Hiking Trails of History
In my search for the remaining bridges located along Acadia’s carriage roads, I’ve been exploring some of the older trails as way of creating “short cuts” to various points along the carriage road system.
The last two days I have found myself walking two of the older trails in the park – Asticou and amphitheater.
The Asticou trail dates back to the late 1800’s and serves as a connecting trail between the town of Northeast Harbor and Jordan Pond. During the “hey dey” of Mount Desert Island trail building, the Asticou acted as a “hub” for at least a dozen other trails, many of them now abandoned.
I hiked approximately half the length of the trail, and it was a pleasant, easy hike through the woods with an easy to follow trail. I crossed over several small streams and enjoyed the chattering of red squirrels, the tapping of numerous woodpeckers, and the sight of dark green moss.
My research indicated that at one time there was even talk of building a railroad through this area!! Of course this was back in the time before there WAS an Acadia National Park, and development was all the rage. There was even a hotel on top of Cadillac Mountain! Ugh!!
The second stretch of old trail that I hiked was a little less user-friendly, but challenging and entertaining for the near one mile length that I chose to hike (to get from one bridge to another).
This charming and delightful trail wound its way down the hill, and through the ravine that is commonly referred to the amphitheatre due to the shape of the ravine. Sturdy shoes and a watchful eye are needed to stay on this rocky and wooded trail.
I am a fan of “the blue blaze” (pictured above) as on trails such as this one (with so many rocks), cairns are difficult to spot. As long as the tree that has the blue blaze on hasn’t been felled by wind, you are good to go!
This trail followed Little Harbor Brook as it tumbles down the mountainside, and it was quite fun following the trail back and forth across the stream at least half a dozen times.
As I hiked, I spotted a carriage road off to my right and knew that I was almost at the end of this section of my hike. I was getting pretty warm and after 4 miles of hiking it was time to give my feet a break. Ah, that cool stream water sure felt good!