Hiking and Nature
A Presidential View
I took a very pleasant ridge walk in the early fall of my first hiking season on Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, Maine. In August of the second season, I returned to climb the Ledges Trail, the shortest route to the summit of Pleasant Mountain (elevation = 2,006 feet), an elevation gain of some 1,500 feet up a very pleasant, and occasionally steep trail to a set of ledges at the 1.1 mile mark and the main summit after a 1.8 mile hike.
A Hiking Guru
Hiking the AT
A Walk in the Park
Whether you want to take a leisurely walk along the pristine shores of an iconic lake in search of moose, explore a variety of challenging trails with breathtaking views, or go for broke and climb to the summit of mighty Mount Katahdin (at 5268 feet in elevation, the highest peak in Maine), Baxter State Park is the number one place to hike in Maine. Created as a result of the generosity of Percival P. Baxter, a former governor of Maine and graduate of my alma mater, Bowdoin College, who donated the land for this 200,000 acre wilderness in north-central Maine, Baxter State Park is just incredible. A simple plaque on a boulder at Katahdin Stream Falls, gateway to Mount Katahdin via the Hunt trail (and the last leg of the famed Appalachian Trail for those thru-hikers traveling the entire 2,180 miles of the trail from south to north in one trek), captures the essence of the man who made it possible for all lovers of the wild to enjoy this majestic place forever:
Man is born to die. His works are short-lived. Buildings crumble, monuments decay, and wealth vanishes, but Katahdin in all its glory forever shall remain the mountain of the people of Maine.
A Memorable Day Hiking in Acadia National Park
I was on my way to Baxter State Park for some mid-summer hiking, when I made a spur of the moment decision to go to Acadia National Park for a day hike to avoid inclement weather forecast for Baxter. Located on Mount Desert Island, and encompassing Bar Harbor, an iconic Maine seaside resort, Acadia National Park is a beautiful place to visit and hike in.
Having been to Acadia in the fall of 2012 (as part of a reconnaissance mission to scope out the park) and driven to the top of Cadillac Mountain on a picture perfect day, I was looking forward to hiking Acadia in September. To that end, I had eagerly poured over Hiking Acadia National Park: A Guide to the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, a well written and beautifully illustrated book, and identified a number of hikes that sounded like they were within my capability. On the top of my list was the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, which I understood was of moderate difficulty, only a 4.4 mile round trip from the trailhead to the summit of Cadillac Mountain and back and rewarded the successful hiker with some excellent views of Bar Harbor, the Maine coastline, and the surrounding mountains from open ridges on the last part of the climb. It sounded perfect!