Mini Vacation in Maine (Part 2)
If you head to Acadia, pick up a good map. The one available in the visitor center isn’t terrific. You need something more detailed if you’re going to get away from all of the people climbing Beehive in their flipflops. We headed over to the less-crowded west side and tackled the Giant Slide Trail. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
You’ll start by parking along Route 3 (after you find the sign), and heading into the woods. Soon you’ll come to a long and winding primitive boardwalk.
Just a bit later, you come to your first micro region (my term – I’m sure there’s a real term for it). Suddenly you’re surrounded by mountain plants in a little glade. Nice with no effort at all so far. Keep going.
The trail crosses a carriage road, and suddenly turns into a string of boulders that you’ll get to scale. It’s incredible fun and fairly flat, so you’re not exerting yourself. You’re just enjoying sorting out where to plant your feet.
There are even some small caves to wiggle through.
After about a mile, you’ll come to a junction. If we’d had a lot more time (i.e., no four-hour drive waiting for us), we would have continued on the Giant Slide Trail, though it would have meant a difficult trek back to the car. Ideal, I think, would be to leave bikes at one end, and your car at another. We didn’t have that option, so we turned and headed up the Parkman Trail.
One thing that strikes me every time I’m hiking a national park is how incredibly well all of the trails are blazed, cleared, and marked. These are your tax dollars at work, and you really must get off your bum and go enjoy it. It’s so much fun to hike when you aren’t worrying about finding the next blaze. You get to just keep moving.
Parkman is nice because with almost no effort, you suddenly find yourself on a summit.
There was almost no one else about all day long, but luckily we found another couple at the top who were willing to take our photo. They were from Indiana and had been touring the East Coast for three weeks. This was their eighth and final day in Acadia. It sent them off with terrific weather.
From Parkman, you have some choices. You can set off down the hill again, or you can continue over to Bald Peak.
We obviously chose to continue on.
At the top, I stopped for some water and a snack while Yen took more photos. Look how happy I am!
Then it was time to head down again. After all: once we reached the bottom, we knew we’d have another 2 mile walk to the car.
Here I am back down on the carriage road. Now I’m wishing for a tandem bike. We walked along this road about two miles before we found our path again.
Then it was back along the boardwalk.
And out to a bit of a surprise on the road.
And we finished the day with the meal we’d earned.
In case you missed it: Day One.