Dorr Mountain Hike
As I mentioned last week-end in one of my posts, I hiked up Dorr mountain, which at 1270 feet (390 meters) is the third highest peak on Mount Desert Island. Now as mountains go, that isn’t very big, but keep in mind that you begin these hike at or near sea level so it provides sufficient challenge, especially to a relative novice like me.
There are numerous ways to reach the summit of Dorr. Two of the approaches involve long staircases of stone carved into the mountainside; trails designed by the earliest trail designers and builders. These designers included George Dorr, considered the “father of Acadia”. He was one of the first wealthy “rusticators” (as they were referred to) whose family vacationed on the island. He was a lifelong bachelor and in the end used most of his family’s fortune in the pursuit of securing Acadia’s future as a National Park. So it seems only fitting that he have a mountain named after him!
The trail I decided to take is called the “North Ridge Trail”, and avoids those pesky ladders attached to boulders that send me straight into an anxiety attack. The trail while steep was not as daunting in terms of technical difficulty as the ascent I made up Pemetic a few weeks ago. The first section of the trail follows the fire road through old growth Hemlock forest. I saw some fallen trees that had to be sawed in order to keep the fire road clear, and had to wonder just how old those trees were and what they had been witness to over the years.
Within 20 yards of leaving the fire road and heading up the North Ridge Trail, the trail becomes rock to rock stepping, climbing the whole way. A “huffer and puffer” for sure as one of my friends describes these mountain hikes. Along the way, I saw wild blueberries and a shrub that looked to be in the rhododendron family blooming.
The trees had really pushed their leaves during the past week, and my sping allergies weren’t helping my breathing any (that’s my excuse and I’m working it all the way). As I paused to look behind me, I was amazed at how green the valley had become, seemingly overnight!
As you can see from the photo above, a cruise ship (and that’s one of the smaller ones) looms large in the harbor. They will be a routine sight from now until the end of October. The next photo gives you a different perspective of the harbor and valley from the summit of Dorr, and gives you some idea of how steep the ascent was.
Cadillac mountain sits just to the west of Dorr and a long, deep gorge seperate the two. Cadillac, the tallest peak on the island rises an additional 250 feet (76 meters) above Dorr. Here is a shot looking across the top of Dorr toward Cadillac. I could see the reflection of the sun bouncing off car rooftops as they drove (the nerve of them) up Cadillac.
This was one of the calmest days (breeze wise), that I’ve had on the island; and as the temperature rose to 75 degrees (24 c), I was longing for that wind. I didn’t linger too long at the summit, as I was eager for the relative cool of the forest below. Going down sure was alot easier than going up and I enjoyed spectacular views until I hit the tree line.
THANK YOU MR. DORR!! Your dedication and generosity have allowed millions of people to enjoy this beautiful place. Thank you for sharing your mountain with me.