Showing posts from April, 2010

Marsh Island Natural Area

Location: Orono, Maine
Dates: April 30 and July 28, 2010

The Marsh Island Natural Area is the name given to an Orono Land Trust parcel and surrounding properties with a network of hiking trails open to the public on the southeast side of Marsh Island. While this network of trails is mostly flat, there are a few small hills, and the Penobscot River is about 100 feet in elevation below most of the trails. See trail network map here.

Reaching the river on the southern side of the trail network requires descending to about 100 feet, crossing a railroad, and following a long, raised mound between the river and a marsh and beaver pond.

In late April water levels were still high, so it was difficult to get close to the river. But in July I could walk well out into the river bed that flooded three months earlier. These trails aren't heavily used, very well maintained, or well marked, so there were a few places where it was difficult to know exactly which trail went where.

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Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

Date: April 4, 2010
Distance: ~ 3.5 mi (5.6 km) round trip

Jordan Pond is one of the most popular destinations in Acadia National Park.  There are several trails and carriage roads as well as a boat launch for the pond.  The pond is bordered by Pemetic Mountain on the east, the Bubbles on the north, and Penobscot and Sargent mountains on the west.

The road to Jordan Pond is open year round, and my visit in early April was an unusually warm one, but there were not many other people in the park.

From the parking area near the Jordan Pond House I began hiking on the Jordan Pond Loop Trail along the eastern shore of the lake, which is at an elevation of 273 ft.  This trail is a mostly flat trail that follows the entire lake shore.  Near the northern end of the lake I turned onto the Bubble Trail, which rapidly ascends the South Bubble (766 ft) over a short somewhat exposed route.

At the top of the South Bubble, I took the very short cutoff to the eastern edge of the South Bubble where …

Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail

Distance: ~8 mi (12.9 km) round trip
Highest elevation: 1526 ft (465 m)
Elevation gain: 1400 ft (427 m)
Date: April 3, 2010

The Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail is a four mile one way trail between Blackwoods Campground and the summit of Cadillac Mountain.  The trail begins at the southwest corner of Blackwoods Campground and crosses mostly flat terrain before crossing Route 3.

Once across the road, the trail begins to ascend the south ridge, but you don't have many views until the Eagle Crags, where a short loop trail takes you to a viewpoint.  Past the Eagle Crags the trial continues to moderately gain elevation, and the area around the trial is mostly clear with plenty of views.

About 2/3 of the way up the mountain the trail descends a short distance to a small pond on the ridge where it intersects with the Canon Brook and Pond trails.  But the trail then immediately turns to continue up the mountain.  Once the trail nears the summit road, some trees reappear before you e…