views of the surrounding area.  After descending from the summit, I hiked around to the base of the cliff to see the climbing area, which was similarly impressive.  Here is a map of Eagle Bluff.

View from the summit

Recent snowfall made the trees look magical!

View out from the summit

View of the trail near the summit

View looking up from the base (note the climbing anchors)

View from the base.
The trail leading to both the summit and the base had a special winter wonderland feeling that pictures cannot properly convey.

Parks Pond Bluff Trail

Parks Pond Bluff Trail was significantly easier than Eagle Bluff and provided excellent views of Parks Pond and the surrounding area.  The trailhead is not marked and were it not for the directions from the AllTrails app I would have likely never found it.  Here is a map of Parks Pond Bluff.

Someone built this snowman at the summit.  If I were a snowman, this would be the place to be (until I melted and plunged off the side of the cliff)