Family-Friendly Day Hikes on Great Long Pond in the Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine

View or post feedback about any destinations in CT, MA, NJ, NY, NH, ME, RI, VT.
Post Reply
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:21 am

Post by Guests » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:18 am

Family-Friendly Day Hikes on Great Long Pond in the Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Maine

Great Long Pond on Mt. Desert Island in Maine is one of the prettiest ponds in Maine, and a great place to schedule several day hikes. It also serves as a water source for the local community.

Beech Mountain borders one side of Great Long Pond. The network of trails leads you to an old fire tower. It makes a great picnic spot. We climbed to the old fire tower there one Saturday, then returned on Sunday to hike two miles of the opposite shoreline and turned upward and inland toward Bernard Mountain and Little Notch.

Each time my husband, Buck, and I visit Mt. Desert Island, we make this loop. It's called the Western Mountains hike. It begins at the Long Pond pump house and continues for two miles of the most spectacular shore side scenery one could imagine. Buck observed that one reason this part of the trail is so dangerous is because the sheer gorgeousness of the lake draws the eye to it and away from the sharp rocks at ground level ready to trip you up.

We stopped for lunch at a huge outcropping of granite hanging over Long Pond. Later, when the trail turned sharply upward toward the notch between Mansell Mountain and Bernard Mountain, the trail deteriorated dramatically. When we weren't balancing on rocks and avoiding the black muck in the path, (which looked like it would be a running stream during wet season), we were duck-walking over a complex latticework of heavy tree roots.

The sharp, clean aroma of spruce was exhilarating.

Evidence of storms was clear in some places, where large falling trees took smaller ones with them, coming to rest in a pile of wood, foliage and cascading boulders.

Each difficult portion of the trail was followed by a smooth, chartreuse pathway of moss, ferns and comic red toadstools.

And then, suddenly around the next bend there would be a wicked witch's idea of fun, as though the trees had been hurled into the air and slammed back down again all helter-skelter like a giant's package of all-brown pick-up sticks.

This is life, I thought. Again and again, this is life. Get ready. Stay ready. Buckle up and hunker down. Don't be deluded.

With each new footfall safely placed, I thought: Yes. There is satisfaction and pleasure in the solving of this small problem. Maybe we will make it home for supper, after all.

Elizabeth Westmark is a creative nonfiction and fiction writer who sees and attempts to interpret the world through the incredible medium of storytelling. She likes to write material that is interesting and possibly helpful to her readers, and she enjoys engaging with them at her personal website:

Her essays have appeared in Brevity, Prick of the Spindle, Girls with Insurance, The Binnacle Ultra-Short 2009, Camroc Press Review, Long Story Short, and Dead Mule, among others. I also self-publish in a variety of venues. I am currently working on several short stories and the memoir of a small southern Longleaf pine forest.

Mrs. Westmark lives near Pensacola, Florida in a Longleaf pine preserve with her husband, Buck, and their old chocolate Labrador retriever, Maggie, both of whom appear in many of her stories and articles.

Article Source:

Post Reply